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Dorothy Gale by W.W. Denslow 1900

Dorothy Gale is a little girl from Kansas. She also is an orphan who lived on a farm. She made several trips to the magical Land of Oz with her pet dog, Toto. Dorothy, along with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry eventually moved to Oz permanently and became immortal. They live in the Emerald City with Dorothy's best friend Princess Ozma who is the child ruler of all the land and who made Dorothy a princess of Oz.


Dorothy Gale is a fictional character created in 1900 by L. Frank Baum, creator and author of the Oz legacy. Out of Baum's fourteen original Oz books which are sequels to the first story, Dorothy is introduced in the first book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. She is it's protagonist.
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A faithful illustration of Dorothy and Toto based off of Baum's given description.

Dorothy is just like any other little country girl of her time, ordinary, average and a well grown child for her age. Her exact age is never given in the book series by L. Frank Baum, but her character is no older than twelve. Baum describes Dorothy as having a round, rosy face, chubby little hands, big earnest eyes, and a merry laugh. Dorothy was originally illustrated by W. W. Denslow to appear to be a chubby six to twelve-year-old with her trademark braided pigtails and wearing her pointed Silver Shoes.

The first illustration of Dorothy Gale

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In the rest of the books, the characters including her are drawn by john R. Neill and she appears to be a thin, fashion foward young lady with short blonde hair styled in a bob.
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Dorothy Gale illustrated by John R. Neill


Dorothy's character and personality traits are generally of innocence and truth. She is a smart and happy little girl who remains positive, humble, usually sweet tempered and loves her pet dog Toto very much. She is an optimistic dreamer, like her dead mother, and Aunt Em has suggested that the Fairies marked her soul at birth, since she has been protected and unharmed in all of her amazing and dangerous adventures through many strange and bizzare places.

Lifestyle in Oz


Her Royal Highness, Princess Dorothy of Oz

In the Land of Oz Princess Dorothy and Toto are very popular and known about after the first adventure in Oz. Dorothy is mostly recognized for being the means of destroying the Wicked Witches of the East and West. Princess Ozma, who is her best friend and most trusted confidant made her an official princess of Oz.


Princess Ozma is the child Queen and rightful ruler of all of Oz, but was not spoiled by her high title or the magnificence and luxurious lifestyle around her.

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Dorothy Gale and Princess Ozma, as they appeared in the cult classic 'Return to Oz'.

She and Dorothy remained down to earth and unselfish. Dorothy and Ozma are also very close to Glinda, the Good Witch of the South, who is like a mother figure to both girls. The trio are loved by everyone in Oz for their simple sweetness, good manners and compassion. Dorothy and Ozma live lives of luxury in the Emerald City and reside in the Royal Palace of Oz in the center of the city.
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Dorothy sitting with Ozma inside the Royal Rose Garden.

Eventually Ozma gave Dorothy her very own apartment suites in the Palace when Dorothy, Aunt Em and Uncle Henry were all invited to leave Kansas forever and live in Oz permanently. In Oz Dorothy wears only the finest jewelry and fancy dresses fit for only a princess. When Ozma isn't sitting on her royal jeweled throne in her Palace chamber listening to the problems and request of her people, she can be found with Dorothy, arm in arm in the royal rose garden, walking among the blossoming roses, giggling, sharing little secrets, and friendly kisses on the cheek.
Ozma of Oz and Dorothy

History of Adventures in Oz

#1 The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Dorothy lived with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry on a farm in the Kansas prairies where her only companion was her little black dog, Toto. One day a powerful cyclone carried her farmhouse to the Land of Oz where it landed on the Wicked Witch of the East, killing her. She was told by the Good Witch of the North and the Munchkins who lived there that only the Wizard of Oz in the Emerald City could help her return to Kansas. The Good Witch gave her the Silver Shoes with their great mysterious powers and kissed her on the forehead for protection. With that she set out along the Yellow Brick Road for the Emerald City. Along the way she met the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Cowardly Lion.

The Wizard, appearing to Dorothy as a giant floating head, commanded Dorothy to destroy the Wicked Witch of the West. After being captured by the witch, Dorothy finally did destroy her by throwing a bucket of water on her and melting her. Dorothy and her companions returned to the Emerald City, but there discovered that the Wizard was a humbug. The Wizard tried to take Dorothy home in a hot air balloon, but it floated away while Dorothy was looking for Toto.

