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"If I only had a Brain! "
―Scarecrow (1939)
"Hurray! We're off to see the Wizard! "
―Scarecrow (1939)
"I think I'll miss you most of all..."
Dorothy Gale to the Scarecrow (1939)
"I think I'm gonna make it this time"
― Scarecrow. (1978)
OzIcon
Scarecrow
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Profile
Title King of Oz (formerly)
Gender Male
Species Scarecrow
Origin Munchkin Country
Residence Corn Mansion (Winkie Country)
Occupation Ruler of Oz (formerly); Tin Woodman's Treasurer; Corn Farmer
Affiliation L. Frank Baum, Land of Oz, Munchkins, Dorothy Gale, Toto, Tin Woodman, Cowardly Lion, Glinda, Wizard, Emerald City, Wicked Witch of the West, Princess Ozma, Tip, Mombi, Jellia Jamb, Guardian of the Gates, Soldier with the Green Whiskers, Fighting Trees, China Country, Hammer-Heads, Gump, Jinjur, Jack Pumpkinhead, Sawhorse, Tik-Tok, Billina Patchwork Girl, Hungry Tiger, Shaggy Man, Braided Man, Polychrome, Wogglebug, Royal Palace of Oz, Powder of Life, Nome King
First Appearance The Wonderful Wizard of Oz


"Witch...? I'm not afraid of a Witch! I'm not afraid of anything... except a lighted match. But I'd face a whole box full of them for the chance of getting some brains! Look, I won't be any trouble, because I don't eat anything. And I won't try to manage things, because I can't think. Won't you please take me with you?"
―Scarecrow (1939)

The Scarecrow is a fictional character invented by L. Frank Baum, author and creator of the Oz legacy. He is first introduced in Baum's first Oz book titled The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, published in 1900. He makes his debut appearance in the third chapter of the novel titled How Dorothy Saved the Scarecrow. He is a being from the magical Land of Oz, and is the first companion and loyal comrade that Dorothy Gale and her little pet dog, Toto discovered on their journey down the Yellow Brick Road while traveling to see the great and powerful Wizard. Dorothy encouraged the Scarecrow to join her to ask the Wizard for a set of brains, which he thought he lacked. In the end of the story and after having many adventures he eventually did receive what he desired and became known as one of the cleverest figures in all of Oz.

"Emerald City needs all the heart and courage it can get right now!"
―Scarecrow in Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return (2014)

Scarecrow of Oz

"There was a great cornfield beyond the fence, and not far away Dorothy saw a Scarecrow, placed high on a pole to keep the birds away from the ripe corn."
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
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  • Baum never elaborates how the Scarecrow was given life. Unlike his Oz companion the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow was never a real man with a body of flesh and blood whose soul transferred to its current form. Even though it is never mentioned, it is indeed highly possible that someone such as the Munchkin farmers who made him used the magic substance called "Powder of Life" on him to scare the crows away more effectively. The Powder of Life is an element that Baum introduces in his second Oz book which serves as a sequel to the first story titled The Marvelous Land of Oz, published in 1904. In this story, the Powder of Life is a special potion invented by a mysterious Magician and brings three Oz characters to life: Jack Pumpkinhead, Sawhorse and Gump. In Baum's seventh Oz book titled the The Patchwork Girl of Oz, published in 1913, the Patchwork Girl named Scraps, who later served as the Scarecrow's love interest is brought to life with this same powder by a young Munchkin boy named Ojo.
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"To Oz? To Oz!"

"While looking earnestly into the queer, painted face of the Scarecrow, she was surprised to see one of the eyes slowly wink at her. She thought she must have been mistaken at first, for none of the scarecrows in Kansas ever wink; but presently the figure nodded its head to her in a friendly way. Then she climbed down from the fence and walked up to it, while Toto ran around the pole and barked. "Good day," said the Scarecrow, in a rather husky voice. "Did you speak?" asked the girl, in wonder."
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)

Baum's Description

"Dorothy leaned her chin upon her hand and gazed thoughtfully at the Scarecrow. Its head was a small sack stuffed with straw, with eyes, nose, and mouth painted on it to represent a face. An old, pointed blue hat, that had belonged to some Munchkin, was perched on his head, and the rest of the figure was a blue suit of clothes, worn and faded, which had also been stuffed with straw. On the feet were some old boots with blue tops, such as every man wore in this country, and the figure was raised above the stalks of corn by means of the pole stuck up its back. "
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)

Somewhere in the middle of the Munchkin Country of Oz. He was introduced as being placed high up on a wooden pole in the cornfields of the Munchkin farmers. He is described as wearing all blue of worn-out and faded hand me down Munchkin clothing, with an old wrinkled pointed hat and old scuffed up farm-boots of navy blue. Because he is wearing Munchkin clothing the original Scarecrow is actually quite short in height like the majority of the Munchkin race in Oz. In the very first Oz illustrations by W. W. Denslow, he is only as tall as Dorothy who is a mere child said to be no older than twelve. So the Scarecrow would only stand about four or five feet high.

