- "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, probably for the better because of it's delicacy, being completely surrounded by a very, very high wall that reaches dozens of feet up. The wall is made out of extremely thick solid polished porcelain to keep intruders out, and protect the China people and their fragile little world inside.
When the child protagonist and main character of the story, Dorothy Gale was swept away to Oz via Kansas cyclone. She set out to see the great and powerful Wizard who ruled over Oz as many believed him to be the most powerful figure in all the land. While on her way Dorothy was also accompanied by her little pet dog named Toto and her three companions the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion.
After experiencing many fantastical adventures, and overcoming dozens of obstacles, the travelling party came to visit the this enclave towards the end of the story. This is when they are passing through the south lands of Oz while all on their way to see the beautiful sorceress named Glinda the Good Witch, who lived in a ruby-red palace near this enclave after the Wizard of Oz, whom Dorothy hoped would send her home again was of little help. To her dismay, she discovered Oz to be a mere humbug by the name of Oscar Diggs. This resulted in Dorothy embarking on another journey to find a way Kansas as Glinda was her last resort.
- "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 country inside is a very unique place in Oz, inhabited by a very authentic race of tiny little people, no bigger than a baby-doll. Each individual is made entirely out of china or porcelain, along with everything else surrounding them.The floor of the China Country is glazed and polished smooth and is all white like the bottom of a big spotless platter. Many china houses china shops, china farms and even china mansions and castles are neatly scattered around or lined up to make porcelain streets and walkways along the china floor. All the china items are delicately beautifully painted in bright colors, the tallest reaching only as high as a little girl's waist. There are also china animals such as cows who contain real milk in their utters.
The China people consist of Kings, Queens, other figures of Royalty, carpenters, shepherds, shepherdesses, milk-maids, peasants and even a silly Joker Clown who is very clumsy. The China Joker is so clumsy infact, that he has multiple cracks running all through his entire body from falling down so many times as it is stated in the book he enjoys balancing on top of his head.
- "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!""
- ― The China Joker (1900)
Everything in the China Country is prone to chipping, breaking or shattering, although there is a mender's shop, one is never as pretty nor as fair and valuable after being shattered, even if repaired and put back together again as the mended cracks are visible.
The China people all move and talk and live quite freely, doing as they please in their own country, but if they were to ever leave and venture beyond the white wall that surrounds the tiny world, their joints would instantly lose it's enchantment and quickly freeze or automatically stiffen. Thus, causing the china person to ultimately become completely lifeless.
Beyond the white wall, the china person could only stand and look pretty on a mantle shelf or drawing room table, becoming a mere piece of decor or figurine like any other normal object placed in an ordinary room. The china people can only stay alive in the China Country or they basically die inside, even in a magical land such as Oz.
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 all but completely destroyed, leaving it's inhabitants shattered, except for one young China Girl. (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)