Dormouse (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)

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Dormouse
Alice character
MadlHatterByTenniel.svg
The Hatter with the Dormouse asleep on the left. Illustration by John Tenniel.
First appearance Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Created by Lewis Carroll
Information
Species Dormouse
Gender Male
Significant other(s) The Hatter/March Hare
Nationality Wonderland

The Dormouse is a character in "A Mad Tea-Party", Chapter VII [1] from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

History[edit]

The Dormouse sat between the March Hare and the Hatter. They were using him, while he slept, as a cushion when Alice arrives at the start of the chapter.

The Dormouse is always falling asleep during the scene, waking up every so often, for example to say:

`You might just as well say,' added the Dormouse, who seemed to be talking in his sleep, `that "I breathe when I sleep" is the same thing as "I sleep when I breathe"!'

He also tells a story about three young girls who live in a treacle well, live on treacle, and draw pictures of things beginning with M, including mousetraps, memory and muchness.

The March Hare and the Hatter put the Dormouse's head in a teapot. Illustration by John Tenniel.

Eventually the Hatter and the March Hare put his head in a teapot. He later appears, equally sleepy, at the Knave of Hearts' trial and voices resentment at Alice for growing, and his last interaction with any character is his being "suppressed" (amongst other things) by the Queen for shouting out that tarts are made of treacle.

Disney version[edit]

Dormouse
Disney character
First appearance Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Created by Lewis Carroll
Portrayed by Jimmy MacDonald
Information
Species Dormouse
Gender Male
Nationality Wonderland

The character also appears in Disney's Alice in Wonderland. Like in the book, he is sleepy and lazy, but unlike in the book, he sings Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bat instead of his story about mouse sisters to entertain the tea-party participants. He panics at the mention of the word "cat", much like The Mouse from the book and needs to have jam spread on his nose in order to calm down. The Disney version of the character also appears in Bonkers, House of Mouse and Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse.

Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland version[edit]

Mallymkun, The Dormouse
Alice/Disney character
First appearance Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Created by Lewis Carroll & Tim Burton
Voiced by Barbara Windsor
Information
Nickname(s) Mally
Species Dormouse
Gender Female
Occupation Swordswoman
Nationality Wonderland

In Tim Burton's 2010 Alice in Wonderland film, the Dormouse is named Mallymkun. Unlike the sleepy character in the book, this Dormouse is an action-oriented swordsman similar to the character Reepicheep from The Chronicles of Narnia. She is voiced by Barbara Windsor.[2] She is seen the first time with the group Alice first meets in Wonderland, and saving Alice from the Bandersnatch by plucking out its eye. She is seen a second time at the March Hare's tea party having tea with the March Hare and the Hatter. She is seen a third time rescuing the Hatter from the Red Queen. She is seen a fourth time at the end, fighting the Red Queen's forces.[3]

In other media[edit]

  • The Dormouse makes an appearance in American McGee's Alice, where he and the March Hare are held captive as the Mad Hatter's experiments. He is tied to a dissection table and continues to fall asleep from the Hatter's medicines. The Dormouse also appears in the 2011 game Alice: Madness Returns, where he captures a part of the Mad Hatter as revenge for the events in American McGee's.
  • The Dormouse appears again in Alice: Madness Returns. This time, it is the Hatter who is the victim of the March Hare and the Dormouse.
  • In the SyFy TV Miniseries Alice, the Dormouse is a sidekick of the Hatter.
  • Mallymkun appears in the video game adaption of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland as a playable character.
  • The Dormouse appears as a member of the Mad T Party band at Disneyland's California Adventure Park. In the Mad T Party he is interpreted as a boy rather than Mallymkun who he is based on. He plays lead guitar and often scurries around with the March Hare on stage.[4]

Cultural references[edit]

The Dormouse is referenced in popular culture by two American rock bands: Firstly by Jefferson Airplane in the song "White Rabbit", in which the last line of the song, repeated twice and building through a crescendo is "Remember what the dormouse said: feed your head, feed your head". From this lyric, John Markoff derived the title of his 2005 book, What the Dormouse Said: How the 60s Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry.[5] Secondly by the progressive metal band Queensrÿche in the song "Right Side of My Mind": "Re-engineer your head is really what the dormouse said".

References[edit]

  1. ^ Carroll ,Lewis "Chapter VII — A Mad Tea-Party" in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. classicallibrary.org
  2. ^ Boucher, Geoff (February 14, 2010). "Tim Burton says Alice has "a national treasure" in Barbara Windsor". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). Archived from the original on November 15, 2010. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Alice in Wonderland – Glossary of Terms/Script (early draft)" (PDF). Walt Disney Pictures. JoBlo.com. Archived from the original on November 15, 2010. Retrieved March 30, 2010.  early draft of the film script, first started February 2007
  4. ^ http://disneyland.disney.go.com/disneys-california-adventure/mad-t-party/
  5. ^ Markoff, John (2005). What the Dormouse Said. New York: Viking. p. vii.