Alice (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)

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Alice par John Tenniel 04.png
Alice in one of John Tenniel's illustrations for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
First appearance Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Last appearance Through the Looking-Glass
Created by Lewis Carroll
Gender Female

Alice is a fictional character, the young protagonist of Lewis Carroll's children's novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and its sequel, Through the Looking-Glass (1871).


One of Carroll's drawings of Alice from Alice's Adventures Under Ground (1864)

Alice debuted in Lewis Carroll's first version of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Alice's Adventures Under Ground (1864).[1] According to Carroll, Under Ground originated from stories told to the Liddell sisters during an afternoon on 4 July 1862.[1] As Carroll's drawing of Alice bears little physical resemblance to Alice Liddell, whose given name she shares, biographer Anne Clark has suggested that Alice's younger sister, Edith, might have been Carroll's model.[2] Carroll portrays his protagonist as wearing a tunic, in contrast to the "fitted children's dresses with soft trim" that the Liddell sisters might have worn.[3] According to Jeffery Stern, Carroll's illustrations drew influence from the Pre-Raphaelite painters Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882) and Arthur Hughes (1832-1915), whose painting Girl with the Liliacs (1863) he possessed and visually alluded to in one drawing in Under Ground.[4] In the text of the two Alice books, Carroll often did not remark on the physical appearance of his protagonist, offering only "very few details".[5]

The Frog and Queen Alice, as they appear in Tenniel's illustrations for Through the Looking-Glass (1871).

In his illustrations for Alice Adventures in Wonderland (1865), John Tenniel (1820-1914) took a drastic departure from Carroll's original illustrations.[6] His depiction of Alice has its origins in a physically similar character he drew in at least eight cartoons for the satirical magazine Punch, during a four-year period that began in 1860.[7] In an 1860 cartoon, this character wore "the full skirt, pale stockings, flat shoes, and a hairband over her loose hair."[7] The character served as "one of Tenniel's prototypical representations of a nice middle-class girl," according to scholar Will Brooker.[8] Alice's clothes are typical of what a girl belonging to the middle class in the mid-Victorian era might have worn at home.[7] Tenniel changed Alice's clothing slightly in the sequel Through the Looking-Glass (1871), where she wears horizonal-striped stockings instead of plain ones and has a more ornate pinafore with a bow.[7] Her clothing as a queen and in the railway carriage is a " 'polonaise' dress" with a bustle, which would have been fashionable at the time.[7] The clothing worn by the characters in "My First Sermon" (1863) by Pre-Raphaelite painter John Millais and "The Travelling Companions" (1862) by Victorian painter Augustus Leopold Egg have some elements in common with Alice's clothing in the railway carriage.[9] Carroll felt that Tenniel's depiction of Alice lacked proper proportions, with her "head decidedly too large and feet decidedly too small", as a result of Tenniel's refusal to use a model.[10]

According to Carroll, he did not base Alice on any real child, but was entirely fictional.[11] In Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, which takes place on 4 May—the birthday of Alice Liddell[12]—the character has been suggested to be seven years old by scholar Martin Gardner, although Carroll does not give the year which the story takes place;[12] Alice gives her age as seven and a half in the sequel, which takes place on 4 November.[12] When writing on her personality in "Alice on the Stage" (April 1887), Carroll described her as "loving and gentle," "courteous to all," "trustful," and "wildly curious, and with the eager enjoyment of Life that comes only in the happy hours of childhood, when all is new and fair, and when Sin and Sorrow are but names — empty words signifying nothing!"[13]

Character outline[edit]

Alice is popularly depicted wearing a pale blue knee-length dress with a white pinafore over-top, although the dress originally was yellow in The Nursery "Alice", the first colored version of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. In the illustrations for Through the Looking-Glass her hair is held back with a wide ribbon, and in honor of Alice, such hair bows are sometimes called Alice bands, particularly in the UK.[14]

As Alice was first drawn in black and white, her colors would vary from artist to artist; however, in the early colored works by John Tenniel, her dress was blue, her white pinafore outlined in red, and she was blonde.[15] This look has, perhaps, become the classic and most widely recognized Alice in Wonderland dress in later works, notably Disney's. Tenniel drew Alice in two variants: For Through the Looking-Glass, her pinafore is more ruffled and she is shown in striped stockings, an image which has remained in much of the later art.


