In this keynote lecture at the Welcoming Strangers conference, Stephanie Donald proposes that the child in cinema is a powerful fantasy figure, deployed to embody and aestheticise accelerated motion, sociopolitical displ
acement, and ontological transition, all of which conditions generate adult anxiety and fear. When the child leaves home, adult fear is both accentuated and brought to an exquisite peak of renewal and possibility. When the child migrates, that departure signals national and transnational impacts and affect. This lecture considers ways in which Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz is a template and a touchstone for narratives of child migrations and adult anxiety since 1939.