It's time to follow the White Rabbit and go back down the rabbit hole as we venture back to the place, like no place on earth - Wonderland. From the books to the movies, the world of Alice has expanded to be loved by Adults and children alike. For a century and a half Alice's adventures have delighted and puzzled us with the bizarre series of events that unfold within the story and, as you can probably tell I'm a huge fan of the tale!
And, what better way to celebrate the release of Alice Through The Looking Glass than some fact-filled trivia? Unfortunately, there won't be a caucus race on the adventure back to the story, but you may find out some facts that you (maybe) never knew before!
16. Did you know that the real Alice was the daughter of the author's boss?
You may have heard that Alice was based on a real girl called Alice Liddell and this is the story of how the child met author Lewis Carroll.
The author became friends with the family as he was teaching mathematics at Christ Church College, Oxford and lived on campus. Alice's dad happened to be the Dean of the college and this is how the author came to befriend the family. Here is a photo of little Alice Liddell and Carroll.
15. You may think that Disney created the first Alice in Wonderland movie, but the first edition of the book as a movie was in 1903
At the time it was the longest film produced in Britain at 12 minutes long, check it out below.
14. The voice of Alice and Wendy Darling in Peter Pan were voiced by the same actress, Kathryn Beaumont
13. Some of the Mad Hatter's words are ad-libbed in the 1951 Disney movie
Walt Disney was listening nearby in a soundbooth and saw the recording tape was still rolling. Actor Ed Wynn ad-libbed the speech where the Mad Hatter tries to "fix" the White Rabbit's watch. ("Muthtard? Leth not be thilly!") Walt suggested that they use it in the movie, the sound men objected because of the background noises. Disney simply smiled and told them "That's *your* problem," then left the room. With a LOT of labor the sound technicians managed to erase the background noise so that Walt's wishes were met.
12. Doorknob is the only character in the movie that did not appear in Lewis Carroll's books
Can you imagine the movie without the talking doorknob scene? I sure can't.
11. The 1951 version of Alice influenced Tim Burton's release of the movie!
Pay close attention to the Walrus and the Carpenter sequence. You will see that the dates in the calendar are the same as they would be in March 2010. This was when Disney released Alice in Wonderland (2010) directed by Tim Burton.
10. The story of Alice originated from a boat trip
It was on the 4 July 1862, as noted in Carroll's diary, that he was on a boat with his friend reverend Canon Duckworth (what a name!) along with Alice and her siblings, Lorina and Edith Liddell. Alice pleaded with Carroll for a story “with lots of nonsense in it.” This was where the pages began to write themselves as the author pieced together a story in front of the siblings inquisitive eyes. The author also spun a poem from their adventure titled ''All in the golden afternoon" which appears in the book.
9. You may know this already but in case you don't -Lewis Carroll was just the authors pen name, his real name was Charles Dodgson
Here is a portrait of the man behind the story!
8. Tim Burton's version of Mad Hatter was a real life mood ring
Have you noticed that when Hatter's personality flitters, not only does his voice become deeper but the make-up around his eyes changes as the color of his eyes become darker? Johnny Depp himself designed the mood colors for Hatter, if you look closely you can see that the Johnny's contact lenses are slightly different colors..
7. Lewis Carroll himself originally illustrated "Wonderland" himself, but decided to use a professional artist instead for the publication of the story
John Tenniel was the professional illustrator who was enlisted to illustrate the story. This artist drew an incredible total of ninety-two drawings for the adventure, illustrating both Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. Here is one of my favorite illustrations by the artist where we can see Alice peering up at Caterpillar.
6. Lewis Carroll suffered from a neurological disorder which caused objects to appear bigger and smaller sometimes giving him wild hallucinations. This disease was later named after the author - Alice in Wonderland Syndrome
5. Tim Burton gave new names to the famous Eat Me, Drink Me treats which Alice finds
The potion Alice drinks to shrink is called Pishsolver. The cake she nibbles to grow is called Upelkuchen. Just like Carroll's books they are nonsensical words.
4. It took three hours to do Helena Bonham Carter's fiery Red Queen makeup
After the actresses had been transformed into the unpredictable Red Queen, the special effects team enlarged Bonham Carter’s head in post production creating the final look. Another fun fact is if you look at the Red Queen's shoes when the pampered royal places her feet on the pig-turned footrest, you can see red hearts on the soles of her shoes. This fine attention to detail was added by on-set Costume designer Colleen Atwood.
3. The 1951 version of the movie contains more songs and characters than any other Disney animated film
Can you imagine Alice without all the iconic songs, Wonderland would feel so different!
2. Despite the books being inspired by Alice and written for her, the family broke contact with the author
The book came out in 1865, surprisingly by this time the Liddells and the author were no longer acquainted. In June 1863 the family suddenly cut ties with Carroll. There is huge mystery surrounding this break, some believe it was due to Caroll's infatuation with young Alice.
One rumored suggestion for the break is that Alice's Mom didn't approve of the author's friendship with her 11-year-old daughter. Carroll kept a diary and the days between 27–29 June 1863 were mysteriously torn out so it seems like we may never know.
1. Alice and her sisters names are included in the story during the Mad Hatters Tea Party?
Dormouse recites in the book.
Once upon a time there were three little sisters, and their names were Elsie, Lacie, and Tillie; and they lived at the bottom of a well ...
The eldest of the Liddell sisters was Lorina Charlotte, initials L C, Alice the middle anagram, and Edith the youngest was affectionately known to her sisters as Tillie.
How many of this fun Alice trivia did you know?
Sources: The Story of Alice