Dorothy Gale

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Dorothy Gale
Oz character
Dorothy Gale with silver shoes.jpg
Dorothy Gale holds the charmed silver shoes--illustration by W. W. Denslow (1900)
First appearance The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
Created by L. Frank Baum
Portrayed by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz (1939, Fairuza Balk in Return to Oz (1985)
Species Human
Gender Female
Occupation Orphan/farm girl/wicked witch destroyer/royal princess
Family Aunt Em
Uncle Henry
Relatives Zeb of Hugson's ranch (second cousin)
Bill Hugson (uncle)
Mrs. Hugson (aunt, Em's sister)
unnamed Australians (related through Henry)
Susan (indirect descendant)
Em (niece of Susan)
Dori (niece of Susan)
Nationality American
turned Ozian

Dorothy Gale is a fictional character and an adolescent heroine created by the American author L. Frank Baum. Dorothy first appears as the main protagonist in Baum's classic children's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900). She also reappears in most of its sequels. In addition, she is the most familiar character from the Oz books and is used as the focal point in various adaptations, most notably played by late actress Judy Garland in the iconic 1939 MGM musical movie adaptation of the first Oz book, The Wizard of Oz, (and later portrayed by then child actress Fairuza Balk in Walt Disney's 1985 fantasy film Return to Oz, which serves as a semi-sequel version to the 1939 movie as both characters in each portrayal wear Ruby slippers instead of Silver Shoes like in Baum's original story).

Importantly, Dorothy owns a small pet dog called Toto, whom she loves dearly and who serves strictly as a sidekick companion, loyally accompanying her on the majority of her adventures. Throughout the series, the universe of Oz steadily becomes more comfortable to her than her own homeland in the prairies of Kansas.[1] During this time Dorothy becomes best friends with Oz's rightful ruler, the imperial child Queen Princess Ozma. Indeed, in Baum's sixth Oz book The Emerald City of Oz (1910), Dorothy and Toto leave Kansas behind to permanently live in a lavish apartment suite within the Emerald City's Royal Palace, but only after Dorothy's Aunt Em and Uncle Henry have settled in Oz with them. Unable to pay the mortgage on the new farmhouse that had to be replaced due to the first house being swept away by a cyclone in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Dorothy arranged with Ozma to bring her folks along in order to escape their financial troubles. Ozma ultimately proclaims Dorothy as an official princess of Oz. From thereafter, Dorothy is often seen at Ozma's side, as the two young girls become nearly inseparable.

The Classic Oz Books[edit]

Dorothy Gale, as depicted by John R. Neill. Neill's version of Dorothy has been highly criticized for looking too fashion forward and glamorous, as Dorothy is supposed to be just a little orphan girl from early 1900s Kansas. But Neill's illustration of Dorothy is usually cited by fans of the book series as the way they see and interpret the character.

In the Oz books, Dorothy is described as being a well grown child for her age, hinted to be no older than twelve-years-old. In appearance, she isn't exactly beautiful but she does have a certain style of modest prettiness about her. She has a round rosy face, big earnest eyes filled with awe, chubby little hands and a merry laugh. When Baum first introduces Dorothy in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, she is an orphan raised by her aunt and uncle in the isolated midst of a sun baked prairie on a small farm in early 1900s Kansas — "Dorothy lived in the midst of the great Kansas prairies, with her Uncle Henry who was a farmer, and Aunt Em who was the farmer's wife".

Dorothy Gale holds Toto, with Uncle Henry and Aunt Em on the Kansas farm--illustration by W.W. Denslow for the first edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900).

