For the film, see The Wizard of Oz (1939 film)
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a children's book written by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W.W. Denslow. It was originally published by the George M. Hill company in Chicago in 1900, and has since been reprinted countless times, sometimes under the name The Wizard of Oz. The story chronicles the adventures of a girl named Dorothy in the Land of Oz. It is one of the best-known stories in American popular culture and has been widely translated. Its initial success led to Baum's writing and having published thirteen more Oz books.
Baum dedicated the book "to my good friend & comrade, My Wife" — Maud Gage Baum.
In January 1901 the publisher, the George M. Hill Company, completed printing the first edition, which probably totaled around 35,000 copies. Records indicate that 21,000 copies were sold through 1900. 
The book has been in public domain since 1956.
Historians, economists and literary scholars have examined and interpreted the sources and possible meaning of the book, but the great majority of readers and critics probably do not see any political meaning in it whatsoever. See Political interpretations of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
Dorothy Gale is a young girl who lives on a Kansas farm with her Uncle Henry and Aunt Emily ("Auntie Em"), and her little dog Toto. (Although her last name is only revealed in later books in the Oz series.) One day a cyclone appears outside and before Dorothy can reach the storm cellar, the farmhouse is caught up in the cyclone and deposited in a grassy field in the country of the Munchkins. The falling house kills the Wicked Witch of the East, who had established a reign of terror over the Munchkins.
The Good Witch of the North comes with the Munchkins to greet Dorothy, and gives her the Silver Slippers(made ruby in film due to camera difficulties with silver) the Wicked Witch of the East had been wearing when she was killed (her death is explained in The Tin Woodman of Oz as due to her being old and dried up before Oz became a fairyland). In order to return to Kansas, the Good Witch of the North consults a magical blackboard which recommends: "Let Dorothy go to the City of Emeralds" and ask the Wizard of Oz to help her. The Good Witch of the North also kisses Dorothy on the forehead, stating that no one will harm a person who has been kissed by her. On her way down the Yellow Brick Road, Dorothy meets some remarkable characters: she liberates the Scarecrow from the pole he's hanging on, restores the mobility of the rusted Tin Woodman, and encourages the Cowardly Lion to journey with her and Toto to the Emerald City. The Scarecrow wants to get a brain, the Tin Woodman a heart, and the Cowardly Lion courage; and they are convinced by Dorothy that the Wizard can help them too. Together they overcome a pair of ravening Kalidahs (Giant creatures with the heads of tigers and the bodies of bears) and escape from a field of sleep-inducing poppies.
When they arrive at the Emerald City, the companions must wear special spectacles to keep the brilliance of the Emerald City from blinding them; wearing them, everything appears in different shades of green. They are told that the Wizard will only see one of them a day, and that the guard himself has never seen him. When each traveler meets the Wizard, he appears each time as someone or something different. To Dorothy, the Wizard is a giant head; the Scarecrow sees a beautiful woman; the Tin Woodman sees a ravenous beast; the Cowardly Lion sees a ball of fire. The Wizard agrees to help each of them, but his help is conditional; one of them must kill the Wicked Witch of the West, who rules over the Winkie Country.
As Dorothy, Toto, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion travel across the Winkie Country, the Wicked Witch sends wolves, crows, bees, and then her Winkie soldiers to attack them; but each threat is dispatched by the travelers. Then, using the power of the Golden Cap, the Witch summons the Winged Monkeys to destroy all the travelers except for the Cowardly Lion. The Winged Monkeys dare not attack Dorothy due to the mark of the Good Witch's kiss upon her forehead and decide to carry her and Toto back to the castle of the Wicked Witch. This was the third and final time that the Wicked Witch could command the Winged Monkeys due to the Cap's enchantment.
Dorothy is forced to work as a maid to the Wicked Witch, while the Lion is starved in an effort to make him agree to pull the witch's chariot. But the Lion refuses to do so, because Dorothy sneaks him food every night. Dorothy is also left unharmed because of the Good Witch of the North's mark and the Silver Shoes. When the Wicked Witch gains one of the shoes by trickery, Dorothy in anger grabs a bucket of water and throws it on the Wicked Witch, who begins to melt. The Winkies rejoice at being freed of her tyranny, and they help to reassemble the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman. So enamored are the Winkies of the Tin Woodman that they ask him to become their ruler, which he agrees to do after helping Dorothy return to Kansas.
