- "Dorothy looked at each capitalized letter carefully, and quickly discovered that the words written in the sand read: "BEWARE THE WHEELERS "
- ―Ozma of Oz (1907)
The Wheelers are a fictonal group of bizzare characters invented by L. Frank Baum. They are a very rare species who only live in the enchanted Land of Ev and are introduced in L. Frank Baum's third Oz book titled Ozma of Oz, published in 1907. They are rather disagreeable creatures who are neither bad nor good but more inbewtween, much like the Winged Monkeys of Oz, being undeniably mischievous by nature. Ev also is a neighboring enchanted country to the magical Land of Oz but is separated from Oz by the Deadly Desert that cuts both lands off from the rest of the world, keeping its inhabitants undiscovered and safe from possible discovery and invasion.
- The Wheelers are most notable for their appearance as the goofy and psychotic baddies in Walt Disney's 1985 cult classic film Return to Oz.
- "Dorothy turned quickly around, and saw coming out of a path that led from between the trees the most peculiar person her eyes had ever beheld. It had the form of a man, except that it walked, or rather rolled, upon all fours, and its legs were the same length as its arms, giving them the appearance of the four legs of a beast. Yet it was no beast that Dorothy had discovered, for the person was clothed most gorgeously in embroidered garments of many colors, and wore a straw hat perched jauntily upon the side of its head. But it differed from human beings in this respect, that instead of hands and feet there grew at the end of its arms and legs round wheels, and by means of these wheels it rolled very swiftly over the level ground. Afterward Dorothy found that these odd wheels were of the same hard substance that our finger-nails and toe-nails are composed of, and she also learned that creatures of this strange race were born in this queer fashion. But when our little girl first caught sight of the first individual of a race that was destined to cause her a lot of trouble, she had an idea that the brilliantly-clothed personage was on roller-skates, which were attached to his hands as well as to his feet. "
- ―Ozma of Oz (1907)
The Wheelers are a clan of an unknown species who reside in the country of Ev that is ruled by the Royal Family of Ev who are related to the character of Princess Langwidere. They are a rambunctious group who strangly have the forms of human men, except that they roll on all fours, their legs and arms being the same length. Instead of hands and feet they have wheels, which are made from the same material as finger-nails and toe-nails. The Wheelers are said to always wear very attractive clothing and gorgeously embroidered, tight-fitting garments.
The Wheelers sometimes act like big bullies but are really rather a harmless bunch because they have no hands to punch or grab or scratch with, and no feet to kick with. They write warnings in the sand and act fiercely to make strangers intimidated and afraid of them, but only in order to protect themselves and their kin. (Ozma of Oz)
In Return to Oz 1985
- In Walt Disney's Return to Oz, the Wheelers are portrayed as much more darker and hostile creatures compared to their book counterparts.
When Oz is conquered and ultimately overthrown by the infamous Nome King from a neighboring kingdom, he makes an irrelevant Wicked Witch named Mombi his accomplice and declares her a princess. In addition, he also gives Mombi thirty beautiful exchangeable heads as a reward for trapping Oz's true heir known as Princess Ozma into a mirror; keeping her a secret. It is revealed that the Wheelers are the minions of Mombi whos relationship with them, closely parallels the late Wicked Witch of the West's relationship with her Winged Monkeys from the first story.
When Dorothy Gale finally returns to Oz six months after her first adventure accompanied with Billina the kansas hen, she discovers Oz lies in a state of apocalyptic ruin. She finds out the Yellow Brick Road, has been shattered, and the Emerald City demolished, with all the city citizens turned to stone. The only ones left alive who inhabit the city are the Wheelers who terrorize Dorothy and Billina until they find Tik-Tok the clockwork man. After winding him up, Tik-Tok is then able to prevent the Wheelers from harming the girl and the hen by roughing them up in a small battle. When Dorothy ends up imprisoned in Mombi's tower she and her friends meet Jack Pumpkinhead, who helps them escape by creating the flying Gump thanks to Mombi's Powder of Life. When Mombi sends out her wheelers to stop them from getting away, the Wheelers chase after them until they reach Oz's boarders and fall into the Deadly Desert which weakens their army significantly. Later on in the end of the film, it is implied that the remaining Wheelers turn good and have been set free, after the Nome King and Mombi both are defeated, and the long lost Ozma is released from the cursed mirror.(Return to Oz)
In Dorothy Meets Ozma of Oz
The Wheelers chase Dorothy after she eats a lunch-box from the Lunch-box tree. They also chased Toto when he arrived, scaring him off in the direction of the Nome King. Ozma finally arrives, forcing the Wheelers to apologize to Dorothy and admit that they're not ferocious at all but must act that way because they only have wheels and no hands or feet. (Dorothy Meets Ozma of Oz)
In Lost in Oz
Alexandra Wilder and her party encounter a sign during their travels through Oz that reads "Beware the Wheelers". Later, they are attacked while camping during the night and are forced to fight off the Wheelers using a pistol. (Lost in Oz)