- "The bright sun disappeared as the clouds suddenly darkened, and a low rumbling sound was heard in the air. There was a rushing of many feathered wings, yet not of bird. A great chattering and laughing filled the sky and when the hot sun came out again, lighting up to show the Wicked Witch of the West she was surrounded by a crowd of monkeys, each with a pair of immense and powerful wings on his shoulders."
- ―The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
- "Take your Army to the Haunted Forest and bring me that girl and her dog! Do what you want with the others, but I want her alive and unharmed. They'll give you no trouble I promise you that! I've sent a little insect on ahead to take the fight out of them. And keep special care to those Ruby Slippers, I want those most of all...now FLY, FLY, FLY! "
- ―Wicked Witch of the West (1939)
The Winged Flying Monkeys of Oz...
- "The leader of the Winged Monkeys flew up to a frightened Dorothy as she held Toto, the Monkey's long hairy arms stretched out towards her and his ugly face grinned terribly. But he saw the mark of the Good Witch of the North's kiss upon her forehead and stopped short, moitoning for the others not to touch her."
- ―The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
The Winged Monkeys aka (Flying Monkeys), are fictional creatures created by L. Frank Baum, author and creator of the Oz Legacy. They first appeared in Baums' first Oz book titled 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz', published in 1900. They are introduced in the twelfth chapter of the book titled The search for the Wicked Witch.
These specific monkeys are a unique and very rare race of animal who only inhabit the magical Land of Oz. They all bare an immense pair of powerful feathered wings and can fly into the air like a bird or a hawk. The monkeys are a very popular band and are neither of good nor evil, yet somewhere more in between, being undeniably mischievous and playful. They can do either bad or good depending on the situation and depending on whoever owns them at the time as they are Slaves to the charm of the magic Golden Cap of Oz. And must obey whoever wears it three times and three times only. Much like rubbing a magic lamp to get three wishes from a Genie.
Oz History of Winged Monkeys: Gayelette & The Golden Cap...
- "Why do you have to obey the charm of the Golden Cap?" Dorothy asked. "That is a very long story," answered the King, with a Winged laugh; "but as we have a long journey before us, I will pass the time by telling you about it, if you wish." "I would very much like to hear it." Dorothy replied."
- ―The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
The Winged Monkeys aka Flying Monkeys were once a free band of animals, living in the forests in the enchanted Land of Oz, doing as they pleased. They were all a carefree bunch, but also rather mischievous, always looking for some fun to have a fun time and get a good laugh or two. However, one fateful day in the land of Oz, the leader of the Winged Monkeys, decided as a prank, to toss a very richly dressed man into a raging river, soaking him from head to toe and completely ruining his costume and fancy attire of rich golden silk and soft golden velvet.
The man, whose name was Quelala, was good natured enough and did not mind the prank and thought it was rather funny. But his fiancée on the other hand, who was a Princess and beautiful Sorceress, named Gayelette was distraught and ever so furious. Her royal highness, the beautiful Gayelette was also the ruler of the Northern Gillikin Country in Oz.
And Gayelette was angry at the Monkeys for a rather good reason. For the day the Monkeys chose to play the prank on Quelala, was the same day of his and Gayellette's wedding. Thus, ruining the big day.
Gayellette was so upset at the Monkeys for making her look like a fool infront of her people and subjects, in fact she was so angry that she punished the Winged Monkeys forever, cursing them by making them the Slaves to the Golden Cap that she had specially prepared as a wedding present for her beloved betrothed. The cap was a beautiful one indeed, being made out of golden velvet and golden spun silk to match Quelala's wedding attire. And even real sparkling Diamonds and red Rubies ran all across the cap to adorn it.
It is rumored that this cap alone cost Princess Gayellette half of her kingdom and sorcery to construct. When finally given the cap to wear after the wedding, Quelala then used It's powerful charm only once and once only, commanding the Winged Monkeys to stay far away from Gayelette, in fear that his new wife may do something terrible to the Monkeys due to her short temper. As the years went by, the monkeys did as they were told and never came to the west part of Oz which Gayellette and her subjects dwelled. Nor did they come anywhere close to her royal kingdom ever again.
