Princess Ozma

Princess Ozma

Infobox character
colour = green
name = Princess Ozma of Oz


caption = Illustration from "The Lost Princess of Oz" by John R. Neill
first = "The Marvelous Land of Oz" (1904)
last = arguable
cause =
nickname =
alias = Tippetarius or Tip, Poppy
species = human/fairy
gender = female (as born), male (as Tip), female (as Princess Ozma)
age = unknown
born = August 21, unknown; appears to be between 11 and 15; possibly hundreds of years old
death = immortal
occupation = supreme ruler of Oz
title = Princess
callsign =
family = Pastoria (father)
spouse = N/A
children = N/A, though Jack Pumpkinhead thinks of himself as her son
relatives = Queen Lurline and her fairy band
residence = Emerald City
creator = L. Frank Baum

Princess Ozma (b. August 21, year unknown) is a fictional character in the "Land of Oz" universe created by L. Frank Baum. She appears in every book of the series except the "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" (1900).

The classic books

The daughter of the former King of Oz, King Pastoria, Ozma was given to the witch Mombi by the Wizard of Oz, who worried she would someday challenge his illegitimate rule as Oz's defacto dictator. Mombi transformed the infant Ozma into a boy and called him Tip (short for Tippetarius). Ozma, in the form of Tip, was raised as a boy and had no memory of ever having been a girl. As Tip, Ozma created Jack Pumpkinhead. In "The Marvelous Land of Oz", Glinda the good witch forced Mombi to transform the boy Tip back into Ozma, and she was installed as Oz's ruler (although many realms within Oz were and remain unaware of her authority). Baum was not inclined to worry about things like continuity between his books, however, and so Ozma changed frequently. In her initial appearance, she was described as a cherubic little girl with red-gold hair; however, all subsequent illustrations of the Princess show her as dark-haired, though this is never noted in the text. According to "Ozma of Oz", she appears to be the same height and age as Dorothy Gale. According to "The Tin Woodman of Oz", Princess Ozma appears to be fourteen or fifteen years old, and thus several years older than Dorothy. However, in "Glinda of Oz", Queen Coo-ee-oh is described as "a girl who looked olderthan Ozma or Dorothy -- fifteen or sixteen." But Ozma's origins changed even more than her appearance. At first she is the daughter of Pastoria, described as a regular (except for her royal position) little girl. Then a hint of a change in her origins comes in the form of a remark by Kaliko in "Emerald City of Oz" that Ozma has a fairy wand. Later in the series, Baum declares that Ozma herself is a fairy, not just a regular little girl and that she was left behind as a baby to rule Oz by the fairy Queen Lurline. "The Shaggy Man of Oz" (written by Jack Snow, long after Baum's death) explains that she is several hundred years old, and was one of a band of fairies who waited on Queen Lurline, who left her behind to rule Oz.

John R. Neill, the illustrator of Baum's "Oz" series, established the characteristic look of Ozma, strongly influenced by Charles Dana Gibson's 'Gibson girl' and by the beauties in the Art Nouveau poster art of Alphonse Mucha. Neill drew many pictures of Ozma between 1904, when she first appeared in "The Marvelous Land of Oz", and his death in 1943, and during those years her image developed and changed. The illustration shown here is from "Rinkitink in Oz", 1916: about halfway through Ozma's gradual transformation from an angelic child to a spitfire glamour-girl. One of Baum's granddaughters was named Frances Ozma Baum (later Mantele), to whom Baum dedicated "The Lost Princess of Oz". She was usually known by her middle name, though she also developed the nickname "Scraps" in childhood.

As ruler of Oz, Ozma frequently encounters difficulties in trying to reign as monarch. The story featuring her the least is "The Lost Princess of Oz," in which she has been enchanted, and Dorothy Gale forms a search party with the rest of the famous Oz characters, learning the uses of the Magic Belt, and using its powers to eventually free Ozma.

According to the timeline of "The Road to Oz", Ozma's birthday falls on the 21st day of the month of August.