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Dorothy in her Emerald City Jingle Dress.

Dorothy and her companions then traveled south to find Glinda, the Good Witch of the South. After several adventures, they arrived at her ruby red palace and she told Dorothy about the charm of the Silver Shoes she had been wearing since her arrival in the Land of Oz, which allowed her to return home to Kansas.

Dorothy Gale in Baum's original sequels

Dorothy does not appear in all of the Oz books, but she is usually mentioned such as in the second Oz book and makes an appearance throughout the series. Her character is sometimes the protagonists while at other times the focal point is not Dorothy but other characters in Oz.

#3 Ozma of Oz Because of the cyclone damage and worry over Dorothy's extended disappearance, Uncle Henry decided to take a vacation and travel to Australia with Dorothy to accompany him. During the voyage a storm washed her overboard, and she soon found herself on the shores of the Land of Ev with a yellow hen named Billina. They found a mechanical man named Tik-Tok and, after a visit to the royal palace in Evna, joined Ozma of Oz and a group from the Emerald City (including her old friends the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Cowardly Lion) on a journey to the Nome Kingdom to liberate the Royal Family of Ev from the Nome King. There she confiscated the Nome King's Magic Belt and after their mission was successfully completed, she returned with them to the Emerald City. She was made a Princess of Oz, but afterward returned to Uncle Henry.

#4 'Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz On their way home from Australia, Dorothy and Uncle Henry stopped in San Francisco, California. Uncle Henry went right to Hugson's Ranch to visit his brother-in-law Bill Hugson. Dorothy stayed with friends in San Francisco for a week, then traveled by train to Hugson's Siding, where she met her cousin Zeb. On their way from the siding to Hugson's Ranch, a great earthquake opened the ground in front of them and they fell in, carriage and all. After many adventures they found themselves in Oz where Dorothy and her friends were welcomed warmly. After a brief stay, Dorothy returned home to Kansas.

#5 The Road to Oz A Shaggy Man appeared at the Kansas farm and asked Dorothy for directions. While showing him the road they became inexplicably lost. After a long journey during which they met Button-Bright and Polychrome, they arrived in Oz just in time for Ozma's birthday party. When the celebration ended Dorothy returned once more to Kansas.

#6 The Emerald City of Oz When Aunt Em and Uncle Henry were facing foreclosure on their farm, Dorothy went to Ozma who suggested that Dorothy move to Oz permanently, along with her aunt and uncle. She introduced her family to all her friends in Oz and took them on a tour of some of the unusual sights. Upon the party's return to the Emerald City, they learned of the Nome King's impending invasion, which the Scarecrow and Ozma managed to halt. Nevertheless, Glinda decided to make Oz invisible to the rest of the world to prevent further invasions, and Dorothy wrote a final letter to L. Frank Baum to explain that he would never hear from Oz again.

# 7 The Patchwork Girl of Oz After getting settled into her life as a Princess of Oz, Dorothy assisted in the search for ingredients that would contribute to a potion capable of reversing the spell of petrification on Unc Nunkie and Margolotte.

#8 Tik-Tok of Oz and The Scarecrow of Oz Shortly after, two girls arrived from America who soon became fast friends with Dorothy: Betsy Bobbin and Mayre "Trot" Griffiths.

#9 Rinkitink in Oz Dorothy watched the adventures of Inga, Prince of Pingaree, in Ozma's Magic Picture, and along with the Wizard rescued Inga and his companions from Kaliko, the new Nome King.

#10 The Lost Princess of Oz When Ozma was stolen, Dorothy was part of a party that went out to find out what had happened to her. They searched various parts of Winkie Country found out that Ozma had been stolen by Ugu the Shoemaker. They ventured to his new wicker castle, and after the Wizard helped them get past some magical resistance, they got inside. There, Ugu rendered most of the party powerless, except for Dorothy, who had the Magic Belt from the Nome King. She had a magic duel with Ugu, during which she turned him into a pigeon and he escaped.

# 11 The Tin Woodman of Oz Dorothy went with Ozma to Jinjur's house, where the Tin Woodman, Scarecrow, Woot the Wanderer, and Polychrome had been transformed into unnatural forms. Ozma transformed them back, and afterwards Dorothy hoped to join the Tin Man's party to go meet Nimmie Amee, and she hinted such; but the Tin Man didn't take the hint, so Dorothy returned to the Emerald City instead.