Biographer Morton N. Cohen suggested that although Alice was physically modelled after Alice Liddell, Carroll drew Alice's characteristics from himself.[16] Alice's journey through Wonderland is a "double-layered metaphor" of the problems faced by children in Victorian society and Carroll's negative childhood experiences.[17]


One of Rackham's illustrations, in which Alice encounters the Caterpillar (1907)

The expiration of the copyright of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in 1907 resulted in eight new printings, among them one illustrated by Arthur Rackham (1867-1939).[18] His Alice was modelled after Doris Dormett.[18] His art-nouveau illustrations sparked controversy among reviewers as to whether they were a better or worse interpretation of Carroll's work.[18] Other notable illustrators include Peter Newell (1901), who used monochrome; Mabel Lucie Atwell (1910); Harry Furniss (1926); and Willy Pogany (1929), who featured an art deco style.[19]

Notable illustrators from the 1930s onwards include Edgar Thurstan (1931), and his visual allusions to the Wall Street Crash of 1929; D.R. Sexton (1933) and J. Morton Sale (1933), both of whom featured an older Alice; Mervyn Peake; Ralph Steadman (1967), for which he received the Francis Williams Memorial award in 1972; and Peter Blake with his watercolors (1970).[20] By 1972, there were ninety illustrators of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and twenty-one of Through the Looking-Glass.[21] Among the notable illustrators of Alice in the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s are Barry Moser (1982); Greg Hildebrandt (1990); David Frankland (1996); Lisbeth Zwerger (1999), who used watercolors in her adaptation; Helen Oxenbury (1999), who won two awards, the Kurt Maschler Award in 1999 and the Kate Greenaway Medal in 2000, for her work; and DeLoss McGraw (2001), who used an "abstract style".[22]


Directed and produced by Cecil Hepworth, the first film adaptation of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland debuted in Great Britain in 1903 as a silent film and in January 1904 in the United States.[23] Because of its nature as a silent film, "it circulated freely throughout Europe and America."[23] It starred May Clark as Alice and Hepworth's wife as the Queen of Hearts.[23] The British Film Institute has restored fourteen of the original sixteen scenes.[23] Two more silent film adaptations of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland were produced: one in 1910 starring Gladys Hulette, and another in 1915 with Viola Savory as Alice.[24] Ruth Gilbert starred as Alice in the first Alice film with sound (1931), followed by Charlotte Henry (1933), Carol Marsh (1948), Anne-Marie Malik (1966) and Fiona Fullerton (1972).[24] Alice In Wonderland was also later Produced by Joe Roth who wanted to recreate a modern Alice In Wonderland. It was directed by Tim Burton. This version was based on Through the Looking Glass therefore Alice returning to Wonderland at the age of 19.

Disney film[edit]

Alice in wonderland 1951.jpg
Created by Lewis Carroll
Voiced by Kathryn Beaumont (1951-2005)
Hynden Walch (2005-present)

Alice is the main character of Disney's animated film Alice in Wonderland. Alice is portrayed as being very curious. She is often seen daydreaming and gives herself advice instead of listening to the advice of others. The closest thing Alice has to a friend is Dinah, her kitten, and not even she understands Alice's dreams of finding "a world of her own." Alice is well mannered, polite, courteous, mature and has an elegance and gentleness of a young woman, although once she falls into Wonderland she finds it harder and harder to maintain her composure. She is shown to be determined, but her determination is often overpowered by her temper, seeing as she does not give up on finding the White Rabbit until she gets frustrated, and is easily put off by rudeness. She wears a blue balloon-like gown with a white pinafore apron over-top, white stockings, black Mary Jane shoes, white bloomers over her underskirt, and a black headband.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland had served as inspiration for Walt Disney's earlier Alice Comedies.[25] By 1931, he had "storyboards and sketches" for a film adaptation of the children's novel; however, the release of another Alice film during the same year caused him to put the project on hold.[25] With the conclusion of World War II, Disney considered the film again, planning it to be a combination of live-action and animation starring Ginger Rogers as Alice.[25] In 1946, however, Disney decided to drop the live-action aspect of his Alice film and make it completely animated instead.[25] For the voice of Alice, he wanted one "that would be English enough to satisfy British audiences and preserve the feeling of an English literary classic, but not so English that it would put off American audiences."[25] He found that in young actress Kathryn Beaumont, when watching her in On an Island with You.[25] Successfully auditioning for the role of Alice, Beaumont voiced the character and acted as reference material for the animators: her acting was recorded and used by them to animate the character.[25] During the recording of her voice acting, Beaumont dressed as Alice to better aid her with "getting into character".[25] Despite not being trained as a singer, she also provided Alice's singing voice, as Disney envisioned the songs as possessing a "childlike feel" to them.[25]