In The Wonderful Wizard of Oz 1900:
As time went on, many centuries later the magic cap fell into the hands of the Wicked Witch of the West, who was by now the ruler of the Winkie Country in Oz. She happily used the Winged Monkeys for her own personal gain and ordered the winged creatures to conquer all of the West lands and enslave the Winkie people. And even defeat the Great Oz, by running him out of her country when he dared to try and challenge her. After that, as revenge the Wizard eventually sent a little girl named Dorothy Gale to kill her in exchange to be sent back home. But the Wicked Witch had the Winged Monkeys capture the girl, her dog named Toto and the Cowardly Lion to imprison them in her yellow Winkie Castle as her personal slaves. Thus, havng the Monkeys destroy the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman who accompanied the girl.
After the Wicked Witch was ultimately killed by being liquefied and melted away by Dorothy after she tried to steal her magic Silver Shoes, Dorothy took the cap as her own to wear and eventually used it also. The first time, Dorothy commanded the Winged Monkeys to carry her and her companions to the Emerald City. Dorothy also asked them to carry her and Toto home to Kansas, but to the girls dismay they could not because the creatures were forbidden by the laws of the universe to travel beyond the magical realm of Oz. Thus, resulting in Dorothy wasting one request and command of the cap's magic charm. Afterwards, Dorothy made her third and final request. Which was for the Monkeys to safley carry her and her friends over the dangerous and very rocky mountain of the unfriendly Hammer-Heads on her journey to the Quadlings who inhabited the south lands of Oz to see the beautiful Good Witch Glinda, as her last hope and option of returning home again.
Before going home, Dorothy finally gave the cap to Glinda, who ordered the Monkeys to carry Dorothy's companions back to their new homes in Oz after Dorothy and Totos' departure and then to cease to bother people. Glinda then gave them the cap as their own, to free them forever, ending the curse of Gayellette. After that the Winged Monkeys disappeared to live a life of freedom and pece somewhere in Oz, and were never seen again.
The Wizard of Oz-Fly, Fly, Fly! (1939)
The monkeys in the classic Judy Garland film, are purple monkeys, with purple wings that wear elaborate caps and matching vests. They are simply the creatures of the Wicked Witch of the West. The monkey leader is named Nikko. They do not speak, or act independently of the Witch's will.The Golden Cap can be seen, making a cameo appearance in the Witch's castle chamber, but she does not wear it nor say it's charm. The Witch sends the monkeys out to apprehend Dorothy Gale and her companions, but they only get Dorothy and Toto and scatter the Scarecrow's straw. They disappear from the story after the Witch has been melted. Most likely just like the Winkie gaurds, they were all finally set free from her bondage after she died.(The Wizard of Oz)
- Their presence in the film has given the flying monkeys their iconographic identity in modern-day popular American culture.
The Wiz 1978
- "Oh No, not the Flying Monkeys! "
- ―The Winkies in The Wiz (1978)
In the 1978 all African-American musical version of the story. The Wiz made the flying monkeys a motorcycle gang, and they all had a very unpleasent smell, which the Wicked Witch could not stand at all.
Oz the Great and Powerful 2013
In this Disney version which is a prequel to the 1939 movie, there's three different races of winged and flying monkeys. The evil and scary Winged Baboons with sharp teeth and claws are strictly controlled by the Witch of the East Evanora. The only representative of the other race of monkeys is Finley, who is smaller than the winged baboons and much more intelligent and intellectual. The purple monkeys of the Wicked Witch of the West- Theodora, have not emerged yet.
Finley is a very friendly and timid young monkey who works as a Bell-Boy in the Emerald City. Finley becomes a loyal friend of Oscar Diggs who is destined to be the Wizard, that the prophecy in Oz has been waiting for to finally be fulfilled.
Finley, whom he owes a life debt for saving him from a Pre-Cowardly Lion who makes a brief cameo appearance. Finley chooses to help Oz on his journey and carries the Wizard's bag and becomes a member of his party to safe Oz.
The Winged Baboons, meanwhile, are much more uglier and larger and are very ferocious. The power hungry Witch Evenora controls an enire Army of them, which she uses to bully, victimize and ultimately terrorize and then destroy various races and settlements all throught parts of Oz, including the Dainty China Country which was completely destroyed by them. Leaving only one known-lucky survivor, who was the China Girl. (Oz the Great and Powerful)
That's 70's show-Tornado Prom EpisodeIn the popular TV sitcom 'That's 70's show', Eric becomes a flying monkey in Jackie Burkhart's Oz dream.
Once Upon A TimeIn the popular ABC TV series 'Once Upon A Time', Zelena, the Wicked Witch of the West turns the Wizard into a flying Monkey as punishment for being a Humbug.