Dorothy symbolizes the "Spiritual Orphan", and is a metaphor that represents the heart of America. She has no memory of her deceased parents and differs from other female protagonists that sprouted from European culture and foreign fairytales and folklore. She is an individual thinker who is capable of making her own decisions. Dorothy does not necessarily need a prince or Knight in Shining Armor to rescue her or make her whole, as she learns that she already possessed what she was searching for within her all along. Overall, Dorothy is a very independent and heroic figure in the novel and knows how to take of herself. While she sometimes needs assistance in dangerous situations, she ultimately slays her enemies on her own. Dorothy is also an optimistic dreamer, as her dead mother had been. Aunt Em has suggested that the "Fairies" marked her soul at birth, since she has the habit of disappearing for long periods at a time, then suddenly reappearing again completely unharmed. It's as if she is always protected by some unseen force or power.

Unlike Judy Garland's iconic portrayal in the 1939 musical The Wizard of Oz, Baum's Dorothy is not a Damsel in Distress, but rather a determined, hands-on, and take-charge character; always standing up for what she believes in and never giving up without a good fight. Fairuza Balk's underrated portrayal of Dorothy in the 1985 semi-sequel film Return to Oz, was much closer to what Baum described his character to be. Dorothy is quite brave and self-assured for being a mere child, exhibiting no fear when she slaps the Cowardly Lion (who is said to be nearly as large as a full grown horse) to defend Toto, and organizing the Winkies' rescue mission to help her friends the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman after they had been damaged and dismembered by the Winged Monkeys. She is ultimately not afraid of angering the Wicked Witch of the West or the consequences in doing so, as shown when the witch tricks Dorothy out of one of her charmed Silver Shoes to increase her own powers. In retaliation Dorothy hurls a bucket of water over the witch, unaware that water is seriously fatal to her —"Didn't you know water would be the end of me?" asked the Wicked Witch, in a wailing, despairing voice. "Of course not," answered Dorothy. "How should I?"

In the third Oz book Ozma of Oz (1907), Dorothy brazenly and confidently rebuffs Princess Langwidere when the princess vainly threatens to take her head to wear and add to her collection — "Well, I b'lieve you won't."

Whether Aunt Em or Uncle Henry are Dorothy's blood relatives remains unclear. In the sixth Oz book The Emerald City of Oz (1910), Uncle Henry makes reference to Dorothy's dead mother who he says was a "day dreamer", possibly an indication that Henry is Dorothy's blood relative. It is also possible that "Aunt" and "Uncle" are affectionate terms of a foster family and that Dorothy is not related to either of them, but was a castaway orphan sent to the farm to help and who Henry and Em eventually grew fond of. In Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz (1908), Zeb Hugson claims to be Dorothy's second cousin, related through Aunt Em. Little mention is made of what happened to Dorothy's birth parents, other than the passing reference to her imaginative mother being deceased. In Disney's 2013 semi-prequel to the 1939 film Oz the Great and Powerful, the minor character played by actress Michelle William's is named Annie in Kansas, (who's counterpart is Glinda in Oz), hints she may indeed be Dorothy's mother when she mentions a marriage proposal from John Gale—possibly Dorothy's biological father. She is also seen wearing a checkered gingham frock like Dorothy, suggesting Dorothy will inherit her mother's style.

Anna Laughlin's portrayal of the character in the popular 1903 Broadway version of The Wizard of Oz, is scripted by Baum to speak in childlike contractions with which she continues to do throughout the book series. This aspect of her character was somewhat lessened by her companionship with Ozma, in whom Baum placed the greater level of wisdom and dignity. Yet even this is complicated by her associations with her cousin, Zeb of Hugson's Ranch, a rugged, manly boy who does not take well to Oz and cannot think of anything much more interesting than defeating the Munchkins' wrestling champion, which he proves unable to do.

