- "Once over the great white wall, Dorothy, and her friends all looked down below and saw before them a very strange sight indeed-a little world that was made of dainty china! "
- ―The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
The China Country is a dainty little enclave hidden deep in the enchanted forest of the Qaudling Country which is the southern qaudrant of the magical Land of Oz. It is introduced in Baum's first Oz book titled 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz' published in 1900 and appears in the twentieth chapter of the book titled The Dainty China Country. This element from Baum's original Oz book was not in the classic MGM film of 1939.
The Dainty China Country
The China Country in Oz is a rarely ever visited place surrounded by a very, very high wall made out of thick, solid, polished porcelain intended to protect the fragile little world inside.
Dorothy, Toto her dog and her three companions the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion come upon this dainty land on their way to visit Glinda the Good Witch of the South, after the failure of Wizard of Oz's plan to return Dorothy to her home in Kansas.
- "Before them was a great stretch of country having a floor as smooth and shining and white as the bottom of a big platter. Scattered around were many houses made entirely of china and painted in the brightest colors. These houses were quite small, the biggest of them reaching only as high as Dorothy's waist. There were also pretty little barns, with china fences around them; and many cows and sheep and horses and pigs and chickens, all made of china, were standing about in groups. "
- ―The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Oz (1900)
Inside A World of Dainty China...The China country beyond the porcelain wall is unique in all of Oz, because its inhabtants, tiny little people no bigger than a baby-doll and all the other living creatures therein, are all made entirely of china. Morover, the floor of the China Country is glazed and polished smooth and is all white like the bottom of a big spotless platter. The many homes, shops, farms and even china mansions and castles neatly scattered around or lined up to make porcelain streets and walkways along the china floor are likewise all the china items are delicately painted in bright and beautiful colors. So small is everything that the tallest building reaches only as high as Dorothy's waist.
The China people are formed to represent kings, queens, figures of nobility, gentry, common folk and peasants. There is even a clumsy China Joker Clown. Dorothy learns that when one of the China people is injured or broken they may go to to the Mender be repaired. However,while mending may repair it also disfigures. Individuals who have undergone mending are considered to be less attractive and of less worth than they had been before. The Joker Clown, having sustained many breaks from misguided attepts to stand on his head, bears evidence of his repairs in the form of cracks that remain like scars over his face and body.
- "My lady fair, why do you stare at poor old Mr. Joker? You're quite as stiff and prim as if you'd eaten up a poker!""
It's hinted that in the frozen state the China person retains its ability to feel and think although they are robbed of all means of movement or speech. The china people can only live and die inside the China Country.
Return to Oz 1985
In Disney's Cult Classic film Return to Oz, the China Joker can be seen in the coronation parade ccelebration towards the end.
Oz: The Great and Powerful
China Country, refered to as China Town in the film, was razed by Evanora's Winged Baboons, after the witch caught wind that it's citizens were all happily celebrating the prophesized Wizard's arrival in Oz. Most of the town was destroyed, shattering it's inhabitants, except for one survivor, a young China Girl whose legs are broken in the melee. The Wizard repairs her legs with glue, giving her back the ability to walk. She is later adopted into the royal Court where we presume she lives on in safety. (Oz: The Great and Powerful)
Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return
The China Country is one of the lands in Oz that Dorothy Gale travels to in the film. (Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return.
Legends of Oz World
In the Video game version; China Country can be visited by Dorothy's friend and Toto. (Legends of Oz World)