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Billina

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"...Deadly Desert?"
―Billina in Return to Oz (1985)
"Princess Mombi is some housekeeper..."
―Billina in Return to Oz (1985)
"What is this a man or a melon? "
Return to Oz (1985)
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Billina
Billina
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Title Queen and Governor of the Chickens in Oz
Species Talking Chicken
Origin Kansas
Residence Kansas farm/Emerald City
First Appearance Ozma of Oz


Billina is a fat yellow hen. She is a very spunky and talkative animal with a sharp, distinct husky voice that has a country accent. She is from the Gale farm in Kansas who made a trip to the magical Land of Oz and now resides there. She is introduced in L. Frank Baum's third Oz book titled Ozma of Oz, published in 1907. The character of Billina most notably had a starring role in Disney's 1985 cult classic film "Return to Oz ".

Description

Lady Billina is one of Dorothy Gale's loyal pets in Kansas on the farm besides Toto, her little black dog. Once out of Kansas, Billina was able to talk actual words instead of just clucking and cackling. Billina had natural sass and attitude. She speaks her mind and at times comes off rather cynical, but humorously cynical. She believes in old fashion values yet isn't scared of anything bigger than herself and never is too hesitant to tell it like it is. Billina has a sharp tongue and mostly has a rather witty personality and is at times a complete wise-cracker, even when in dangerous situations. She is very brave, practical and is a loving and real friend to all those who know her rather it be in plain old Kansas or the magical Land of Oz.

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Billina of Oz

Billina takes pride in laying a fresh egg every morning, after which she enjoys a morning cackle. She never cares to hatch them unless she has a nice nest with a baker's dozen of them. Her hen house is in the gardens behind the Royal Palace of Oz. It has a porch, and she keeps the house as neat as a pin. All the chairs inside are silver roosting poles.

Her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren all live in the yards nearby, and she is acknowledged as Queen and Governor of all the chickens in Oz.

History

Billina was originally named Bill because as a chick no one could tell whether she was going to be a hen or a rooster. She was raised on a farm in Kansas.

During a voyage to Australia, Bill was traveling in a chicken coop that was blown overboard during a storm. Though all the other chickens drowned, she survived along with a girl named Dorothy Gale. As they approached the shores of the Land of Ev, she found herself able to talk concluding that she must be in a magical land. Dorothy then changed her name to a feminine form by adding "eena" to the end.

Billina and Dorothy visited Evna, the capital of Ev, where they met the bad-mannered Wheelers and Tik-Tok the mechanical copper man. After being rescued from the captivity of the spoiled and vain Princess Langwidere, they then joined Princess Ozma's party from the Land of Oz who were traveling to the Nome Kingdom to rescue the Royal Family of Ev. The Nome King deceived the rescue party, but Billina was able to solve the answer to his little trick game. Billina became everyone's hero thanks to her overhearing his discussion with the trusty Kaliko, his Chief Steward. She also provided the eggs which the Scarecrow used to defeat the Nomes, eggs being poison to Nomes. After that adventure Billina settled in the Emerald City where she wears a beautiful pearl necklace with diamonds she received from King Evardo of Ev. (Ozma of Oz)

Later Billina hatched many chicks (their father unknown). She named all of them Dorothy after her young friend and had gold lockets engraved with the letter "D" for each of them. (The Road to Oz) When some of the chicks turned out to be "horrid roosters" she renamed them Daniel. (The Emerald City of Oz)

Book appearances

Film appearances

Billina was most notably brought to life in Disney's 1985 Cult Classic film Return to Oz. She was a state of the art electronic puppet that was made from the Jim Henson puppet company.

Trivia

  • One of L. Frank Baum's earliest books described raising Hamburg chickens, and he drew on that expertise in depicting Billina.
  • Billina cameos in the Sister's Grimm book Once Upon a Crime: though she has no lines, she is referred to by name.

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