Many historians have noted that Baum based his protagonist loosely on Lewis Carroll's Alice. Dorothy is whisked away by a cyclone to the undiscovered country of Oz, much like how Alice fell down the rabbit hole into the alternative realm of Wonderland in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Both adolescent female characters enter a new world where the rules of fact and logic seldom apply. The tale of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz can be considered the American version of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. However, unlike Wonderland, Buam intended Oz to be a real place, and not a dream. In the 1939 musical version, when Dorothy returns to Kansas it is implied she was dreaming just like Alice was when she awakens from being in Wonderland. Dorothy's Oz is an alternative version of her surroundings in Kansas just as Alice's Wonderland is an alternative for her surroundings in England. In the The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy first arrives to Oz, she is thought to be a great sorceress by the Munchkins because of her appearance. Her trademark gingham dress of white and faded blue checks means that she is not dangerous but friendly, as blue is the Munchkin's favorite color and white is only worn by good witches in Oz, indicating to the Ozians in general that she is of a good nature. In many of the sequels, Dorothy is the main heroine of the story, ultimately becoming a princess as Alice becomes a Queen in Alice through the Looking Glass. Like Alice, Dorothy was a little girl longing for something other than the boring routine of everyday life and experienced adventures leading to her wildest dreams.

Besides Toto, Dorothy has several other pets, including her white/pink/purple kitten, Eureka. Popular in crossword puzzles is Dorothy's cow, Imogene, from the 1902 stage version, and implicitly, though unnamed, in the 1910 film. Eric Shanower's modern Oz novel, The Giant Garden of Oz, features a cow named Imogene.

In The Emerald City of Oz (1910), when Uncle Henry and Aunt Em are unable to pay the mortgage on the new farmhouse Henry had built at the very end of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Dorothy brings them to live in Oz; the plot features a tour of Oz as a marvelous, Utopian land in which they have escaped the troubles of Kansas. She becomes princess of Oz and Ozma's "companion" essentially marrying the queen.[2]

Dorothy is also a strong standard character, having at least a cameo role in thirteen of the fourteen Oz books written by L. Frank Baum (while she did not appear at all in The Marvelous Land of Oz, (1904) she is mentioned several times in that story, as it was her actions in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz that led to the events in the former) and is at least a frequent figure in the nineteen that followed by author Ruth Plumly Thompson, getting at least a cameo in all her books except Captain Salt in Oz (in which neither Oz nor any of its inhabitants appear, though they are mentioned). Major subsequent appearances by Dorothy in the "Famous Forty" are in The Lost Princess of Oz, Glinda of Oz, The Royal Book of Oz, Grampa in Oz, The Lost King of Oz, The Wishing Horse of Oz, Ozoplaning with the Wizard of Oz, and The Magical Mimics in Oz. Most of the other books focus on different child protagonists, some Ozite, some from other Nonestican realms, and some from the United States, and as such, her appearances in the main series become more and more limited. In Jack Snow's The Magical Mimics in Oz (1946), Ozma places Dorothy on the throne of Oz while she is away visiting Queen Lurline's fairy band, demonstrating that she is Ozma's second-in-command.

The magic that enchants the realm of Oz and surrounds its inhabitants keeps Dorothy young, as time goes on, she remains in the form of a child. In The Lost King of Oz (1925), a Wish Way carries Dorothy to a film set in Hollywood, California. She begins to age very rapidly to her late 20s, making up for at least some of the years that have already passed. The Wish Way carries her back to Oz and restores her to her younger self, but she learns then that it would be unwise for her ever to return to the outside world. Baum never states Dorothy's age, but he does state in The Lost Princess of Oz (1917), that she is a year younger than Betsy Bobbin and a year older than Trot, whose age was specified as 10 in Ruth Plumly Thompson's The Giant Horse of Oz (1928). That would make Dorothy roughly eleven.