She also appears in many episodes of Disney's House of Mouse and in the direct-to-video releases Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse and Mickey's House of Villains. She is now voiced by Hynden Walch.[26] Alice can be seen as a meetable character in the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Alice can also be considered an unofficial Disney Princess, seeing as she appears in many instances of Disney Princess art, videos and other media (such as being a 'Princess of Heart' in Kingdom Hearts). In the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Alice is mentioned as "Allyson Wonderland" on some graffiti written on the bathroom wall in Toontown.

Disney Princess[edit]

Alice has appeared in official Disney Princess art, and is included in the Disney Princess music video "It's Not Just Make Believe" and "The Perfect Princess Tea" with the then eight official princesses, though she still remains excluded from the official lineup (see Disney Princess). It's also interesting to point out that despite not being recognized as an official Disney Princess, Alice was crowned Queen of the Looking-Glass Kingdom in Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There."

Kingdom Hearts series[edit]

Alice (アリス Arisu?) is featured as a character in the video game series Kingdom Hearts. She is the second Princess of Heart encountered in the game and her world, Wonderland, is also the second Disney-based world visited. Alice also appears in the sequel, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, as a figment of the memories of Sora, the game's protagonist. She is also present in Kingdom Hearts coded, as a data-based version from Jiminy's Journal. Though she does not make an appearance in Kingdom Hearts II, she, along with all of the other Princesses of Heart, was referenced. In the Japanese version of Kingdom Hearts, she was voiced by Mika Doi. She might have her next appearance in Kingdom Hearts III again along with her voice portrayed by Hynden Walch.

Tim Burton film[edit]

Alice Mollinia Kingsleigh (Mia Wasikowska) is a 19-year-old young girl "who doesn't quite fit into Victorian society and structure."[27][28] Her return to Wonderland- having previously visited it as a child, although she has since forgotten it as anything other than a dream, and now required to return to defeat the Jabberwocky- "becomes a rite of passage as she discovers her voice and herself."[27][29] Screenwriter Linda Woolverton researched how young women were expected to behave in the Victorian era and then made Alice the opposite.[30] Independent columnist Liz Hoggard praised Alice as a role model for girls, describing the character as "stubborn, brave, [and] non-girlie."[30][31] Alice is portrayed in the movie as a pretty young girl with a calm, serene disposition and a soothing voice tone. Alice changes size throughout the story, ranging from a height of six inches to two feet to eight-and-a-half feet, to a maximum of 20 feet (6.1 m) tall.[32] Mairi Ella Challen portrays Alice as a six-year-old.[33]

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland[edit]

Alice is the central character in the 2013 fantasy series Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (a spin-off to Once Upon a Time) portrayed by Sophie Lowe. The story is set in Victorian England and takes place after Alice has returned from Wonderland. Due to the stories she tells about the hookah-smoking caterpillar and Cyrus, played by Peter Gadiot, the genie she fell in love with and believed to be dead, she is declared insane and placed in London’s Bethlem Asylum. The doctors decide that the best treatment for Alice is a procedure that will make her forget Wonderland and all of the events that happened there. Alice, wanting to forget her painful past, agrees to the procedure. The night before the procedure, the White Rabbit, voiced by John Lithgow, and the Knave of Hearts, played by Michael Socha arrive in the asylum and tell Alice that Cyrus is not dead but may be in danger. Hearing this, Alice agrees to go back to Wonderland and help find her true love. It is later revealed that Cyrus is being held prisoner by Jafar (played by Naveen Andrews) who wants to use Cyrus’ magic to take over Wonderland and who is also working with the evil Red Queen (played by Emma Rigby). Throughout the series, Alice and the Knave of Hearts work together to try and rescue Cyrus and stop the Red Queen and Jafar from wrecking more havoc in Wonderland.[34]

Appearances in other media[edit]

Besides the books and the Disney film, Alice has appeared in many other works. In 1987 film The Care Bears Adventure in Wonderland, she is a young and shy blonde girl with an apparent self-esteem problem, as she thinks that she is not "special," until the Care Bears decide she is the girl who more closely resembles the missing Princess of Wonderland, so Alice takes the place of the Princess and ultimately learns to believe in herself. In this film, Alice is shown wearing casual clothing (a white shirt with a pink stripe, purple pants, blue jacket and pink shoes) and having a ponytail in her hair.