# 12 Glinda of Oz One day, Dorothy and Ozma took the Red Wagon to visit Glinda in her palace in Quadling Country, where she learned from the Great Book of Records that the Flatheads had gone to war with the Skeezers. Ozma set out to go and resolve the war, and Dorothy asked to go with her. The two girls journeyed to the Flatheads' mountain, where they met the Supreme Dictator, who refused to submit to Ozma's rule. They escaped and met the Skeezers, where Queen Coo-ee-oh also refused Ozma and took the two girls prisoner. Dorothy was quite indignant at Coo-ee-oh's rude treatment of Ozma but could do nothing about it. When Coo-ee-oh submerged the city and left to attack the Flatheads, she was transformed into a swan, leaving Dorothy and Ozma stranded in the underwater city until Glinda and her party came to rescue them.

Canon Appearances

In other prose

In Magic Land

In Magic Land, the girl protagonist modelled on Dorothy is named Ellie Smith.

Magician of Oz and sequels

Dorothy meets Jamie Diggs, the great grandson of the Wizard at Glinda's palace. She receives a special gift of his friendship by Ozma, which represents the central theme of the book. Dorothy,along with Toto, accompanies Jamie who is declared the new Royal Magician of Oz, on his journey to battle the Army of Trees and casts her own Spell of the Stone Morels against the army of Morel Mushrooms who have sided with the Fighting Trees. (Magician of Oz)

Dorothy reunites with Jamie and meets his best friend, Buddy, when they arrive by balloon in the Emerald City. She joins them and even Ozma as they travel by balloon to explore the dark hole beneath the covered bridge in Winkie Country where the Shadow Demon was reborn. Her encounter with him while travelling by boat along the Winkie River provides Jamie a critical clue that sends him and Buddy to Mount Munch in order to save the Hyups from the Shadow Demon. (Shadow Demon of Oz)

Dorothy meets Jamie's mother, Amanda, along with two Hyups, Darlene and Heavenlee. They travel to the Emerald City and reunite with the rest of Jamie's family and friends, all of whom have been transported to Oz by means of a magic box. Dorothy joins everyone as they travel south to the banks of the Munchkin River to watch the climatic battle against Cobbler the Dog, the mechanical pet of Tik-Tok, who was possesed by the evil remains of the Wicked Witch of the East. (Family of Oz)

Judy Garland is Dorothy Gale

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Judy will always be Dorothy!

In the year 1939 Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland) is a lonely twelve year old orphan who day dreams about a fantssy world without any problems or troubles, somewhere Over the Rainbow. When the ill mannered and cruel Kansas mayor Miss Gulch threatens to take Toto away to be put down, after chasing her cat, getting into her garden and even biting her, the Gale farm is at stake. To prevent Toto from being taken away from Dorothy, Dorothy decides to run far away from home to find a more happier and colorful, care free world. A few miles on her walk she meets Professor Marvel, a fake psychic on the side of the Kansas road who tells her to go back after looking into his Crystal Ball at Aunt Em who is heartbroken to find Dorothy is gone and may die from a broken heart. A guilt ridden Dorothy runs back home in an oncoming storm in fear for her Aunt's health but before she can make it safely home to the Gale farmhouse. A terrifying tornado sweeps her and Toto up into the sky and over the rainbow, to the land of Oz. There, Dorothy meets a beautiful Witch named Glinda the Good and the friendly little Munchkin people. Dorothy finds out she has accidentally killed the Wicked Witch of the East when her flying farmhouse landed on top of her. Glinda and the Munckins celebrate this miracle and praise Dorothy a hero. Glinda gives Dorothy the magical Ruby Slippers. Dorothy embarks on a long and dangerous quest down the Yellow Brick Road, to seek the Great Wizard, who lives in the Emerald City. The Wizard is believed to be the only one powerful enough to send Dorothy and Toto back to Kansas again. On her journey, Dorothy meets a brainless Scarecrow, a heartless Tinman and a Cowardly Lion with no courage. Together Dorothy and her unforgettable companions venture all throughout Oz, overcoming it's enchanted obstacles such as fighting apple trees, loins and tigers and bears, and deadly poppy feilds. All while the evil sister of the dead Wicked Witch of the East, the green skinned Wicked Witch of the West, looms just around the corner. With the help of her Winged Monkeys, she Wickedly plots and schemes to retrieve her dead sisters magic shoes upon Dorothy's feet before the girl and her little dog find a way to get back home.