Thompson's Oz books show a certain intolerance in Dorothy. In The Cowardly Lion of Oz (1923), circus clown Notta Bit More arrives in the Emerald City "disguised" as a traditional witch, and Dorothy immediately starts dumping buckets of water on him without provocation (although she reacted this way on the assumption that the "witch" Notta was an evil witch like her old enemy, the Wicked Witch of the West). In The Wishing Horse of Oz (1935), she makes unsavory comments about the dark coloration of Gloma and her subjects take on as a disguise, making them somewhat resemble African Americans. This behavior is not a strict characteristic of Dorothy in Baum's Oz books. However, in Baum's The Patchwork Girl of Oz (1913), she slaps through crowds of black Tottenhots to rescue the Scarecrow, whom they are tossing around, but this is more an example of her gumption than any sort of prejudice, as she is otherwise kind and polite to the Tottenhots, and accepts that their ways are different from those who dwell in the Emerald City.

The authorized sequels of Sherwood Smith, The Emerald Wand of Oz and Trouble Under Oz, center on the child characters Dori and Em, who live with their Aunt Susan. All three are indirect descendants of Dorothy, though their specific relationship to her is unclear.


Early adaptations[edit]

In Baum's 1902 stage musical adaptation, Dorothy was played by Anna Laughlin. In 1908 L. Frank Baum adapted his early Oz novels as The Fairylogue and Radio-Plays, with Romola Remus as Dorothy. This was followed by The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a motion picture short that Otis Turner, one of the directors of Fairylogue, made without Baum as part of a contract fulfillment. In this 1910 film, Dorothy was played by Bebe Daniels. It was followed by two sequels (the same year), Dorothy and the Scarecrow in Oz and The Land of Oz, both of which included Dorothy, but whether Daniels participated is unknown. Baum subsequently loosely adapted The Wonderful Wizard of Oz into a 1914 motion picture directed by J. Farrell MacDonald titled His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz with Violet MacMillan as Dorothy.

Dorothy does not appear in The Patchwork Girl of Oz (1914), although some film books claim that Mildred Harris, who had yet to sign her contract with The Oz Film Manufacturing Company, played the role. The character, is, in fact, eliminated from the film version, although she has a fairly large role in the novel.

1925 film[edit]

Dorothy Dwan portrayed Dorothy in the 1925 film Wizard of Oz. In this film, Aunt Em (Mary Carr) informs her on her eighteenth birthday that she was left on their doorstep and is really a princess of Oz destined to marry Prince Kynd (Bryant Washburn), who has currently lost the throne to Prime Minister Kruel (Josef Swickard), in a storyline similar to that of His Majesty the Scarecrow of Oz, only with Dorothy as the love interest. In the end, the story proves to be the dream of a little girl who has fallen asleep listening to the story of Kynd and Kruel, said to be the story of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The film also introduced the idea of the farmhands also being the Scarecrow, Tin Woodsman and Cowardly Lion, albeit as costumes they don in order to conceal themselves in Oz.

1939 film[edit]

Judy Garland from the trailer for the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.

In the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy was played by Judy Garland. Garland received an Academy Juvenile Award for her performance. She was sixteen years old when filming began, which was technically too old for Dorothy's character. However, Garland was made to wear a special brace on her chest to flatten her bosom and curves to make her appear more youthful and underdeveloped. Her age is never mentioned in the film, but her age on set was twelve years old. And Garland did successfully capture the innocence and child like quality of the Dorothy from Baum's Oz books. Her optimistic personality and yielding desire to get back home is believable, which makes her overall portrayal work regardless of the age gap. Since fantasy films generally were unsuccessful and not highly thought of at that time, MGM portrayed Oz as a head-trauma-induced delirium, instead of a real place as it is made out to be the book. However, it is not actually confirmed that Oz is merely Dorothy's dream; it is only implied, since she awakens in bed at the end, with Aunt Em telling her she just had a bad dream.

In the beginning of the film, Dorothy is a melancholy girl who dreams of finding a place where there isn't any trouble, or somewhere "Over the Rainbow". Later, she is knocked unconscious when her bedroom window is blown inward by the powerful wind from the tornado that was approaching the Kansas farm. The storm lifted the farmhouse from its foundation and carried it high into the sky. Dorothy is awakened by a crowing rooster and looks out the window to discover she and Toto are up inside the cyclone. As one of the first movies to be filmed in Technicolor, the director and production team had the color of the famous magic slippers Dorothy wear on her epic journey changed from silver to ruby because the Ruby Slippers were believed to be more visually appealing and arresting on the film compared to the silver ones.

