Incarnation of Alice
“How is a raven like a writing desk?”
Lewis Carroll’s Story
“What is the use of a book without
pictures or conversation in it?” -Alice
Through storytelling, Alice is placed
in Dodgeson’s world.
In both Adventure’s in Wonderland
and Through the Looking-Glass,
Alice enjoys the fantasy, and doesn’t
necessarily desire reality.
– Alice is awakened by her sister at
the end of the tale.
About the Original Texts:
“so much of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass is
composed of private jokes and details of Victorian manners and mores
that modern audiences are not likely to catch” -Martin Gardner
Unlike past fairy tales for girls that illustrate responsible, moral
lessons, Alice is a story of exploration, where the protagonist
questions such ideology.
– Carroll sought to challenge children's moralizing literature.
However, Alice still contains adult appeal.
Alice is the epitome of the Victorian child heroine, and her maturation
in wonderland formulate an archetype with influence as strong as any
other fairy tale.
Alice is Immortal
It is unlikely the Alice story and its
themes will stop influencing pop
culture and literature.
Carroll’s oral tale will be reshaped
into books, plays, films and video
Although the story is massively
popular, it will reach its level of
highest popularity almost 100 years
Some people find new ways of keeping Alice with them!
Walt Disney’s Alice in Wonderland
“But in my world, the books would
be nothing but pictures.” -Alice
Alice’s escape into her world of
Wonderland’s initial impression on
Alice is romantic; however the
nonsense quickly changes to
Alice attempts to awaken herself to
escape the world. The exodus from
wonderland is a creation of Disney.
Disney’s Americanization of Alice
Received harsh criticism from literary
critics. Especially those of British origin.
Carroll’s story was told to a child, then
reconstructed for a large audience.
Disney refocused the story for a family
The film animates themes often debated:
– Hallucinogenic drug use (The Caterpillar)
– The “trippy” art style makes Disney’s film
an often debated drug Film.
– Alice as a “Lolita” figure.
Vlasimir Nabokov, Sir Thomas Dodgson
author of 1955’s Lolita. (Lewis Carroll)
Safe from Scrutiny
As such a significant work of English
literature, Alice is protected from
Rather than be explored in a sexual
manner, any sexual reference is
typically pointed to similar works.
– Alice’s growth and shrinking are not
perceived to be sexual metaphors,
and typically related to the similar
experiences of Gulliver.
However, the public has still taken
Safe for children?
think of the
The late sixties and early seventies will change how
people think about cartoons again.
Alice is one of the most infamous tales for changing from
children’s tale to adult entertainment.
Controversy inevitably ensues, as Alice changes forms
many times over.
Jan Svankmajer’s Alice
“This is a story for children,
Alice narrates herself.
A more depressed, helpless
Alice awakens and decides to
Svankmajer conjoins a surreal,
dark world with wonderland. In
this way, his wonderland is
more like the real world.
Animation as a Link
Original text included illustrations by political cartoonist John Tenniel.
Disney’s adaptation is fully animated in color.
Alice utilizes puppets and stop motion to animate wonderland.
Why does Alice demand so much praise?
Alice, just like the female protagonists before
her, is a powerful young female.
– “For many, Alice is the epitome of the brave
Victorian innocent in a confusing magical land.”
Carroll’s tale dissects bourgeois society in similar
satirical style to Gulliver’s Travels (Switft) and
Being surrounded by controversy and praise
simultaneously fueled the success of Carroll’s
The fast paced, nonsense world was a realistic
symbol to many of the rising second industrial
revolution sweeping Europe.
Impact of Alice
Lewis Carroll’s characters and themes will be built on in the
traditions of fairy tales in the past.
America Mcgee’s Will Neo go through
darker, older Alice. the looking glass?
Impact of Alice cont…
The Mad Hatter is a formidable enemy of DC comics Batman!
David Wayne as The Mad A more homicidal image
Hatter on TV’s Batman! from the comics.
Impact of Alice cont…
> > > ...?!
The verbal expressions in Alice that have reached into the English
language are surpassed only by the Bible and Shakespeare.
– “Mad” like a hatter.
– Playing with the queen of hearts.
– Through the looking glass.
Who is Alice? What is Wonderland?
In Carroll’s work, Alice is a Carroll’s Wonderland is
youth that question’s social composed satire of the adult
standards. The nonsense world.
expands her thoughts. – Serves to identify adulthood,
Nearly one hundred years and the purpose of youth.
later, Disney’s Alice realized Disney’s Wonderland is a
the nonsense is something cartoon fantasy.
to avoid. – Comparison of nonsense to
When Svankmajer’s Alice is madness.
forced to deal with this The Wonderland in Alice is an
world, she concludes that amalgamation of things.
she must take charge. – Adulthood, illusion (drug
A young hero, maturing in induced?), death.
different ways. In all cases, Wonderland is in
sharp contrast to youth.
Alice (Neco z Alenky). By Jan Svankmajer. Dir Jan Svankmajer. Channel Four Films. 1988.
Alice in Wonderland. By Ted Sears, Winston Hibler, et al. Dir. Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson and
Hamilton Luske. Walt Disney Productions. 1951.
The Internet Movie Database. 1990-2008. March 2008 www.imdb.com.
http://movies.ign.com/articles/036/036660p1.html Brian Linder
Carroll, Lewis., and Martin Gardner, ed. The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition. New York: W. W.
Norton & Company; Upd Sub edition, 1999.
---. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. New York: Barnes and Noble
Rutledge, Amelia, et al. And Jack Zipes, ed. The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales. New York: Oxford
University Press, 2000.