L Frank Baum and the story of the Tin Man Dreamer of Oz

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John Ritter as L Frank Baum tells his niece Dorothy the story of the Tin Woodsman of Oz. In reality, Baum did have a niece named Dorothy who died in childhood, but she was just an infant. The character of Dorothy was said to possibly have been inspired by another favorite niece of the Baum's. The film pulls the two people together in one character. (This part of the film actually bears a very strong resemblance to the real life story of Johnny Gruelle, who told his ill daughter, Marcella, stories about her rag doll's adventures, "Raggedy Ann" to entertain her. To work out his grief after her death, Gruelle wrote and published the stories with Marcella as the main character; thus keeping her forever "alive" , at least in a fantasy land. It would be interesting to know if the writers knew of Gruelle's story and wrote this part in.)