Depictions in modern fiction
In Alexander Volkov's Magic Land series, they appear in one more book after the first (By Stella' request, they delivered the analogue of the Magic Picture to Scarecrow, who was suffering from boredom), and are mentioned once more. The latter case makes it obvious that their reputation is quite ancient, since the mere mention forced a giant witch to reconsider fighting Stella - and the witch in question was asleep for five thousand years. While not bound to serve anyone, they are friendly to Stella.
In Gregory Maguire's revisionist novels Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West and Son of a Witch, the flying monkeys were created by Elphaba (the Witch) as part of her experiments on the nature of the soul and what distinguishes non-speaking animals from intelligent, speaking Animals. In these novels, most of the flying monkeys cannot speak, but Elphaba's favorite (named Chistery) has a distinctive speech pattern characterized by the repetition of similar-sounding words. In the musical adaptation, the monkeys gain wings as part of a magic spell gone awry.
The Vertigo comic book series Fables features a flying monkey named Bufkin, who may be a survivor of a conquered Land of Oz.
David Hulan's story "The Gauds of Oz" offers an explanation for how the Wicked Witch obtained the Golden Cap and so gained control over the winged monkeys. Other modern Oz writers also exploit the monkeys — see Dennis Anfuso's The Winged Monkeys of Oz, Chris Dulabone's The Marvelous Monkeys of Oz, and Peter Schulenburg's The Unwinged Monkey of Oz.
In Marvel's graphic novel adaptation the Winged Monkeys were dressed like soldiers. They still serve the Wicked Witch of the West, as she owns the hat that controls them. Their role in the story is identical to that in the original book, but with a new visual spin on them.
In Video Games
In Temple Run: Oz, Evanora's Winged Baboons replace the Temple Run series' standard Demon Monkeys as the main enemies chasing the player. They chase Oz through the Whimsie Woods, and also through the Dark Forest. They also swoop down at Oz, forcing him to duck under them. Finley also appears, giving Oz boosts by flying him over the terrain.
A Flying Monkey rebels against the Wicked Witch in the i0s game Flying Monkeys of Oz. The Witch shoots fireballs at him, while swirling energy ambushes him from all sides as the Emerald City passes in the background. Dorothy Gale later joins him and rides on his back.
In Todd McFarlane's action figure line "The Twisted Land of Oz," two flying monkey action figures (with a bloated Munchkin) are available as part of the "Collector's Club." According to the accompanying story, they are the Wizard's minions, transformed into steampunk cyborgs due to "Ozmic power."
Some historians who interpret The Wizard of Oz as a political allegory suggest the Winged Monkeys represent African-Americans, oppressed by an overbearing force and who are relieved to be free of that bondage when the evil force is terminated. Others see them as hired Pinkerton Agents who worked for the Trusts in the 1890s and hounded labor unions. (L. Frank Baum made an explicit reference to Pinkerton agents in a later book, The Lost Princess of Oz, p 211)
References in pop culture
These characters have had enough impact, between the books and the 1939 film, to have taken their own place in pop culture, regularly referenced in comedic or ironic situations as a source of evil or fear.
- Flying monkeys have appeared in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and The Simpsons.
- The Wayne's World catch-phrase "and monkeys might fly out of my butt!" may be a reference, at least incidentally, to the winged monkeys.
- In the movie Jumanji, monkeys see inside a TV shop on a television the winged monkeys from the Wizard of Oz, so they break inside the shop and steal TV sets.
- In the 1973 movie Hunter, actual footage from the Wizard of Oz movie is used to brainwash a race-car driver, terrorizing him until he screamed the line "Stop the monkeys! PLEASE Stop the monkeys!"
- The music video for "Heretics & Killers" by Protest The Hero opens with a shot of the front page of a newspaper stating 'The Witch is Dead: Flying Monkeys Out of Work'. The remainder of the video features the bandmembers dressed as the Flying Monkeys, trying (and failing) at various jobs, begging on the street, getting thrown out of a bar, and rocking out.
- In the DCOM movie Halloweentown High Debbie Reynolds' character Aggie Cromwell say "Whoever heard of hockey without Flying Monkeys".
- In the movie Inkheart, flying monkeys made their appearances as black monkeys with large eagle wings. They were with other animals in the dungeon after Darius used to read and said these words. Darius released them with other animals to attack Capricorn and his goons before they were returned to the Wizard of Oz book by Meggy who created her own words to send animals back to the books in the end of the movie.
- The Flying Monkeys apeared in Dora's Birthday Adventure!
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