After her and Toto's adventures in Oz, Dorothy is joyfully reunited with Aunt Em, Uncle Henry, their three farm workers (Scarecrow, Tin Woodsman, and Cowardly Lion's alter egos), and Professor Marvel (The Wizard's alter ego). She says that she loves them all, thus concluding the famous quote: "There is no place like home".

1985 film[edit]

Actress Fairuza Balk would be the next girl in 40 years to wear the Ruby Slippers in Walt Disney's 1985 live action fantasy film Return to Oz. The film was directed by Walter Murch and loosely based on the two Oz novels The Marvelous Land of Oz and Ozma of Oz. It deliberately projected a surreal and darker tone compared to any other Oz film made. Dorothy Gale goes back to the Land of Oz again roughly six months after returning to Kansas in the first story. Unlike the 1939 musical, Return to Oz portrays Oz not as a mere dream, but as Baum originally intended it: a real place surrounded by a Deadly Desert, thus cutting it off entirely from the rest of the world, confirming that Dorothy's adventures while there did indeed happen. The film also tells what happened to Oz after Dorothy left, and what Dorothy saw and encountered there when she visited Oz for the second time. Despite the movie not being successful upon its original release, Return to Oz has been praised by many Oz fans as the most faithful and beautiful adaption of Baum's Oz novels. It has gained a large following over the decades and has achieved a cult classic status.

While Balk was being trained in acting technique at the Ramona Beauchamp Agency, the word went out that Walt Disney Pictures was seeking a young girl to play Dorothy in a major motion picture based on the classic literature of Baum. Balk was chosen from hundreds of applicants for the starring role in Return to Oz: the search began August 1983 with and open call for girls in the nine-to-twelve age bracket. Auditions were held in six major American cities and two Canadian cities in November, twelve finalists were flown to London in January for complete studio screen tests. And the role was handed to Balk who was the youngest, being only nine years old at the time. Her age was closer to that of the Dorothy in the Oz books. Balk's characteristics and personality traits strayed further away from Judy Garland's version of Dorothy and closer to the character described by Baum. Her look stays very loyal to the Oz illustrations of Dorothy both by artists W. W. Denslow and John R. Neill.

Other media[edit]

In the Turkish film Ayşecik ve Sihirli Cüceler Rüyalar Ülkesinde, Dorothy is the recurring character Ayşecik, portrayed by seventeen-year-old child star Zeynep Değirmencioğlu.

Darlene Gillespie played her in a 1957 pilot segment for the proposed Walt Disney production, The Rainbow Road to Oz.

The Rankin-Bass company, creators of countless television specials and shows, released the hour-long animated musical telefilm Return to Oz in 1964. Like so many stories of Dorothy going back to Oz, the books were ignored and a new story devised. Dorothy learns that the Wicked Witch of the West has somehow become reconstituted and stolen the placebo gifts the Wizard gave her three friends, who in this version are given the names Socrates (the Scarecrow), Rusty (the Tin Woodman), and Dandy (the Cowardly Lion). Still possessing the silver shoes, she and Toto return to battle the Wicked Witch with the help of the Wizard—who, for some reason, is still in Oz. Susan Conway supplied Dorothy's speaking voice while Susan Morse did the singing.

In Journey Back to Oz, an animated sequel to the 1939 film, Dorothy is voiced by Liza Minnelli, the daughter of Judy Garland, who played the role in the MGM film. Her physical appearance is similar to that of Disney's Snow White. Aunt Em and Uncle Henry have only one farmhand named Amos, but he does not have an alter ego in Oz. This time, a tornado causes a loose gate to knock Dorothy unconscious. Next, she and Toto are in Oz once again where they end up having to work to prevent Mombi's evil plot to take over the Land of Oz.

