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Toto: Properly Pronounced (Toe-Toe)

"It was Toto that made Dorothy laugh so, and saved her from growing as dull and grey as her Kansas surroundings. Toto was not gray; he was a little black dog with long silky black hair, and big black eyes that twinkled merrily on either side of his funny wee nose. Toto played all day, and Dorothy played with him, and loved him dearly."
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
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Toto
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, 013
Profile
Gender Male Puppy
Species Canine Dog/Terrier (Yorkshire)
Residence Kansas, Emerald City, Royal Palace of Oz
Affiliation L. Frank Baum, Dorothy Gale, Uncle Henry, Aunt Em, Cyclone, Land of Oz, Good Witch of the North, Munchkins, Yellow Brick Road, Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, Cowardly Lion, Wizard, Glinda, Princess Ozma, Boq, Kalidahs, Poppies, Field Mice, Billina, Jellia Jamb Wicked Witch of the West, Winkies, Winged Monkeys, Fighting Trees, Hammer-Heads, China Country, Deadly Desert
First Appearance The Wonderful Wizard of Oz


Toto, is a fictional character, an animal companion invented by L. Frank Baum, author and creator of the Oz legacy. He appears in Baum's first Oz book titled 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz', published in 1900. Toto is introduced in the first chapter of the book titled The Cyclone. He also is the beloved pet dog and only friend of the stories main character and child protagonists named Dorothy Gale. Toto lives with Dorothy, her Uncle Henry and Aunt Em on a small and joyless farm in the middle of the great Kansas prairies in the beginning of the story.

Blame It On Toto!

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Toto! (1900)

"Toto became frightened by the howling of the wind, and jumped out of Dorothy's arms and hid under the bed. The little girl started to get him. Aunt Em, badly frightened, threw open the trap door in the floor and climbed down the ladder into the small, dark hole. Dorothy caught Toto at last and started to follow her aunt. When she was halfway across the room there came a great shriek from the wind, and the farmhouse shook so hard that she lost her footing and sat down suddenly upon the floor. Then a strange thing happened. The house whirled around two or three times and rose slowly through the air. Dorothy felt as if she were going up in a balloon... "
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
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Toto asleep next to Dorothy while aloft in the Kansas farmhouse that is swept away by the ccyclone to Oz. By Charles Santore.

Toto is to blame as to why Dorothy and him were swept away to the magical Land of Oz. If Toto hadn't scrambled under Dorothy's bed to escape the horrid sound of the cyclone that hit the farm, then Dorothy would have been fast enough to reach the storm cellar in time. And life would have went on as it always did. If it we're not for Toto, Dorothy would have never known the huge gap that would have been left in her life. As she'd remain just another orphaned country girl.

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Toto of Oz!

"The cyclone swayed the farmhouse back and forth and Dorothy felt as if she was being rocked gently like a baby in a cradle. Toto did not like it. He ran about the room, now here, now there, barking loudly; but Dorothy sat very still on her bed and waited to see what the cyclone was going to do with the farmhouse."
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
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Judy with Terry 1938.

"Once Toto got too near the open trap cellar-door, and fell in; and at first Dorothy thought she had lost him. But soon she saw one of his black ears sticking up through the open hole, for the strong pressure of the cyclone was keeping him up in the air so that he could not fall. Dorothy grabbed Toto by the ear, and dragged him into the room again, afterward closing the cellar-door so that no more accidents could happen while being caught up inside the cyclone."
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)

Baums' Description

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Dorothy & Toto in Kansas by Charles Santore.

Toto the dog is described to be rather small in size, very dark or completely all black. He has long, mangy and silky curly hair, and big black eyes that twinkle merrily on either side of his funny, wee nose. He is very well behaved and brave despite being a small dog. He is friendly and loves his mistress very much but will growl at or even bite anyone who tries to harm her.

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the first Toto, illustrated by W. W. Denslow.

Animals from the outside world can talk once they reach the magical land of Oz; but Toto on the other hand remained silent for a very long time and he can speak to humans and other beings but choses to bark instead. And if he speaks it is only sparingly, if ever. Toto does not talk so he doesn't let on, he finds this helpful in chaotic situations. (Tik-Tok of Oz)

Oz History: Toto The Dog!

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Toto 1900

Toto was a happy dog, and was the only thing in Kansas that kept Dorothy happy and colorful when the land had turned everything else gray and dull. Even Uncle Henry and Aunt Em were as gray as the prairies. When a cyclone struck the Gale farm, Toto was taken along with Dorothy in the farm house all the way to the Land of Oz. When Dorothy began her journey on the yellow brick road, Toto accompanied his little mistress and gladly followed her the whole way. At first he was suspicious of her new friends, the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman and Cowardly Lion but came to get along with them. He was eventually returned to Kansas with Dorothy. It is said that Toto didn't care rather he lived in Oz forever, but he disliked seeing Dorothy cry and felt sorry for her who was unhappy there and wanted to go back home, so it made him unhappy too. (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz).

When Dorothy permanently moved to the Land of Oz, along with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry, Toto joined them, living with them in the Emerald City. (The Emerald City of Oz).

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Toto in the Marvel Comic Oz series.