The long walk from the Wicked Witch's former palace to the Emerald City is alleviated by Dorothy's use of the Golden Cap, which summons the Winged Monkeys to carry her and her companions to the Emerald City. The King of the Monkeys relates how he and his mischievous people were forced by a powerful sorceress to choose between submission or annihilation; through the Cap, they obeyed first a man named Quelala, then the Wicked Witch, and now Dorothy herself.
When Dorothy and her friends meet the Wizard of Oz again, he tries to put them off. Only under threat of seeing the Winged Monkeys again (who under the Wicked Witch's command attacked him in the past) is the Wizard convinced to allow the travelers in to his throne room. Toto accidentally tips over a screen in a corner of the throne room, revealing a wizened old man who had journeyed here himself long ago from Omaha. He once rose high in a hot air balloon, was swept away in an accident and finally landed in Oz; when the people saw the letters "OZ" on the balloon (in Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, we find they are his initials), they presumed he was their ruler and at his direction began building the Emerald City. Finding himself in a country of witches, the soon-to-be-designated Wizard saw the need to maintain anonymity—hence his appearances to Dorothy and the others, which are revealed as clever (for the dawn of the 20th century) special effects.
The Wizard tries to persuade the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion that what they lack are not brains or a heart or courage, but faith in themselves. But he still agrees to meet each of them and to give them (without their knowledge) a placebo which brings out the qualities they had all along. In order to help Dorothy and Toto get home, the Wizard realizes that he will have to take them home with him in a new balloon which he and Dorothy fashion from green silk. Revealing himself to the people of the Emerald City one last time, the Wizard appoints the Scarecrow, by virtue of his brains, to rule in his stead. Dorothy chases Toto after he runs after a kitten in the crowd, and before she can make it back to the balloon the ropes break leaving the Wizard to rise and float away alone.
Dorothy turns to the Winged Monkeys to carry her and Toto home, but they cannot cross the desert surrounding Oz. The citizens of the Emerald City advise that Glinda, the Good Witch of the South, may be able to send Dorothy and Toto home. They, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion journey to Glinda's palace in the Quadling Country. Together they escape the Fighting Trees, dodge the Hammerheads, and tread carefully through the China Country. The Cowardly Lion kills a giant spider which is terrorizing the animals in a forest, and he agrees to return there to rule them after Dorothy returns to Kansas.
At Glinda's palace, the travelers are greeted warmly, and it is revealed by Glinda that Dorothy had the power to go home all along. The Silver Shoes she wears can take her anywhere she wishes to go. She tearfully embraces her friends—all of whom will be returned, through Glinda's use of the Golden Cap, to their respective sovereignties: the Scarecrow to the Emerald City, the Tin Woodman to the Winkie Country, and the Cowardly Lion to the forest. Then she will give the Cap to the king of the Winged Monkeys, so they will never be under its spell again. Dorothy and Toto return to Kansas and a joyful family reunion.
Sources of images and ideas
Some scholars have theorised that the images and characters used by Baum and Denslow closely resembled political images that were well known in the 1890s, specifically in relation to the gold standard and the populist movement. Biographers and scholars of Baum strongly disagree, giving as proof details of Baum's biography, his own statements and writing about the purpose of his book, and the lack of contemporary press discussing these so-called political metaphors. This is therefore a loaded and controversial topic amongst researchers of the book.
The Wizard of Oz has been translated into well over 40 different languages. In some cases, the story proved so popular in other countries that it was adapted to suit the local culture. For instance, in some countries where the Hindu religion is practiced, abridged versions of the book were published in which, for religious reasons, the Tin Woodman was replaced with a snake.
The Wizard of Oz was very successfully introduced in the Soviet Union in 1939. Translator Alexander M. Volkov took liberties with his translation, editing as he saw fit, and adding a chapter in which Elli (his name for Dorothy) is kidnapped by a man-eating Ogre and rescued by her friends. The book was titled The Wizard of Emerald City. Volkov went on to write his own independent series of sequels to the book, very loosely based on the originals, including: Urfin Juice and His Wooden Soldiers, Seven Underground Kings, The Fire God of the Marranes, The Yellow Fog, and The Mystery of the Forgotten Castle. The original book and all of its sequels were translated in a more faithful fashion some time later, and Russians now see these two versions as wholly different series. Russian illustrator Leonid Vladimirsky drew the Scarecrow short, round and tubby; his influence is evident in illustrations for translations across the Soviet bloc, where the Scarecrow is almost always portrayed as short, round and tubby. Leonid Vladimirsky has written at least two additional sequels to Alexander Volkov's alternative Oz, or "Magic Land" as it is called in Russian; additional sequels to this alternative Oz have been written by two more Russian authors and one German.