For the 1975 Broadway musical The Wiz, Dorothy (originated in The Wiz by Stephanie Mills) is reimagined as a young African-American girl, though most of her other characteristics, as well as the general plot of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, remain intact. The story was altered for the 1978 Motown/Universal film adaptation of The Wiz, in which Dorothy (portrayed by Diana Ross) is a shy 24-year-old schoolteacher who has never traveled far beyond the neighborhood she grew up in. This Dorothy's adventures in Oz force her to mature, as is the case for most versions of the Wizard of Oz story, although in this case, Dorothy is made to overcome a case of arrested development.

In the 1980 Thanksgiving special Dorothy in the Land of Oz, Dorothy is voiced by Mischa Bond.

Philip José Farmer's 1982 science-fiction novel A Barnstormer in Oz tells the story of hotshot aviator Henry "Hank" Stover — who is not at all surprised one beautiful spring day in 1923 when he flies his Curtiss Jenny biplane through a strange green cloud and finds himself in a land populated by small people where animals talk and magic works. Hank knows right away that he is in Oz because his mother, Dorothy Gale-Stover, had been there back in 1890 and later told him (and L. Frank Baum) of her experiences. Farmer's premise is that Dorothy only visited Oz once and told her story to a journalist called Frank Baum. This journalist would later create a series of books from Dorothy's only adventure in Oz. Like many Oz novels for adults, Farmer's Oz is a darker, more threatening place and in this case it is on the brink of both a civil war and an invasion by the United States Army.

In 1982, a Japanese animated version depicted a blonde ponytailed Dorothy in red shoes voiced by Aileen Quinn. The film was made by Toho with a script co-written by Yoshimitsu Banno, with music co-written by Joe Hisaishi and lyrics co-written by Sammy Cahn.

In the 1986 Japanese animated-version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Oz no Mahōtsukai), Dorothy is depicted with auburn hair, much like the movie, but does not have pigtails. Her blue and white farm dress slightly differs from how it was described in the books (in fact, it looks quite Alice in Wonderland-esque), but her anime design makes her appear young. She wears white "magic shoes". Her voice was provided by Morgan Hallett.

Another animated offering was entitled Dorothy meets Ozma of Oz It was an abridged but very faithful retelling of Baum's third Oz book, featuring a blonde Dorothy in a red dress. Janice Hiromi Kawaye, later to become known as the star of the animated series My Life as a Teenage Robot, delivered an exceptionally delightful voice for Dorothy.

In the video for Blues Traveler's 1994 hit song "Run-Around", Dorothy tries to get into a club where the band is performing. She is portrayed by actress Diana Marquis.[3]

The Wizard of Oz in Concert: Dreams Come True (1995) starred Jewel as Dorothy, Jackson Browne as the Scarecrow, Roger Daltrey as the Tin Woodman, and Nathan Lane as the Cowardly Lion. This was a benefit performance for the Children's Defense Fund.

A little known re-telling of The Wizard of Oz from 1995 made for British channel Five set in the present day starred Denise van Outen as Dorothy and featured a cameo appearance by Zöe Salmon of Blue Peter fame. Among other variations of the story was van Outen's portrayal of Dorothy as a spoiled, wealthy socialite who was not above using profanity, and the origin of the Ruby Slippers, which are shown as being obtained by the Witch of the East after falling off the feet of a previous visitor from over the rainbow, played by Salmon, when she wished to return home.

In the 1996 animated series The Oz Kids, Dorothy Gale grows up as a woman and marries Zeb Hugson — who, in the book Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, is her cousin. She has two children, Dot and Neddie. Dorothy Gale Hugson is voiced by Erika Schickel.

