The Life and Times of Toto
When Toto came to lives on the surprising pig farm, he delighted the children and adults everywhere. He was so good-natured that he always greeted visitors in his nice big voice and gave them good luck hints. He always knew when the children needed a little help, and he cheerfully helped them out. But where did Toto go for help when needed most? He went to Dorothy’s pig farm, of course.
“Toto, where have you been?” said the astonished Dorothy. “I’ve been looking for you.” Toto jumped out of her large bed and hid underneath the bed, and then the woman began to get suspicious of him. She’d picked up too many bugs and creepy creatures from the haystack as she was traveling along to meet her hunger, but the greasy old pig knew Dorothy couldn’t eat bugs; nor could Toto! This made the woman suspicious that Toto was a dwarf, and she began to worry about her son and his friend, who were companions on their journey.
So Toto took a leave of his own to go find the rest of the Fairy Gardeners, but when he returned, Dorothy noticed a certain something about Toto that thrilled her. Looking very little like the old man, this tiny tin man now wore glasses. And his clothing was nicer, more elegant, more like the kind that would be worn by a prince or princess, not by an average man. So Dorothy immediately knew that Toto was not the Tin Man, and the mystery surrounding his disappearance only deeper.
In the years after the Great Depression, W.B.D. Cope wrote and illustrated many of the works of Frank Capra and Dick Smith, and one of these tales was “Toto’s Forest.” This charming classic was later made into a successful motion picture starring Eddie Murphy as Toto, and later still, more recently, an animated feature film starring Will Smith as Toto, again played by Eddie Murphy. I happen to love both of them, and even though my daughter is older, I still enjoy watching the original film every time it comes on TV.
In his later years, when Capra decided to write another novel based on the same scenario, he decided to make it into a play instead. This time, however, Capra wrote the play as a character in the novel, using the same tiny voice. The result was “The Wizard of Oz,” which was one of the most beloved plays ever. “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” remains the highest grossing movie of all time, with a full record of more than $2 billion dollars in the bank.
Throughout his later years, Toto continued to be seen by viewers throughout the world. When the movie version of him reached the age of three, his popularity increased even further. He was featured in many more motion pictures, books, and of course, the video game “Windydeer.” During this time, he became a well-known children’s entertainer, performing for crowds in schools and other venues all over the United States. In 2021, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, but despite this, he is still happy and healthy, continuing to work until he is about 100 years old.