He gained the ability to talk when he was in the Land of Oz, but preferred not to, instead communicating nonverbally with Dorothy. When this came to her attention, she cornered him and got him to say something. (Tik-Tok of Oz)

When Ozma was kidnapped by Ugu the Shoemaker, Toto was left behind at the palace by Dorothy but found out from Jellia Jamb what was going on. He was able to catch the party before they left, hiding in the wagon so Dorothy wouldn't know he was with them until it was too late. The Cowardly Lion knew, but he stayed out of the matter. When Dorothy found out, she allowed him to stay with them.

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Toto wears green spectacles in Emerald City 1900.

During the adventure, Toto spent a lot of time talking with the other animals in the party: the Cowardly Lion, Sawhorse, and Woozy. He also came to believe he had lost his growl, and that it had been stolen by the same thief who stole Ozma, Glinda's Great Book of Records, and Cayke's Magic Dishpan. After Dorothy and The Frogman defeated Ugu, Toto noticed his growl had come back. (The Lost Princess of Oz)

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A Vintage Toto wears green spectacles.

When Dorothy was replaced by a Mimic, Toto was the only one who immediately saw through the deception. While she was at a dinner with the rest of the Oz celebrities, he declared that the girl sitting there was not her. This blew their cover and ran. (The Magical Mimics in Oz)
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Judy and Terry 1939.

Book Appearances

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Dorothytoto

Judy Garland with Terry.

Background

Toto did not speak until the final chapter of the eighth Oz book, Tik-Tok of Oz, and continued to say very little in Baum's books. Some later Oz writers make him more talkative.

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Terry as Toto 1939.

In the 1939 film Toto was played by a female cairn terrier named Terry. She was paid $125 a week in the film. Afterward, her name was changed to Toto.

Modern Oz writers have used Toto as a protagonist in several works, including Roger S. Baum's Toto of Oz and the Surprise Party and Toto in Candy Land of Oz, Chris Dulabone's Toto in Oz, Ian Fink's "Toto's Tale," Atticus Gannaway's "Toto and the Truth," and Gina Wickwar's Toto of Oz.

In Magic Land Toto is usually called by the diminutive form of his name "Totoshka". He speaks much more frequently than in Baum's books. In the later books he is too old for adventuring, and is replaced by his grandson, Arto.

In The Great Wishy Woz he is Nono.

In Todd MacFarlane's 2007 pitch for an Oz movie, a reimagined Toto - or race of Totos - played a big role, as MacFarlane revealed in an interview with MTV: "There's still a thing called Toto, except it's the biggest thing in the movie and not the smallest thing. The beast called Toto basically ate the first dog, and it's this big thing that the inhabitants of Oz ride. They've given this generic word... so instead of horses, people ride Totos." [1]

Alternate Histories

There are many reimaginings and alternate versions of Oz which present alternate histories of many of the Oz characters. Here are some different versions of Toto.

Dorothy (Comic Book Series)

Toto is a mechanical (but living) dog who is native to Oz. However, when he meets Dorothy he quickly becomes her loyal companion. (Dorothy)

Was/Novel

Was is a book written by Geoff Ryman, same author of the novel Air. Was is a very sad and tragic tale intended for adult readers. The story is about the realistic and dark life of a fictional Dorothy, who becomes a shattered soul through many traumatic experiences since losing her family as a small girl and forced to live a miserable existence on a bleak farm. The book questions just what if Dorothy was a real person, and what her life probably could have been like, and the lives she could have touched if she was indeed an actual person. Toto plays a small but heartbreaking role in this story. Toto lived with Dorothy as a puppy along with Dorothy's real birth mother before they moved in with a cold blooded Aunt Em and a sexually abusive Uncle Henry after her mother's death. Aunt Em somewhat mistreated Dorothy and especially Toto, much to Dorothy's horror, and he eventually ran away because of it. He hid in the marshes near their Kansas farm, returning occasionally to see Dorothy and get some food or fresh water from the girl. He finally got his revenge on Aunt Em by digging up the bones of a dog she'd had as a child. Infuriated, Aunt Em chased him away. After that, he disappeared and didn't return. (Was)

It is implied that Aunt Em or Uncle Henry may have killed him.

Toto 1939

Toto was played by a female dog that belonged to MGM. The name of the dog was Terry who was on a contract with the studio.

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Terry as Toto with Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale on the Kansas farm 1939.

Toto even got paid more than the Munchkins. She took some some time off during filming because Ray Bolger who played the Scarecrow, stepped on her paw during one of the dance sequences on the Yellow Brick Road and broke it.

Journey Back to Oz 1974

In the all star cast animated sequel to the 1939 film. Toto is swept away to Oz once again with Dorothy who is voiced by Liza Minnelli.

The Wiz 1978

In the African-American version of the Wizard Of Oz Toto plays as Dorothy's animal counterpart like in the original story. Except in the Wiz, Toto is from New York instead of Kansas.

Return to Oz 1985

Toto is not a main character in Walt Disney's Cult Classic Return to Oz, but he is in the film towards the beginning and in the very end of the film. Toto finds Dorothy in the Kansas search party when she wakes up after her adventure in Oz.

Muppets' Wizard of Oz 2005

Toto is played by Pepe the prawn in the 2005 made for TV Movie starring pop and R&B singer Ashanti as Dorothy.

Legends of Oz, Dorothy's Return 2014

Toto is a main character in the CGI animated film Legends of Oz, Dorothy's Return.

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Toto in 'Legends of Oz' Dorothy's Return

Credits

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