Many subsequent writers would refer to her as "Queen Ozma" in corroboration of her station as the highest ruler of the land, though Baum himself never gave her that title, other than tentatively at the end of "The Marvelous Land of Oz". It may be similar to Nick Chopper's preference for being called "emperor," even though he does not have an empire. Later writers generally had her becoming more passive, and her last significant adventure recorded in the Famous Forty was her encounter with Atmos Fere the airman.

In "The Forbidden Fountain of Oz" by Eloise Jarvis McGraw with her daughter Lauren, a little girl named Esmeralda Ozgood served Ozma limeade made in ignorance from water from the Forbidden Fountain, causing her to lose her memory. Oliver the hedgebird referred to her as "Poppy" because of the poppies in her hair. An old woman whose son was a shepherd dresses her in her son's old garments and sandals, and she gets regularly mistaken for a boy, which she pretends to be for the sake of protection when it is suggested to her by Tobias Bridlecull, Jr, an inept bandit who decides to take up a new trade as her bodyguard. The Fountain is unable to completely erase her memory, though, for she recognizes Jack Pumpkinhead, who mistakes her for Tip, then seems to recall that she was once known as Tip. The remainder of her memory, though, she wishes back on the Magic Belt. Although Omby Amby had officially been her bodyguard, she allows Toby to retain the position with her memory regained.

Film

In a 1913 film created by Baum's film company, The Patchwork Girl of Oz, Ozma, played by Jessie May Walsh, appears briefly to preside over Ojo's trial.

Shirley Temple portrayed her in a 1960 television production, in which she also portrayed Tip.

She appears briefly in Barry Mahon's 1969 The Wonderful Land of Oz, portrayed by Joy Webb.

Christopher Passi cameoed as Ozma after portraying Tip for the duration of a filmed stage version of "The Marvelous Land of Oz" by Thomas W. Olson, Gary Briggle, and Richard Dworsky in 1981 by The Children's Theatre Company and School of Minneapolis.

Sometime later, Ozma was portrayed by Emma Ridley in 1985's "Return to Oz" which was based loosely on the books "Ozma of Oz" and "The Marvelous Land of Oz".

In "Ozu no Mahotsukai", Ozma's transformation into Tip was so thorough that, despite bearing almost no physical resemblance whatever to Tip, she is a tomboy throughout the entirety of the series. In "The Oz Kids", Andrea (Shay Astar), Glinda's ambivalent daughter, bases her fashion, but little else, on Ozma, who never appeared in the series. Ozma also appears in the Russian animated "Adventures of the Emerald City: Princess Ozma" (2000) based on "The Marvelous Land of Oz" as well as in the 1987 Canadian "Dorothy Meets Ozma of Oz" based on "Ozma of Oz" and a 2005 direct to video CGI version of "The Patchwork Girl of Oz" where she is voiced by Lisa Rosenstock.

In "Lost in Oz", an unaired 2002 pilot for a WB drama show, Ozma appeared as a young, helpless girl kept eternally young by the Wicked Witch of the West. The main characters of that show rescued her and returned her to the good witch. However, throughout the show, she does not have any lines.

Alan Eyles in "The World of Oz", among others, has pointed out similarities in the appearance of Princess Leia from the Star Wars films to Ozma, in particular Leia's draped white costume and symmetrical hair design reminiscent of the flowers that typically adorn Ozma's crown. In one scene in "", Leia's mother Padmé wears her hair in buns, along with an off the shoulders gown reminiscent of Neill's illustrations of Ozma.

In the 2007 TV miniseries "Tin Man", the character "DG", although mainly analogous to Dorothy Gale, shares many character traits with Ozma. These include a childhood brought up in obscurity, blocked memories of her previous life, the ability to wield magic, and a "tomboy" personality.

Ozma as a romantic heroine

Several published apocryphal Oz books depict Ozma being romanced and married by various Larry Stu-type characters.

