An A-Z feature on all relevant things you need to know about Alice and the language used in the film, e.g. list words like ‘Jabberwocky’, etc.
THE “ALICE IN WONDERLAND” DICTIONARY
“Alice in Wonderland” is the latest film from director Tim Burton. As you would expect from the man behind “Edward Scissorhands” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” Burton has taken an already fantastical story, full of well-known characters like the Mad Hatter and the Cheshire Cat, and put his own highly original spin on it. Impress your friends with your knowledge of the Mad Hatter and the Bandersnatch and never again confuse the Red and White Queens.
ALICE – A 19-year-old woman contemplating her future. An independent soul, she feels trapped in the narrow-minded views of women in aristocratic Victorian London. Alice Kingsleigh is uncertain how to balance her dreams with other people’s expectations. Following the death of her beloved father, she attends a garden party with her mother and sister, although, unbeknownst to her, it’s been planned as her engagement party. Just as the arrogant and dull Hamish Ascot proposes to her, Alice spots a White Rabbit wearing a waistcoat and pocket watch scurrying across the grounds. She rushes off after the furry fellow, tumbling down a rabbit hole and into Underland, a place she first visited as a child (and called Wonderland)—though she has no memory of it or its inhabitants. Alice nevertheless reunites with her childhood friends, including Absolem the caterpillar, the Cheshire Cat, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, and of course, the Mad Hatter—and seeks her true destiny.
BANDERSNATCH – A disgusting, drooling, foul-smelling creature with a big filthy body, and the squashed, teeth-baring face of a rabid bulldog. As Alice will discover to her cost, the Bandersnatch has very sharp claws.
CHESHIRE CAT – A dapper tabby with the ability to appear and disappear. He is all calm, casual sensuality with a seductive grin that masks his cowardice. It’s the cat’s disembodied head that first appears to Alice in Tulgey Wood after she’s been attacked by the vicious Bandersnatch. He offers to purify the gashes on her arm by licking them. Alice declines, although she allows him to lead her to the Hatter’s Tea Party where the Hatter blames him for deserting them on the day the Red Queen seized control of Underland. Using his skills and the Hatter’s coveted top hat, Chessur later finds a way to redeem himself.
DODO – one of the first residents of Underland Alice sees upon entering the fantastical world. One of the oldest Underland inhabitants, the Dodo wears eye-glasses and carries a walking stick. Both quiet and wise, he stops his friends bickering over Alice’s true identity by suggesting they bring her to the even wiser Absolem.
DOWNAL WYTH BLUDDY BEHG HID- Down with the Red Queen, the slogan of the Mad Hatter and his cohorts who wish to overthrow the malevolent ruler.
“EAT ME / DRINK ME” – Be careful what you eat or drink in Underland or else you could dramatically change shape or size. At the start of her latest adventures Alice encounters a bottle labelled “DRINK ME”—its contents shrink her—and a cake with the words “EAT ME” iced on top which makes her grow.
FUTTERWACKEN: The Underlanders’ dance of unbridled joy.
GRIN – See Cheshire Cat.
HARE, MARCH – The March Hare may be as mad as his friend the Mad Hatter, whose Tea Parties he hosts at Hare House. He is paranoid and anxious and is constantly wringing his paws and ears and has a thing for tossing teapots.
IRACEBETH – Otherwise known as the Red Queen, Iracebeth is the tyrannical monarch of Underland. With her fiery temper and propensity to scream for people’s heads to be chopped off, she rules her subjects through fear.
JABBERWOCKY – is tall as a dinosaur with reptilian wings, scales, long sharp claws, a pronged tail and a vest. This ferocious hissing beast is a favorite weapon of the Red Queen and will stand between Alice and her ultimate destiny.
KNAVE OF HEARTS – Also known as Ilosovic Stayne, the Knave of Hearts is the head of the Red Queen’s army. He is very, very tall and has a scarred face and a heart-shaped patch covering his left eye.
LEWIS CARROLL – The British author of the two books “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass & What Alice Found There” that inspired Tim Burton’s film. The first book was published in 1865 and immediately became one of the best sellers of its day. Although the two Alice books are now close to a 150 years old, they have never been out of print and have been translated into more than 100 languages.
MAD HATTER, THE – On her return visit to Wonderland, Alice discovers a little more about the eccentric Mad Hatter. Perhaps Alice’s one true friend in the fantastical underground kingdom, the Mad Hatter was once the official and proud hat-maker for the White Queen but has since been affected by mercury poisoning, an unfortunate side effect of the hat-making process. Whether he is entirely mad or not is open to question. Anyway, as the Cheshire Cat likes to point out, “We’re all mad here.”
NOSE – The most talented nose in Underland belongs to Bayard the Bloodhound, who is an unwilling accomplice to the Red Queen and assigned to track down members of the resistance. He becomes one of Alice’s closest allies.
ORACULUM – The Oraculum is an ancient document that records every major event, past, present and future in Underland’s history. It is guarded by the all-knowing caterpillar, Absolem.
PISHSALVER – potion that makes Alice shrink; see DRINK ME
QUEEN, THE WHITE – Also known as Mirana, The White Queen is the pretty younger sister of the terrifying Red Queen, but while she appears to be all sweetness and light on the surface, there is a hint of darkness underneath. Alice had better watch out when the White Queen takes her under her wing.
RIDDLES – As well as poetry, the inhabitants of Underland are very fond of complicated riddles. Most famous of all is the riddle the Mad Hatter asks Alice: “Why is a raven like a writing desk?” Unfortunately the Mad Hatter never tells Alice the answer.
SUGAR – The Mad Hatter may be a bit loopy but even he probably wouldn’t forget to serve sugar at one of his famous tea parties, where frequent guests include the March Hare and the Dormouse and none of the cups and saucers ever get washed. “It’s always tea-time, and we’ve no time to wash the things between whiles,” the Hatter explains.
TWEEDLEDEE AND TWEEDLEDUM – Tweedledee and Tweedlum are rotund twin brothers who constantly disagree with each other and whose confusing chatter makes little sense to anyone but them.
UNDERLAND – On Alice’s second tumble down the rabbit hole, she finds herself in the same fantastical land she visited when she was a small child but she discovers that last time she misheard the name. The Red Queen’s kingdom is called “Underland” not “Wonderland.”
UPELKUCHEN – cake that makes Alice grow; see “EAT ME”
V – ”V” is for “Vah-she-kov-ska”, which is how you pronounce the last name of “Alice in Wonderland” star Mia Wasikowska, a former ballerina turned actress who was born in Australia.
WHITE RABBIT, THE – The White Rabbit always worried about being late, always in a hurry, always rushing about. Charged with finding Alice and bringing her back to Underland so that she can fulfill her destiny, he shows up at her garden party in an effort to lure her back down the rabbit hole.
Zzzz – is the sound you can hear sometimes when dormice sleep. In the film Mallymkun, the dormouse, is a swashbuckling mouse in Underland who wears riding breeches. She refuses to believe that the White Rabbit has found the right Alice, the one who can help return Underland to its true splendor, and is only too happy to poke poor Alice in the ankle with a hat pin when Alice insists she’s only dreaming. But the tough little mouse comes through in a pinch when Alice is threatened by a clawing creature called a Bandersnatch. Her loyalty to the Hatter is unmatched, and she willingly faces the prospect of death to stand by him.
“Alice in Wonderland” will be in the movie theatres NOW!