Stage and screen adaptations
The earliest musical version of the book was produced by Baum and Denslow (with music by composer Paul Tietjens) in Chicago in 1902, and moved to New York in 1903. It used the same characters, and was aimed more at adult audiences. It had a long, successful run on Broadway. Baum added numerous additional political references to the script. For example, his actors specifically mention President Theodore Roosevelt, Senator Mark Hanna, and John D. Rockefeller by name. (Swartz, Before the Rainbow, pp 34, 47, 56) He wrote a version more faithful to the book in 1901, but it has never been produced. It included many of the same songs, however.
The earliest "Oz" film series were produced by Baum in 1908 and 1914 and twice featured the young silent film actress Mildred Harris. Another series that Baum had nothing to do with, aside from a contractual agreement, appeared in 1910, which may have featured Bebe Daniels as Dorothy. Larry Semon, in collaboration with Frank Joslyn Baum, created a rather well-known but unsuccessful version in 1925. The most famous adaptation is the 1939 film, "The Wizard of Oz", featuring Judy Garland as Dorothy (this, in turn, has been adapted into two separate stage productions, first by Frank Gabrielson (who wrote the 1960 version of The Land of Oz for Shirley Temple), and more recently by the Royal Shakespeare Company's John Kane), but the first stage production, in 1902, used a score that is now forgotten, and not the one heard in the 1939 film, though there have been attempts, mostly in Florida, to revive it. Early film versions of the book include a 1914 film produced by Baum himself entitled His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz, which incorporates several incidents from the book—the Scarecrow is first seen hanging on a pole, from which Dorothy rescues him, and the Tin Man is discovered standing rusted in the forest—and a 1925 film, Wizard of Oz, featuring Oliver Hardy as the Tin Woodsman [sic]. The Wiz was a hit musical with an all-black cast produced in the 1970s on Broadway; it was later made into a 1978 movie directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Diana Ross as Dorothy and Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow. The most recent adaptation of the novel is Disney's 2005 TV movie The Muppets' Wizard of Oz.
An animated series based on the 1939 film was broadcast on ABC network during the 1990-1991 TV season. The cartoon featured Dorothy returning to Oz, reuiniting with her four friends, and journeying through the magical realm in an attempt to rescue the Wizard from a resurrected Witch of the West.
The Toronto Civic Light Opera Company in Toronto, Canada created a new musical stage adaptation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in 2000, with a script by Joe Cascone (who was also the director) that was much more a tribute to the original book than to the 1939 movie version. Twenty-one new songs were written specifically for this production by the late James Patrick Doyle; they are now available on CD in a popular original cast recording released by Hungry Tiger Press in 2000 (link). Frank Baum/The Wizard was given a leading role in this adaptation; as Joe Casone writes in the CD booklet, "Baum himself is truly the central character of our new version—almost a rival to little Dorothy!" Although it ran for only one week (which was all its creators intended it to run), this production proved extremely popular and was brought back in 2002, this time starring Cascone himself as Baum.
Another recent musical adaptation of an Oz-related book is the musical Wicked, based on the book Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire.
There has also been a spin-off, called "The Oz Kids". This animated series features the offsprings of the main characters of the original novel.
The novel was parodied in a Futurama episode, and RahXephon explicitly references the novel. The science fiction film Zardoz starring Sean Connery also references the book (note the title of the film). Robert Heinlein used Oz to illustrate his World as Myth metaphysics, beginning with "Number of the Beast"; his characters discovered that all creators of fiction create actual universes, and they used Jacob Burroughs' dimensional travel device to visit Oz repeatedly in that book and in "The Cat Who Walks Through Walls" and "To Sail Beyond the Sunset".
The 100th episode of the sitcom Scrubs featured a parody of the novel. Each character in the episode represented a character from the novel. In addition, the 1939 movie's theme song ("Over the Rainbow") is played several times.
The Sci-Fi series Stargate SG-1 often makes references to the novel.
The Oz story was cited as a major influence in the 1938 children's radio serial, The Cinnamon Bear.
The 2001 British comedy Late Night Shopping partly refers to the same theme: the four friends in the film are all having personal problems in life, that can all be matched up to the problems of the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and the Cowardy Lion are having in the Wizard of Oz, and in much the same way, have to travel there and back to a distant-looking destination to finally overcome their anxieties. Also, the only woman character is the one who is leading the group (much the same way as Dorothy), and an explicit reference to the book is made by her, remarking that the whole situation feels much like in the Wizard of Oz.
