Five questions we still have for “Alice in Wonderland”

Since its release in 1951, Alice in Wonderland has gone down in Disney history in a really unique way. In my opinion, it’s not really considered one of the Walt Disney Animation Studios “masterpieces” the way films like Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and Frozen are, but it has gained a cult-classic following that has ensured it is one of Disney’s most recognizable and well-loved animated films.

And for good reason. Though it was not the first (or last, obviously) adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice novels, it was the first to take a world this author created and make it a colorful, musical adventure that all versions since have been trying to recreate with varying levels of success. My personal favorite? The 1985 made-for-TV special featuring pre-Full House John Stamos as a messenger. Swoon.

Anyway, though the entire Disney animated movie is truly one big question mark, these are the five questions I still have that have little to nothing to do with the obvious fantastical elements. Because if I wrote a piece about that, 1. It would take all day, and 2. It would take the fun out of this movie.

Did no one ever question what the deal was with these flowers?

About halfway through the movie, we get hit with a scene involving some really shifty flowers who have pretty singing voices but who bully Alice, basically telling her she has gross legs and isn’t cute enough to be a flower – in fact, they call her a weed. Rude. But also? IT’S A RED HERRING.

Because the real floral enemy is at the beginning of the movie, when Alice passes out among some seemingly innocent non-Wonderland flowers while singing “In a World of My Own” – right before she starts “dreaming” and chasing down the White Rabbit.


No one has dreams that vivid without the assistance of a little somethin’ somethin’, so what types of flowers are these, really? I think Alice’s parents need to hire a botanist stat.

Why did the White Rabbit need those gloves so badly?

When Alice meets the White Rabbit at his house, he mistakes her for his maid Mary Ann and then yells at her to go upstairs and get his gloves because he’s going to be late to the queen’s beheading fest.


But why does he need them so badly? It doesn’t look that cold outside – like, Alice is in a short-sleeved dress and no one she comes across is wearing coats. Does the queen have a dress code for rabbits that requires them to wear gloves lest they be killed (I guess that’s not that much of a stretch). And furthermore, why couldn’t he just go grab right up the stairs and grab them himself? That would’ve been so much faster than yelling for someone else to do it. The house isn’t that big. Jerk rabbit.

What do the Mad Hatter, March Hare, and Dormouse do on birthdays?

So these three guys obviously party 362 days out of the year, because there are three of them living together and if each of them has one birthday, that mean 362 days are left to have unbirthday parties.

But what does that mean for those other three days? Do they just sit around? Clean the house? Schedule all their Wonderland DMV appointments, doctor’s appointments, etc. on those days? Because considering how out of it they are on their unbirthdays, errands are definitely not happening then.



OK, but was this really paint? Because it looks an awful lot like…

I’m not sure about you guys, but I have never seen paint this thin unless it’s like, watercolors. Thick paint that would cover something like a rose so richly would NOT splash around everywhere like that.


Something tells me someone has a job “cleaning up” the blood around the palace after all these subjects get their heads chopped off, which seems to be a common-enough occurrence to be able to get enough to paint these roses. And considering how messed up other parts of this movie are (um, eating those poor baby oysters? I’m still having nightmares), I wouldn’t rule this out. I also know I’m not alone in seeing the macabre side of this movie, because of adaptations like the American McGee’s Alice video games and this graphic novel I read once and was disturbed but also intrigued by.

What did Alice grow up to be like?

Speaking of disturbing adaptations, we’ve definitely gotten ones where Alice grows up to be totally normal but still plagued by the thoughts of Wonderland – some where she even goes back to revisit. But if Lewis Carroll were still alive, I wonder what he’d say about Alice’s future past Through the Looking-Glass. Did she actually end up in a mental institution for the rest of her life, the way many alternative interpretations have led us to believe was possible?


Or did she go in the complete opposite direction and grow up to marry, have children, and become a teacher/storyteller? That’s sort of what I always pictured, complete with lots of tea in a really cute garden of her own (without the hallucination-inducing flowers).

I like that there have been so many different “Alice, X years later” stories that span a variety of genres, but I still wonder what her life really would’ve been like after the events of the books.

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