In unofficial works after the 90s, Ozma apparently became engaged to a man named Milo Starling in the "Umbrella Man of Oz" trilogy by Charles Phipps, published through a vanity press. The character, while oddly religious for Oz, was well received amongst Oz fandom.Fact|date=September 2007

Another story in which Ozma acquires a boyfriend is the "Dan in Oz" series by David Hardenbrook, which stars a young and lovable computer geek named Dan Maryk. Other such romances exist among unpublished fan fiction.

Some fans weasel-inline also hold to the view that Ozma may not be interested in males at all, based on hints given in the novels of a very close relationship between Ozma and Dorothy (not to mention Ozma having once been a boy). For example, chapter 17 of "Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz" contains the following: "Just then the girlish Ruler of Oz opened the door and greeted Dorothy with a good-morning kiss. The little Princess seemed fresh and rosy and in good spirits." This, however, could be a late invocation of romantic friendship. The books of March Laumer suggest otherwise, though not in much more explicit terms.

Ozma and Tip

In the case of Windham Classics text adventure adaptation of the Oz books, Tip is made monarch of Oz and no reference at all is made to Ozma.

Jack Snow, Melody Grandy, and Scott Andrew Hutchins have all made divergent attempts to bring Tip back alongside Ozma. Snow's device, which Hutchins followed as if canon, was that Tip seized his life from Ozma, but that Glinda and the Wizard was able to restore them both and make them siblings. Grandy made the characters totally unrelated through the use of a "Switcheroo Spell", with Ozma unrelated to Tippetarius and therefore suitable as a possible love interest. Snow's story, "A Murder in Oz" (1956) was rejected by "Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine" and published in "The Baum Bugle". Grandy's "The Disenchanted Princess of Oz" has been published by the vanity press, Tales of the Cowardly Lion and Friends. Hutchins's "Tip of Oz", heavily mulling over ideas such as Pastoria-as-tailor and the execution of Mombi in "The Lost King of Oz" and similar material in "The Giant Horse of Oz", received a one-paragraph citation in Eldred v. Ashcroft, and remains unpublished under the Copyright Term Extension Act. [http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/openlaw/eldredvashcroft/supct/amici/caa.pdf p. 11 (p 18 to Acrobat)]

Ozma in Gregory Maguire's "Wicked"

In Gregory Maguire's revisionist Oz novels "" and "Son of a Witch", "Ozma" is the hereditary title of the Queens of Oz. According to Nanny and other believers in Lurlinism, the Fairy Queen left her daughter Ozma to rule the country in her absence. According to Lurlinist belief, the various rulers named "Ozma" were - more or less - reincarnations of the same being; Ozma "bears herself again and again like a phoenix."

By contrast, according to Elphaba's father Frexspar (and presumably other Unionists as well as the more secular citizens of Oz), the Ozmas are a hereditary dynasty of Gillikinese origin. There were, as Frex said, "three hundred years of very different Ozmas," including:

* Ozma the Mendacious. A dedicated maunt (Unionist nun), she lowered rulings in a bucket from the topmost chamber in a cloister.
* Ozma the Warrior temporarily conquered the Glikkus and commandeered the emeralds with which to decorate the Emerald City.
* Ozma the Librarian. Said to have done nothing but read genealogies for her whole life long.
* Ozma the Scarcely Beloved kept pet ermines. She heavily taxed the farmers in Oz to begin construction of the Yellow Brick Road network.
* Ozma the Bilious. so called because of her chronic digestive troubles. A large woman, "the size of a lake narwhal," Ozma the Bilious died of an "accident" involving rat poison, leaving her husband Pastorius to rule until their infant daughter Ozma Tippetarius reached adulthood.
* Ozma Tippetarius, daughter of Ozma the Bilious. About the same age as Elphaba, she was too young to take the throne upon the death of her mother. Her father Pastorius ruled as Ozma Regent until the Ozmas were deposed by the Wizard. Ozma Tippetarius makes a cameo appearance in "Son of a Witch", in the form of Tip.

ee also

Project Ozma

Notes


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