ByDania Lerman, writer at
Dania Lerman

This week was Lewis Carroll's birthday. In honor of the beloved and kooky author who brought us the beloved and kooky Alice in Wonderland, here are 17 weird facts concerning everything Lewis Carroll and the sensational legacy of his Wonderland. Enjoy!

1) Staying true to Carroll's funky text, the original Mad Hatter was drawn to resemble the eccentric Ed Wynn, who also provided his voice.

Um...real life Mad Hatter? Childhood self is totally freaking out right now...

2) Lewis Carroll's real name is Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.

Fact: Lewis Carroll writes books; Charles Dodgson cleans coffee mugs (or whatever that is).

3) Tim Burton based the White Queen on TV cook and cookbook author Nigella Lawson.

"She's really beautiful and she does all this cooking, but then there's this glint in her eye and when you see it you go, 'Oh, whoa, she's like really ... nuts.' I mean in a good way. Well, maybe. I don't know." -Burton

4) In the original Disney adaptation, the doorknob is the only character not from the book.

Apparently someone thought the Wonderland lacked bizarre fantastical characters...

5) Early drafts of the '51 script included the Jabberwock from Carroll's poem "Jabberwocky". The sequence was rejected due to concerns it would be too frightening.

On behalf of my happy and carefree childhood, I want to thank Disney for replacing a giant scary beast with a talking doorknob. Seriously.

6) Not one to shy away from scaring children, Tim Burton did incorporate the Jabberwocky.

He even insisted that Christopher Lee use his original voice, over one more in line with Carroll's poem, because he found it more intimidating...Oh Timothy...

7) Beyond being an author, Carrol was also a mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon and photographer.

Einstein who? Lewis Carrol is officially the ultimate creative (/crazy?) genius.

8) When Alice gets stuck in the White Rabbit's house, a hidden Mickey Mouse flickers in the flame of the DoDo bird's pipe.

I'm legitimately intimidated by whoever spotted this with super human eyesight.

9) Johnny Depp admitted he found filming on a green screen "exhausting", and felt "befuddled by the end of the day".

I mean...some say to survive it, you need to be as mad as a hatter...DUH!!

10) A particularly severe migraine condition was called "Alice in Wonderland Syndrome", for its tendency to drastically alter the patient's perception of size.

Note: There is no known correlation between those who suffer from the syndrome and those who enjoy LSD.

11) Lewis Carroll wrote the riddle "Why is a raven like a writing desk?" as nonsense - it has no answer. For ages, this has not stopped people from repeatedly trying to find one.

Particularly popular theories are "Because Edgar Allan Poe wrote on both" and "Because the notes for which they are noted are not noted for being musical notes".

12) After landing the role, Depp watched the 80s Scottish comedy show Rab C. Nesbitt to perfect his character's Glaswegian voice.

Personally, I think Depp should have borrowed Rab's outfit along with the accent. Just saying.

13) In the Walrus and Carpenter sequence, the dates on the calendar are those on which Tim Burton's version was released, 59 years later.

Beyond the writing, mathematics, philosophy and photography, Lewis Carroll was apparently an accomplished Clairvoyant, as well.

14) As a child, Carrol suffered from several health defects whose effects lasted the rest of his life... a fever that left him deaf in one ear, a whooping cough that caused a chronically weak chest, and a stammer that never ceased to plague his social life.

15) Casting auditions for 250 extras were held in the British city of Plymouth in August 2008, where they required that people have a 'Victorian look' with no visible tattoos, piercings or dyed hair.

On a scale of 1 to 10, are you starting to feel weird about Alice in Wonderland? Cuz I'm 11 right now.

16) Carrol's famous stammer has actually kind of become an urban legend and no one knows how bad it really was.

Some say he stammered in adult company but never with children. At the same time, many children say they remembered the stammer while adults say they failed to notice it.

17) Ultimately Carroll used his awkwardness to shape the quirky Alice in Wonderland we all know and love... Dodo, who always stumbles to pronounce his last name.

Happy Birthday Lewis Carroll! May your bizarre and beloved legacy live on!


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