Dorothy & Scarecrow...

When he befriended Dorothy, at first he did not understand why the little girl wanted to leave the magical Land of Oz and go back to Kansas as the majority of Oz is such a beautiful place when Dorothy described Kansas to be colorless and dull. It is then when Dorothy tried to explain to her new stuffed friend that he can't understand because he has no brains. Therefore, he simply cannot grasp the concept of the way people who are made of flesh and blood think, and the desire of returning to where one belongs no matter how beautiful or appealing any other place may be, for home is where the heart is. Thus, concluding that there is "No Place Like Home".

Personality

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Scarecrow of Oz by Eric Shanower.

"Dorothy helped the Scarecrow over the cornfield fence, and they started along the path of yellow brick for the Emerald City. Toto did not like this new addition to the party at first. He smelled around and sniffed the stuffed man as if he suspected there might be a nest of rats in the straw, and he often growled in an unfriendly way at the Scarecrow. "Don't mind Toto," said Dorothy to her new friend. "He never bites, he just has never seen a straw man walk before." "Oh, I'm not afraid," replied the Scarecrow. "Even if he did bite me, I wouldn't feel it. Do let me carry that basket for you. I shall not mind it, for I can't get tired. I'll tell you a secret," he continued, as he walked along. "There is only one thing in the world I am afraid of." "What is that?" asked Dorothy; "the Munchkin farmer who made you?" "No," answered the Scarecrow; "it's a lighted match! "
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)

The Scarecrow is a extremely gentle character, his disposition is so kind and considerate, obliging and honest that all who know him love him.

The Scarecrow is a very clumsy and uncoordinated figure in his mannerisms because he is stuffed with straw. Therefore Scarecrow can never get hurt, though he is awkward in his movements as he literally weighs less than five to ten pounds. He never tires, and never needs to sleep or eat. He also sees very well in the dark. The only thing he fears is the burning flame of hot fire!

History of the Scarecrow of Oz

The Scarecrow doesn't really have any history, he was barley two days old when he met Dorothy after being stuffed, sewn together and placed high up in the Munchkin farmer's ripe cornfield.

The King of Straw & Brains

"Now, let's go and see if we can find ourselves some breakfast. Then, we can go to the Emerald City to visit my friend the Scarecrow, he's the king of Oz, Billina. "
Dorothy Gale in Return to Oz (1985)
A wise ruler by graver13

King Scarecrow, a wise ruler.

When Oscar, the humbug Wizard finally left Oz after decades of ruling, he announced that the Scarecrow was to officially substitute as the new King of Oz in his absence. And the Scarecrow ruled very wisely with his new brains, and was loved by all who knew him. Therefore he was highly respected by all of the Ozians who were happy to have him as their ruler. A long time later, the Scarecrow was deposed as king when the radical General Jinjur organized a all female Army of Revolt and took over the entire Emerald City. Luckily, the Scarecrow escaped being held a prisoner due to riding on the Sawhorse, with an orphan boy named Tip and his creation Jack Pumpkinhead, to the tin castle of his good friend the Tin Woodman who now ruled over the Winkie Country. On their way back to the Emerald City, they met the Queen of the Field Mice, who allowed a dozen of her subjects to accompany the Scarecrow, nestled inside his straw-filled breast. When they arrived back at the Royal Palace of Oz, the Scarecrow released the mice in the throne room, and frightened away Jinjur and her Army. He and his companions then went to Glinda the Good Witch of the South, to ask for her help in conquering Queen Jinjur. Glinda agreed to help them only if they helped her find the long-lost daughter of King Pastoria, the Princess Ozma, who was the true ruler of Oz. When Ozma was finally found at last and officially established on the throne in her rightful position, the Scarecrow happily resigned and went to live with his dear friend the Tin Woodman and the Winkies. (The Marvelous Land of Oz)