In the 2005 made-for-television movie The Muppets' Wizard of Oz Dorothy was portrayed as a gifted teenage singer (played by Ashanti) who wanted nothing more than to get out of Kansas and sing with the Muppets Star Hunt tour.

In the VeggieTales 2007 episode The Wonderful Wizard of Ha's, Dorothy was replaced by Darby (Junior Asparagus) with a pet pig (usually referred to as a dog) named "Tutu".

Dorothy, Alice Liddell, Wendy Darling, Susan Pevensie (from The Chronicles of Narnia), and Pollyanna also feature in the comic The Oz/Wonderland Chronicles, set in 2005. Unlike the other characters, Dorothy is based on her movie counterpart, who stopped believing in Oz, as Susan, Alice, and Wendy stopped believing in their fairylands in both book and film versions.

In the 2007 Sci Fi Channel miniseries Tin Man, a Dorothy Gale-type character (called "D.G.") was played by Zooey Deschanel, while Dorothy Gale herself (a separate character) makes a brief appearance, played by Grace Wheeler. D.G. travels to the land of "The Outer Zone" (or "O.Z." for short), where she finds out that she and her sister Azkadellia are descendants of Dorothy Gale through their mother, Queen Lavender Eyes. Ahamo, DG's father, tells DG that Dorothy Gale is her "greatest great grandmother." Dorothy Gale is legendary, and known as the first 'Slipper' (a title rather than an object) to slip to the Outer Zone. In the third episode of the miniseries, DG meets the original Dorothy Gale in a netherworld located within Gale's crypt, which is reminiscent of Gale's farm as depicted in the 1939 film.

In 2010, Andrew Lloyd Webber searched for a girl to play the title character for his new production of The Wizard of Oz. His talent-search show Over the Rainbow discovered 19-year-old Danielle Hope, who originated the role in the 2011 West End production. In the 2012 production in Toronto, the role was won by another Danielle, Danielle Wade.

In the 2012 TV miniseries Dorothy and the Witches of Oz, Dorothy (played by Paulie Rojas) is shown as an adult writer and starts regaining suppressed memories of her actual adventures in the Land of Oz when the Wicked Witch of the West plans to conquer the Land of Oz and all of Earth.

In Disney's 2013 film Oz the Great and Powerful, Dorothy's maternal origins are hinted when Annie (Michelle Williams) informs Oscar Diggs that her fiance's surname is Gale.[4]

In Supernatural's Slumber Party, Dorothy is revealed to be L. Frank Baum's daughter who followed him into Oz and got trapped there. She battled the forces of evil with the help of three freedom fighters who were transformed into the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow and the Tin Man as punishment for their actions with the Tin Man eventually being killed. Eventually Dorothy returned to Earth where L. Frank Baum based his books off of her adventures and the Wicked Witch of the West eventually came to lead her army to Earth and take over. In 1935, Dorothy battled the Witch but couldn't kill her, so she trapped them together in a glass bottle. In 2013, the Witch and Dorothy are accidentally released by Dean Winchester and he, his brother Sam and Charlie Bradbury team up with Dorothy to stop the Witch. Charlie kills the Witch in the end and she Dorothy travel to Oz to finish Dorothy's rebellion there. In There's No Place Like Home, Charlie returns split into her good and dark halves. She explains that to win the war, she made a deal with the Wizard of Oz to do the split and her dark side won single-handedly. Dorothy and the Wizard now lead Oz and Charlie returned to Earth to stop her dark side. Tracking down a man named Clive Dylan who had gotten trapped in Oz long before, Sam and Charlie learn that the Wizard is in fact evil and is Clive's dark side. To stop him and save Charlie, Clive fatally shoots himself to force the Wizard to come to Earth to heal him. Once he is there, Charlie kills Clive and the Wizard and the Winchesters are able to reverse his spell. With the Wizard dead, Oz is left truly free under Dorothy's leadership.

