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Oz on Film, Part Eleven: The Oz Film Company's Manufacturings, Part Five

Aunt Rivette (Mai Wells), Princess Fluff (Mildred Harris), and King Bud (Violet MacMillan) adjust to court life in "The Magic Cloak of Oz"
Aunt Rivette (Mai Wells), Princess Fluff (Mildred Harris), and King Bud (Violet MacMillan) adjust to court life in "The Magic Cloak of Oz"
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The Oz Film Manufacturing Company produced one more tenuously Oz-based movie. Though entitled The Magic Cloak of Oz, it is really an adaptation of Baum’s book Queen Zixi of Ix. To be sure, the Land of Ix is in the same fairy region of the world as the Land of Oz, and three of the characters from the story appeared at Ozma’s birthday party in The Road to Oz.

The movie begins in the Forest of Burzee (where, in yet another of Baum’s tales, fairies once discovered a human infant who grew up to be Santa Claus). The “Fairies of Oz,” as identified by a title slide, create a magic cloak which will grant a single wish to the one who wears it. The Man in the Moon advises giving it to an unhappy person.

Meanwhile, a girl named Margaret, a.k.a. Fluff (Mildred Harris) and her brother Timothy, a.k.a. Bud (Violet MacMillan) live by the Vinegar River. Their prescient Aunt Rivette (Mai Wells) predicts the drowning of their ferryman father. After the tragedy, the old woman, the children, and their donkey Nickodemus (Fred Woodward) move to Noland, whose king has also died.

The grieving Fluff is presented by a Fairy Messenger with the Magic Cloak, and wishes for happiness. Bud becomes the forty-seventh person to enter the gate of Noland the day after the king’s death, so by tradition he is acclaimed the new King, and joy re-enters the little family’s lives.

Nickodemus, however, is discontented and runs off, only to be donkeynapped by robbers. At their camp, he meets another prisoner, a little girl named Mary. They try to escape, but she is recaptured. In the woods, Nick meets a belligerent Zoop and a lazy Lion (Hal Roach). After some animal animosity, they and other beasts—including an elephant, a platypus, and the Woozy— defeat the robbers, save Mary, and return her to her frantic mother (Leontine Dranet) and father (Richard Rosson).

Queen Zixi (Juanita Henson) of neighboring Ix, eternally young, but like Dorian Grey forced to see her true age (though in a mirror), hears of the Magic Cloak from the minstrel Quavo (Vivian Reed) and hopes to use it to change her reflection. She disguises herself as a maid to get near Princess Fluff and takes the Cloak, not realizing that stealing it negates its power.

Meanwhile, Noland comes under attack by the spherical, soup-mad Rolly Rogues. Bud and Fluff seek to find the Cloak, and learn that Queen Zixi took it. Fluff promises the queen she may have it once the Rogues are dealt with.

A woman called Dame Dingle, however, has taken it and cut it up. Zixi repairs it, seeking the sailor who had bought one piece of it, while the animals try to repel the Rolly Rogues. The Cloak again whole, Zixi unselfishly wishes the rotund rascals out of Noland for good and all. The Fairies reclaim the Cloak, but not before Bud uses it to wish himself the best king Noland ever had.

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