When Princess Ozma set out across the Deadly Desert to the neighboring Kingdom called Ev, Glinda the Good Witch of the South made a magical rug to safely cross over. Ozma had gone to Ev to save the Royal Family who had been sold to the wicked Nome King, and the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman and Cowardly Lion joined her party. Along the way they found Dorothy Gale who by coincidence had washed up on the shores of Ev after being thrown overboard on a ship headed to Australia to see relitives. Dorothy was accompanied by Billina the Kansas hen and Tik-Tok, the mechanical copper man. Dorothy and her friends had all been imprisoned by the vain Princess Langwidere who wanted Dorothy's head to add to her collection. Luckily the Scarecrow recognized his old friend and Ozma rescued Dorothy and her company just in time. After that the party soon arrived in the Nome Kingdom. The Nome King had transformed the Royal Family of Ev into ornaments for his decor collection, and in a rigged guessing game he tricked the Ozians and began transforming them as well. The Scarecrow was transformed into a golden ornament, but was eventually liberated along with everyone else by Billina the hen. At the conclusion of their successful mission the party had saved Ev's Royal Family and finally returned to the Emerald City and also brought Tik-Tok with them to serve as "Oz's Royal Army". (Ozma of Oz)

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Scarecrow rides upon the Cowardly Lion. By John R. Neill.

After a few years of living in the Royal Palace of Oz in the Emerald City, the Scarecrow decided to return to his roots as a farmer. Ozma gave him some land in the Winkie Country and Jack Pumpkinhead designed a mansion for him. (The Emerald City of Oz) He also has a boat made from a hollowed corncob, decorated with brilliant jewels and with a purple silk sail. ("The Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman")

Glinda sent the Scarecrow to Jinxland in the Quadling Country to rescue some visitors of Oz: Trot, Cap'n Bill, and Button-Bright. (The Scarecrow of Oz)

Book Appearances

Scarecrow of oz cover

The Scarecrow of Oz. First Edition Cover.

Trivia

  • Upon meeting Dorothy, the Scarecrow was only made two days prior.
  • Unlike the movie, in the book, the Scarecrow lends his straw to cover the Cowardly Lion, Dorothy and Toto up, when the Wicked Witch of the West sends her killer bees to sting Dorothy and the group to death. He also twisted the necks of the Wicked Witch's 40 crows when she sends them to peck out their eyes.
  • In the movie, the Scarecrow's original paint was made out of oil.
  • In the book the Scarecrow's left eye is smaller than the right one and painted blue.
  • In the book, Baum said he is dressed in old hand me down Munchkin clothes the color of faded blue.
  • In the Oz books, just as his friend the Tin Woodman needs to be re-polished and properly lubricated and oiled, the Scarecrow needs to be re-stuffed with fresh straw and have his face repainted every once in a while.
  • When the Scarecrow was temporarily the King of Oz, ruling over the Emerald City, the crown he had worn upon his stuffed head was so dented and misshapen because it was always falling off and hitting the ground due to his uncoordinated movements.

Return to Oz 1985

The Scarecrow in Walt Disney's 1985 film Return to Oz, was much more faithful to the Oz books. His head was cable operated and relied almost entirely on the movements of an agile and incredible performer named "Justin Case" for its realism. It was very photogenic and very powerful on screen. The Scarecrow in Return to Oz was nothing like his counterpart in the 1939 musical played by Ray Bolger. This one was much more animated and gave the actor more ways to speak visually with the body. The other Scarecrow was obviously much more verbal, singing to songs etc.

Background

In Magic Land the Scarecrow is called Strasheela.

In The Wiz the Scarecrow is made entirely of garabage.

In The Great Wishy Woz he is Manny Kin.

Peter Schulenburg provides a treatment of the Scarecrow's unique home in The Corn Mansion of Oz.

In the graphic novel adaptation the Scarecrow was a stuffed man as in the original book.

The Scarecrow appears as Fiyero in Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West and Son of a Witch as well as the Broadway musical adaptation, but he does not appear in the third book in the trilogy, A Lion Among Men.

In Treasury of Illustrated Classics The Wizard of Oz the Scarecrow wore the same blue sleeve shirt, sneakers, jeans, and black pointed hat as the Munchkins.

In L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz: The Graphic Novel, the Scarecrow wears an orange jacket, blue jeans and brown hat instead of the usual Munchkin blue outfit.

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Credits

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