Does Toto still have to die at the end of the Wizard of Oz?

OK so this has been bothering me. At the end of the Wizard of Oz (film), Dorothy wakes up and everything is all wonderful because she and Toto are safe, but the catalyst conflict of the WHOLE MOVIE hasn’t changed, since Almira Gulch still has a death warrant to put the dog to sleep!

I read the book but I completely forget it. Is there something the movie is implying but doesn’t say? Or is there some tiny hint somewhere that the conflict is solved? (I read something on the net that suggested Almira Gulch got killed in the real-world tornado, but is this just a guess? Dorothy had already hit her head when she saw Almira outside the window as the house got pulled up into the tornado.)

I want to do a humorous video on the matter since it’s so ridiculous that the dog still has to die, but I’m worried there’s some stupid thing somewhere I missed and it will make me look stupid I didn’t catch it…

Moved to Cafe Society.

General Questions Moderator

Well, the house didn’t really get pulled up, did it? It was still there for Dorothy to wake up in at the end.

The book has no Miss Gulch and no death sentence for Toto. The tornado begins at the bottom of page one.

Can’t speak for what happens after the movie ends.

I just saw the movie this last year, and noted the same thing.

I also noted that she ran away, at the start of the movie, to save Toto. But by the time she found Professor Marvel, her reason for running away had changed into a desire to see the world and experience many things. And of course, the story has a happy ending when she decides that actually it’s better to be content as a dutiful, small-town Kansas girl.

My feeling is that the movie was basically a special effects extravaganza first and foremost and the director didn’t really care about the story too much. It was probably cobbled together from a couple different scripts, and not too much care was put into making sure that the pieces were fully consistent. The rather paternalistic ending also made me :dubious:

Recent mention.

But…it’s a wonderful life! No, wait…I mean it’s a good life. Yes, a very good life.


All I know is that the stuff in the beginning was considered vital to the movie, setting it in a realistic setting in order to provide grounding and contrast to the magical world. The ending was not so prioritized, although making it a dream was considered quite important–again, so people would accept the fantasy.

Dorothy grew up to be a famous singer/actress, had a lot of husbands and three kids, then died of a drug overdose. She comes back every June to participate in several Pride parades. I’ve seen her myself. And her little dog too.

Heh, I was the one who made it recent, LOL…pulling one of my infamous zombie thread resuscitations this past November after it had been dormant for a dozen years. I said then “I guess there is no satisfactory definitive answer or someone on the SDMB would have figured it out.” That still stands as of now, from what I can see. Other than “it’s a plot hole”, I guess.

Almira, ever resentful from her spurned girl-crush on Auntie Em all those years ago, coerces Dorothy into providing sexual favors in exchange for Toto’s life. She is later devoured by a swarm of grasshoppers.

(I just won’t let that one go)

I see Alan Moore missed a trick in* Lost Girls*.

The assumption is that Miss Gulch died in the twister, matching the death of the WWW, her alter ego in Oz.

That would be the WWE, then, if she died in the twister. The story becomes a lot more twisted if she died at the same time as the WWW.

I actually thought about that last night. Maybe Dorothy wasn’t in bed that entire time. Maybe she was hallucinating and did something to Miss Gulch, before her family found her and brought her home to bed.

Elvira Gulch, not Almira. And she had a warrant to take Toto, not necessarily to have him PTS. Of course he didn’t die at the end of the movie! It’s a happy ending for everyone.

Before the twister the story, if anyone cared, was “Sheriff puts down dog that attacked old woman.”
After the twister it would be “Sheriff kills dog of orphan child injured when tornado hits pig farm.” Suddenly there’s too much publicity around it and he’s got elections coming up.
The whole question would be moot if Toto says “Munchkins, flying monkeys, witches, COLOR? Then you click your heals and suddenly we’re home? Well, now I’ve seen everything!” and blows out his brains.

Well obviously she snuck into Mss Gulch’s home and doused her with…


That’ll certainly end Miss Gulch’s desire to kill Toto.


In the book, Oz is a real place, and when Dorothy finally returns home, Uncle Henry & Aunti Em are in the middle of building a new house.

As for the movie, I’ve always imagined that Elvira got sucked up by the tornado and is a goner.