She appears in Atlus' 1987 video game series Megami Tensei as a mini-boss and a usable demon, on whose role differs from each version. However, as most demons in Shin Megami Tensei come from mythology and folklore, it is theorized that Alice is actually based on a Scandinavian legend of a girl who died and kills bad children so that they can be friends in death, used to scare unruly children into behaving ("if you don't behave, Alice will come and take you away").[citation needed]

The Czech surrealist Jan Švankmajer retold the story in a very dark 1988 film titled simply Alice. Kristýna Kohoutová portrayed her and her English dub was done by Camilla Power. Woody Allen's film Alice, while not a direct adaptation, did follow a woman who has a series of surreal adventures.

Alice also appears as an aging woman in Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie's 1991 pornographic graphic novel Lost Girls. Here she is given the surname "Fairchild."

Alice has appeared in two manga by CLAMP: Miyuki-chan in Wonderland (1993) [35] and Key Princess Story: Eternal Alice Rondo[36]

In the 2000 PC game American McGee's Alice, Alice is portrayed as an older, dark-brown haired girl with emerald green eyes. In the game, Alice is a tortured young woman, who at a young age was orphaned when her parents and her sister were burned alive in an accidental fire caused by her cat Dinah. Afterward, she falls into a catatonic state, and is condemned to Rutledge's Asylum for treatment. There she remains for many years, faced with her own survivor's guilt and the mistreatment of patients in the mental hospitals of the time. Then, the White Rabbit arrives in her cell and tells her she must return to Wonderland and save the creatures there from the tyrannical Queen of Hearts. By doing so, she not only saves Wonderland, but her own sanity.

In the 2011 sequel, Alice: Madness Returns, Alice is again tormented by hallucinations of a corrupted Wonderland, being destroyed by the mysterious Infernal Train and increasingly blending with reality. Throughout the game, she battles the mysterious Ruin, a mark of the Train's influence on Alice's mind, while struggling to piece together her repressed memories of the fire that killed her parents and sister. The second game gives her last name as "Liddell," which is the last name of the little girl rumored to have inspired Alice. American McGee's Alice has Susie Brann voicing the titular character.

In the 2003 video game Alice in the Country of Hearts.[37] which got a manga adaptation.[38]

In Frank Beddor's 2004 novel, The Looking Glass Wars, an adaptation of the Alice books, Alice is re-imagined as Alyss Heart, the rightful heir to the throne of Wonderland and a warrior princess with magical powers of her own. The preface of the story is that Alyss fled to Earth where she met Lewis Carroll and told him her story. He turned it into a nonsensical fairytale in which he even misspelled her name.

Alice appears as a college-attending teenager alongside Wendy Darling, Dorothy Gale, and Susan Pevensie in Chicago of 2005 and 2006, in the comic book series The Oz/Wonderland Chronicles.

In the 2009 miniseries Alice, Alice (Caterina Scorsone) is a 20-year-old judo instructor. A man named Jack Chase gives her the Stone of Wonderland before being kidnapped by the White Rabbit. Alice follows Jack to Wonderland, set 150 years after the original adventure, where the Red Queen rules the land.

In the 2011 Anime Black Butler season 2, the main character is read Alice in Wonderland by his butler while in a coma. As a result, Ciel dreampt that he was Alice.

In Ouran High School Host Club the heroine, Haruhi, falls asleep and finds herself in an adapted version of Wonderland.

In the Tokyo Disneyland DreamLights version of the Main Street Electrical Parade, Alice is voiced by Kat Cressida.

Alice appears in the Mad T Party at Disney's California Adventure park. She is portrayed after Tim Burton's version of Alice. She is often found onstage doing vocals in the Mad T Party band alongside the Mad Hatter.

Alice is a rebellious teenager in Raul Alberto Contreras newly adapted dark humored, modern version called "Alice's Bloody Adventures in Wonderland."


