The Good Witch of the North and the Woggle-Bug

Discuss the places, people and other Ozzy things in the Land of Oz itself. Look for info about Oz books, their authors, illustrators and contemporary successors.

The Good Witch of the North and the Woggle-Bug

Joined: 07 Dec 2007, 07:07

24 Sep 2011, 03:49 #1

I would like to take this time to talk about two characters of Oz: my absolute favourite and my least favourite:

(There's still time to post, so why not?)  I had always wanted to make separate posts, but I guess making the one saves effort, time and reading.

I love this little old lady, she's my favourite character.  Whenever I was going to see a "new" version of the first book (an old version I was seeing for the first time, like the animes or cartoon versions), I've ALWAYS imagined her in the white gown with white hat.   And each time I have NOT seen her depicted that way.   The lousiest depiction I can think of is the 1991 Korean animated version and perhaps the Toho version.  In the toho version she looks almost like Madame Mim from Disney's "Sword in the Stone" but with a "lamp shade" for a hat (as described in review by Anime Network), looks like she hasn't had any good sleep and dresses more like a homeless lady in a school play of sorts.   Korean, she is old and better looking, but she wears blue and makes this ridiculous laugh when Dorothy says she wants to go home, and is the first depiction I've seen to "create" the Yellow Brick yet be unable to cross the ditch.     Her depiction in the 1986 bizarre anime (seen on the "Cartoon Craze: Wizard of Oz and Friends" DVD) is better, somewhat.
    Of course, until we see the Barnyard Studios/Used Productions independent film, the best version would be the 1987 Pan-Media anime/Cinar movies, even if she wears orange instead of white.

  My dream cast of her would be Enya as the Locasta version, Angela Lansbury as Baum's definitive book version, Whoopi Goldberg as WIZ's Addeperle and maybe Barbra Streisand in a rare unseen different Musical version from the 60s (with Julie Andrews as Glinda).

I never really understood why people dismiss or miswrite her the way she has been, notably Ruth Plumly Thompson.   The best explanation for her absence, while brief, was Eric Shanower's mention of her "retirement" in 'Blue Witch of Oz'.   If I were to ever write an Oz book and had myself in it, I would be sure to have her in it, even just a chapter or two - can't think of us doing anything aside from a little chat over tea in her cottage.


I never really was one for following the Highly Magnified Thoroughly Educated insect.  I always thought he took up too much of the "Marvelous Land" book and slowed down the story's drama/action (or lack thereof) and thought he was useless.  I didn't mind him at all when I first read "Dorothy and the Wizard", because that was my first real Oz book (aside from "Wizard") that I read before the previous two, and he had a small part there.  I think that if Baum's books were seriously adapted to the screen and the Woggle-Bug was NOT included in "Land", I'd think of having his bit in "DotWiz" taken over by Tik-Tok.  Or somebody better suited for the part.

Over time I think I've SLOWLY lessened my dislike for him, and learned to accept him.  I have seen him depicted quite well in both "Manga" and Marvel, and I look forward to reading him in a recent past "Oziana" purchase.    Like I said he is not one of my favourite characters, but I think you may noticed my enthusiastic sing-along to his theme song at this year's WINKIE Convention!

Thoughts, people?

Joined: 14 May 2009, 07:04

24 Sep 2011, 18:53 #2

I never had a problem with RPT's story about her, though I must agree with Phyllis Ann Karr that she had an ugly name (Tattypoo). Phyllis had wanted to re-name her Miz Gilda or something that I thought looked too much like "Glinda" and made me think of the way MGM had made them one composite character. Ultimately, Phyllis agreed to just call her "the Witch of the North." I might also mention that Books of Wonder once had a group called "The Royal Club of Oz" which had a story that was serialized in its newsletter (mostly for younger kids). It ignored everything RPT wrote entirely, and the author was going to give her yet ANOTHER name until I told him about RPT's books. You'd think BoW would have already been aware of them, but this author told me in a phone conversation that he had no idea...

As for the Woggle-Bug, there is a story that I had thought was 100% true until Eric G once told me that it was possibly just a publicity stunt. Mr. and Mrs. Baum were approached on a beach by a child carrying a hermit crab or some such critter. When asked what it was, LFB came up with the name on the spot. The child was so amused that Mrs. Baum insisted that he use it as the hero of his then unfinished book. LFB argued that the book was already well underway and that Jack Pumpkinhead was the hero. Obviously, we saw who won that one.
I do not know if the story is true. Eric usually knows more about that sort of thing than I do. After all, I'm just a peanut Image
Last edited by CowardlyLion on 24 Sep 2011, 18:57, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 11 Mar 2009, 23:27

24 Sep 2011, 19:44 #3

I, for one, agree with you @Samofoz about the Good Witch of the North. In fact, I'm currently working on a new story where Locasta (not Tattypoo) plays a major role in the storyline. I've always thought that it was an error on the part of the MGM people to combine Glinda and Locasta. As for the Wogglebug, I've always thought he was a great character and I chose him to be the creator of Cobbler the Dog in Family of Oz. It's not a major role in the story but he does create the Unwilling Villian; a.k.a Cobbler the Dog. But then agian, what do I know... I'm just an almond.

Joined: 28 Aug 2007, 04:05

24 Sep 2011, 21:22 #4

I think that part of the problem some people have with the Wogglebug; at least the Wogglebug as he is depicted in the books, is that he is purposely a bit unlikeable. That is compared to a lot of the characters, the Wogglebug has a lot more bad habits/personality traits than most. I actually think this makes him a much more interesting character, as I do not like my Oz too saccarine. He's allowed his uniqueness and education to go to his head, and has become extremely pompous and bombastic. His intelligance is great, but it is dwarfed by his ego. It isn't enough for him to be smart, he needs for everyone to know he's smart and more importantly that he is smarter than them. He has a tendency to be pedatic and abrasive. If you think about it, most of the events in Royal Book, are really his fault, they would not have happended had he not gone out of his way to demean and humiliate the Scarecrow. His invention of the education pills was brilliant, but I often think that part of the reason he did so was not so much becuse it would free up his students for sports, but because if he ever actually did try and teach himself, withing a few weeks his students would get so pissed off at his demeanor that he would become the main subject in an experiment on what happens in a no-death kingdom to someone who is lynched.