The most recent adaptation of the story is the comic book Dorothy, launched by Illusive Arts Entertainment in November 2005. Presented in semi-fumetti style using digitally altered photographs, this retelling of Baum's story has been updated to 2005 and "stars" model Catie Fisher as 16-year-old Dorothy Gale, a disaffected youth with dyed hair and piercings who steals her uncle's car and runs away from home ... until she encounters a tornado and is knocked unconscious. She awakens in a strange land and utters: "I don't think this is Kansas ... maybe it's Colorado."
This version of the tale, created by Greg Mannino, written by Mark Masterson with artwork by Greg Mannino and Ray Boersig, is in part a retelling of Baum's tale and in part a retelling of the 1939 movie version of the story, as it incorporates elements of the Judy Garland film (such as the above homage to "I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore".
In the 1973 film adaption of Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five the main character Billy Pilgrim exclaims: "It's the land of Oz!", while he watches the beutiful silhouette of Dresden.
Horrorcore rap group ICP's first Joker's Card (Carnival of Carnage) features a song called "Wizard of the Ghetto", taking an idosyncratic view of the traditional children's fairytale. In 2003 Violent J from this group released a solo EP entitled Wizard of the Hood which has a storyline based on The Wizard of Oz.
In 2002, Breaking Benjamin included a track on their debut album Saturate entitled "Home," featuring distinct references to Baum's series.
In 2002, Todd McFarlane released a series of horror-centric action figures based on the book called 'The Twisted Land of Oz'. Each action figure was accompanied by a chapter of a grim retelling of the story. The toy line was extremely controversial due to its sexually explicit "Dorothy" figure, which featured a blindfolded Dorothy who was bound in an extreme state of sexual bondage and had several sex slave brandings that according to the figure's backstory, were inflicted by the Munchkins after turning Dorothy into a sex slave.
In 2004, the Scissor Sisters included a track on their self-titled debut album entitled "Return to Oz" which alludes to characters from Baum's series in the context of drug abuse.
In 2005, German power metal group Demons & Wizards released their album Touched By the Crimson King, which included a track titled "Wicked Witch," that clearly references the series.
Also in 2005, the British illustrator Alex Fryer put out several editions of his comic Disco Junkies (distributed through the live music scene in Guildford). The comic is loosely based on the story, and contains some very similar themes and ideas.
In 2006, Cursive released an album, Happy Hollow, that distinctly references both Dorothy and her Oz-related adventures. The lead single from the album, Dorothy at Forty, is perhaps the most extreme example, in which the narrator struggles to convince Dorothy to abandon her dreams of Oz.
Foxwoods recently released a commercial depicting four rich friends and their dog that parodies the Wizard of Oz cast, even showing the wizard himself, the singer of the song.
A Japanese animation adaptation of four of Baum's Oz books known as Oz no Mahoutsukai was created in 1986. It consists of 52 episodes and follows the story of Dorothy and her adventures in Oz with the Tin Woodman, Cowardly Lion, and Scarecrow. It continues on to the story of Ozma and Mombi, and follows through the events of other Oz books.
In 1987, HBO purchased the rights to the series and dubbed/edited together key episodes of the series into a series of movies. Production for the English version was done by the Canadian studio Cinar. Actress Margot Kidder was hired as narrator for the series, which aired as a mini-series.
An earlier, feature-length anime adaptation of the story was made by Toho in 1982 and was directed by Fumihiko Takayama, with music by Joe Hisaishi (known for composing the music to many of Hayao Miyazaki's works). The English version of the movie stars Aileen Quinn as the voice of Dorothy. Like the 1939 Judy Garland film version, this anime take on The Wizard of Oz ends the story with Dorothy's trip home to Kansas after visiting the Wizard, and is a musical boasting original vocal songs such as "It's Up To You," "Home," and "A Wizard Of A Day," all sung by Aileen Quinn in the English version. This film was seemingly made with the American market in mind, as it was released in the United States before it premiered in Japan. In the U.S., it was released on video and also syndicated to local television stations.
Another Japanese animation consisting of 26 episodes, this time involving Dorothy and the characters traveling in space around the galaxy of Oz. It was dubbed and edited into the feautre-length (75 minute) The Wonderful Galaxy of Oz for U.S. consumption.