Illustration by W. W. Denslow
|First appearance||The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)|
|Created by||L. Frank Baum and W. W. Denslow|
|Occupation||Dorothy Gale's dog|
Toto is a fictional dog in L. Frank Baum's Oz series of children's books, and works derived from them. The name is pronounced with a long "O", a homophone of "toe toe". The dog was originally a small terrier drawn by W. W. Denslow for the first edition of the Wizard of Oz (1900). He reappears in numerous adaptations, such as the 1939 Hollywood movie.
The classic books
Toto belongs to Dorothy Gale, the heroine of the first and many subsequent books. In the first book, he never spoke, although other animals, native to Oz, did. In subsequent books, other animals gained the ability to speak upon reaching Oz or similar lands, but Toto remained speechless. In Tik-Tok of Oz, continuity is restored: Toto reveals that he is able to talk, just like other animals in the land of Oz, and simply chooses not to. In The Lost Princess of Oz, he talks a blue streak. Other major appearances include The Road to Oz, The Emerald City of Oz, Grampa in Oz and The Magical Mimics in Oz, in which he is the first to recognize the Mimics.
In The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Baum did not specifically state Toto's breed, but describes him as "a little black dog (male except in the 1939 MGM movie a female was used) with long silky hair and small black eyes that twinkled merrily on either side of his funny, wee nose". However, from the illustrations in the first book many have concluded that he is a Cairn Terrier while others believe he is a Yorkshire Terrier as this breed was very popular at the time and it fits the illustration quite well. In subsequent books he becomes a Boston Terrier for reasons that are never explained, but then resumes the earlier look in later books.
Toto is the title character in two apocryphal Oz books, Toto in Oz (1986) by Chris Dulabone and Toto of Oz (2006) by Gina Wickwar.
In Toto in Oz, after receiving taunts from his friends when falling into a flower basket during a celebration of Midsummer Day 1986, Toto decides to see Glinda about getting a title so that he can command respect. On the way, he wanders into the town of Arfrica (a human population, in spite of its name), digs up an ivory scepter that he mistakes for a bone, and is proclaimed First Magistrate for a term of nine years. He requires everyone to learn the language of dogs in a series of lessons. When he is about to be forced into a marriage with a human princess, he escapes on a magic carpet, and becomes smitten with a Hawaiian Scottish Terrier named Labyz. Ultimately, he names a Second Magistrate to serve in his place and returns to the Emerald City.
In Gregory Maguire's novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, Toto is a minor character who is only described as being vile and annoying. In the musical adaption Wicked, he is only mentioned briefly when Glinda mistakenly calls him "Dodo".
Terry and the MGM film
In the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz, Toto was played by a female brindle Cairn Terrier whose real name was Terry. She was paid a $125 salary each week, which was far more than many of the human actors (the Singer Midgets who played the Munchkins reportedly received $50 to $100 a week).
During production, Terry's foot was broken when one of the Winkie guards accidentally stepped on it. A second dog had to be used while she healed. Due to the popularity of the movie, and because that role was the one she was most remembered for, her owner and trainer changed her official name to Toto. She actually appeared in 13 different films. She died at age 11. Willard Carroll wrote her "autobiography," I, Toto (2001).
When she died in 1945 Carl Spitz buried her on his ranch in Studio City, CA. However, the construction of the Ventura Freeway in 1958 destroyed her grave. On June 18, 2011 a permanent memorial for Terry was dedicated at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles.
Later film versions
- In 1996 an animated series The Oz Kids, Dot and Neddie have a puppy named Toto 2 who is named after Dorothy's dog Toto. One of the episodes says Dorothy's dog Toto is a female.
- In the VeggieTales episode "The Wonderful Wizard of Has", he is replaced by a pig named "Tutu".
- In the Sci-Fi Channel miniseries Tin Man, Toto is portrayed as a shape-shifting human. He was originally the tutor of DG and her sister, and his name of "Toto" came from DG's childhood inability to say "Tutor". He was played by Blu Mankuma.
- Toto also appears in the film Inkheart. In that film, Silvertongues have the ability to bring a character from book to life by saying the words loud and clear. Meggy accidentally brings him out of the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and he becomes her companion (until he's sent back into it at the end). Toto helps defeat the evil shadow monster as well.
- In the Disney Channel original movie The Cheetah Girls the main character has a dog named Toto. This name is given to him most likely because one of the characters is named Dorothea (Dorothy). However, this dog is a Bichon Frise instead of a black Cairn Terrier.
- Toto appeared in Dorothy and the Witches of Oz. Toto lived with Dorothy even when she was invited to New York City to get her books published.
- Oz Park, Chicago, USA
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Toto (Oz).|
- The essay "Symbolism of Toto"
- Terry at the Internet Movie Database
- A site listing plots and films of Terry, aka Toto, and Cairn movies
- The Hollywood Forever Memorial online home