  1. ^ a b Jones & Gladstone 1998, p. 10.
  2. ^ Clark 1979, p. 131.
  3. ^ Jones & Gladstone 1998, p. 74.
  4. ^ Stern, Jeffery (1976). "Lewis Carroll the Pre-Raphaelite: 'Fainting in Coils'". In Guilano, Edward. Lewis Carroll Observed. New York: Clarkson N. Potter, Inc. pp. 168–175. ISBN 0-517-52497-X. 
  5. ^ Brooker 2004, p. 106.
  6. ^ Janes & Gladstone 1998, p. 74.
  7. ^ a b c d e Jones & Gladstone 1998, p. 75.
  8. ^ Brooker 2004, p. 112.
  9. ^ Brooker 2004, p. 113.
  10. ^ Clark 1979, p. 135.
  11. ^ Cohen, Morton N., ed. (1979). The Letters of Lewis Carroll. London: Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-08979-0. 
  12. ^ a b c Jones & Gladstone 1998, p. 7.
  13. ^ Gardner, Martin; Lewis Carroll (1998). The Annotated Alice. Random House. pp. 25–6. ISBN 978-0-517-18920-7. 
  14. ^ Chambers 21st Century Dictionary Allied Publishers ISBN 978-0550106254
  15. ^ John Tenniel illustration for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865)
  16. ^ Cohen 195
  17. ^ Cohen 138—9
  18. ^ a b c Guilano, Edward, ed. (1976). "Arthur Rackham's Wonderland". Lewis Carroll Observed. New York: Clarkson N. Potter, Inc. pp. 31–36. ISBN 0-517-52497-X. 
  19. ^ Brooker 2004, p. 107.
  20. ^ Brooker 2004, p. 108-110.
  21. ^ Jones & Gladstone 1998, p. 126-130.
  22. ^ Brooker 2004, p. 111.
  23. ^ a b c d Schaefer, David H. (1976). "The Film Collecter's Alice: An Essay and Checklist". In Guilano, Edward. Lewis Carroll Observed. New York: Clarkson N. Potter, Inc. pp. 197–204. ISBN 0-517-52497-X. 
  24. ^ a b Gardner, Martin, ed. (2006). "Alice on the Screen". The Annotated Alice. pp. 309–11. 
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h i Williams, Pat; Denney, James (2004). How to Be Like Walt: Capturing the Disney Magic Every Day of Your Life. Deerfield Beach, Florida: Health Communications. pp. 162–4. ISBN 978-0-757302312. OCLC 55109141. 
  26. ^ All About Hynden! Retrieved 29 January 2013
  27. ^ a b Salisbury, Mark (10 March 2009). "Through Tim Burton's Looking Glass". Disney 23. 
  28. ^ Salisbury, Mark (15 February 2010). "Tim Burton and Johnny Depp interview for Alice In Wonderland". The Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 15 February 2010. 
  29. ^ Morrison, Jonathan (20 January 2010). "Exclusive: sneak peek at Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland". The Times (News Corporation). Retrieved 20 January 2010. 
  30. ^ a b Rohter, Larry (26 February 2010). "Drinking Blood: New Wonders of Alice’s World". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 4 March 2010. Retrieved 26 February 2010. 
  31. ^ Hoggard, Liz (25 February 2010). "Liz Hoggard: Revenge of the life-savvy over-40s: Burton's Alice – a role model for girls of 2010". The Independent. Archived from the original on 27 February 2010. Retrieved 27 February 2010. 
  32. ^ "Walt Disney's ALICE IN WONDERLAND Fun Facts". Yahoo! Finance (Yahoo!). 4 February 2010. Retrieved 5 February 2010. [dead link]
  33. ^ Taylor, Dave (5 March 2010). "Review: "Alice in Wonderland"". Dave on Film. Archived from the original on 15 November 2010. Retrieved 26 March 2010. 
  34. ^ "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland". ABC Television Network. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  35. ^ MacDonald, Christopher (9 April 2002). "Miyuki-chan In Wonderland DVD". Anime News Network. Retrieved 21 October 2011.  Query Wayback Bibalex Wayback WebCite Wikiwix
  36. ^ Alexander, Matthew (11 May 2007). "Key Princess Story: Eternal Alice Rondo Vol. #01". Mania. Retrieved 21 October 2011.  Query Wayback Bibalex Wayback WebCite Wikiwix
  37. ^ Davisson, Zach. "Alice in the Country Hearts v1 Review". Mangalife. Retrieved 14 May 2010. [dead link]
  38. ^ Davidson, Danica. "Alice in the Country of Hearts, Vol. 1-2". Graphic Novel Reporter. Retrieved 21 October 2011.  Query Wayback Bibalex Wayback WebCite Wikiwix


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