Dorothy Gale appears in the Once Upon a Time episode "Kansas" portrayed by Matreya Scarrwener. The plot is basically a retelling of Wizard minus Dorothy's traveling companions. Caught in her Kansas farmhouse during a raging cyclone, Dorothy is swept away to Oz. Taken in by the protectors of Oz, the sisterhood of witches, she comes to view them as family. One night, she is confronted by Zelena, the Witch of the West, while getting water from a well. Zelena intends to get rid of Dorothy as she believes the girl is destined to usurp her seat in the sisterhood. In defense, Dorothy throws a bucket of water at Zelena; causing the witch to melt. Glinda, the Witch of the South, then appears to offer her to take Zelena's place as the Witch of the West, but Dorothy declines, wishing only to return home. With Glinda's help, she is taken to see the Wizard and given a pair of silver slippers to travel to any world. Dorothy thanks the Wizard and proceeds to click the slippers' heels three times to send herself home, after which it is revealed that the Wicked Witch was still alive and gave the shoes to Dorothy while impersonating the Wizard.

Dorothy Gale is the titular character in the Dorothy Must Die, by Danielle Paige. She is the antagonist, a corrupt dictator who has returned to Oz, and is now power hungry. Dorothy, Glinda, The Scarecrow, The Tinman, and The Lion, all become twisted and dark. The book revolves around the new protagonist Amy Gumm (also from Kansas), and her and a rebel group known as the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked plan to kill Dorothy and return magic and the lost princess Ozma back to Oz.

The animated film Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return, based on a book by L. Frank Baum's great-grandson Roger S. Baum, stars Lea Michele as the voice of Dorothy Gale, who travels back to Oz to face more adventures and adversity with her friends.

Dorothy Gale appears in the Lego Dimensions video game, voiced by Laura Bailey.



Dorothy was a very popular name at the time and many fictional characters were being given it. Such as Charles E. Carryl's Fairytale titled The Admiral's Caravan, published in 1891. Despite this fact, Baum later insisted that he did not base the character of Dorothy Gale on anyone in particular.

Many Historians believe that Baum's original influence on the creation of Oz's "Dorothy" appears to be the Alice of English author Lewis Carroll in the Wonderland & Looking Glass books. It is highly possible that Baum took some of the personality traits of Alice and morphed them into his own for his character. He ultimately Americanized the character who would become known as Dorothy Gale.

Despite Baum stating Dorothy is not based upon anyone real, the name of Dorothy was most likely chosen in homage to Baum's own real-life niece, Dorothy Louise Gage, who died in infancy. Baum's wife was very attached to her and was deeply grieved by her death, so there is speculation that Baum inserted her name into his stories as a memorial. Elements of Dorothy Gale's character are possibly derived from 'Matilda Joslyn Gage', Dorothy's grandmother. Dorothy Gage is buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Bloomington, Illinois.

Reporter Lee Sandlin writes that L. Frank Baum read a disaster report of a tornado in Irving, Kansas, in May 1879 which included the name of a victim, Dorothy Gale, who was "found buried face down in a mud puddle."

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jack Zipes, When Dreams Came True: Classical Fairy Tales and Their Tradition, p 159 ISBN 0-415-92151-1
  2. ^ Jack Zipes, When Dreams Came True: Classical Fairy Tales and Their Tradition, p 178-9 ISBN 0-415-92151-1
  3. ^ Reifer, Jodi Lee (2010-11-30). "Staten Island indie filmmaker's 'Dream' project gets screened a decade later". Staten Island: Advance Digital Media. Retrieved 2014-08-13. 
  4. ^ Covert, Colin (10 March 2013). "‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ is big and beautiful". Salisbury Post. Retrieved 11 March 2013. He makes a young, svelte, rather hot conjurer who has broken many a heart, including that of Dorothy Gale’s mom-to-be (liquid-eyed Michelle Williams, resplendent in a blond wig). 

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