Judy was sixteen at the time she portrayed the twelve year old Kansas farm girl who gets swept away to Oz via cyclone. Thanks to her talented singing voice, she beat many other young actresses for the lead role such as Shirley Temple who was a loyal fan of Baum's Oz books, and was more close to the look and age of Baum's description of Dorothy. Judy was put on a strict diet and forced to wear a speacial type of corset under her costume, that flattened out her curves and painfully bond her breast down flat against her chest to make her appear as a twelve year old little girl who was more innocent, underdeveloped and younger than her real life age.

Return to Oz

Return to Oz is a 1985 Disney Film starring Fairuza Balk and Piper Laurie. The look of Return to Oz was intended to give it's audience a more surreal and realistic point of veiw of the land of Oz and all of it's character. The plot is based loosely off of two of Baum's original novels. During it's release in the summer of 85, it was bashed by critics for being too "scary and intense" for children and wasn't successful during the time of its release. Despite it's failure to appeal to the public, Return to Oz has still gained a huge cult following of fans all over the world 30 years after it's original making.


Fairuza Balk as Dorothy Gale.

In Comics

Oz Squad

Oz Squad

Dorothy with the rest of the Oz Squad

Dorothy, now an adult years after her childhood adventures, has returned to the United States with her friends, the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman and Cowardly Lion. Unfortunately, some of their old enemies have returned as well, including the Wicked Witch of the East, now known as Rebecca Eastwich. (Oz Squad)

During this era, Dorothy has a son with Ozma, who they name Ozzy. (Oz Squad: March of the Tin Soldiers)


Dorothy comic

Dorothy is a jaded teenager who get swept with her car to the Land of Oz. There, she meets a robotic dog named Toto, as well as her other companions. (Dorothy)


  • In Doctor Who, the seventh Doctor's companion, Dorothy Gale McShane (nicknamed "Ace") was named after Dorothy. Furthermore, like how a storm had sent the latter to the Land of Oz, a time storm sent Ace to an alien planet.


In the opening chapter of his first Oz book, L. Frank Baum famously informs the reader that Dorothy is an orphan who has come to live with Aunt Em and Uncle Henry (In the 1902 stage adaptation of the book, she has a still-living father). Her family name, Gale, isn't mentioned in the books until the third one, Ozma of Oz. Aunt Em and Uncle Henry are never identified as Gales in any of the Oz books (Henry is called "Henry Gale" in the 1939 movie based loosely on the first book, while in the 1985 film Return to Oz his name is Blue). The result is that Dorothy's family relationship with them is never specified.

In the first chapter of Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, Zeb tells Dorothy that his own uncle, Bill Hugson, married "your Uncle Henry's wife's sister". This seems to cement that Dorothy's blood relative is indeed Uncle Henry, since if she was related to Aunt Em, Zeb would have said "your Aunt Em's sister". Furthermore, in the second chapter of The Emerald City of Oz, Baum writes, "As for Uncle Henry, he thought his little niece merely a dreamer, as her dead mother had been." The wistful tone of this passage might be taken to suggest that Uncle Henry is Dorothy's mother's brother.

In March Laumer's book Uncle Henry and Aunt Em in Oz and its companion Aunt Em and Uncle Henry in Oz, their last name is Mankato. Also, differing accounts of Dorothy's parentage are given in both, and in the fourth-wall breaking A Farewell to Oz, Laumer himself asks her which account is true. Her answer is unfortunately not given. Elsewhere in Laumer's sub-series, she marries Zippiochogollak and has a son with him who goes on to teach at the Wogglebug's university.

In the film Return to Oz, Aunt Em mentions a sister named Garnet, who wouldn't be related to Dorothy directly.

Real-life Dorothies

Scholars and critics have considered possible real-life models for Dorothy, or at least girls who might have suggested the name to Baum. Potential candidates have included Dorothy Gage, a relation of Baum's wife Maud Gage Baum, and Dorothy Rountree, the daughter of Baum's friend Harrison Rountree.

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Stephanie Mills as Dorothy in the 1984 revival

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Diana Ross as Dorothy in The Wiz


Ashanti as Dorothy in The Muppets' Wizard of Oz

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Zooey Deschanel as Dorothy in Tin Man


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