Down the Rabbit Hole

Lewis Carroll published his English novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, often known as Alice in Wonderland, in 1865. It tells the tale of a little girl named Alice who enters a fantasy world full of anthropomorphic creatures after falling down a rabbit hole. It is regarded as an illustration of the nonsensical literature genre. 42 wood-engraved drawings by artist John Tenniel were used in the book. In the following Pages and Post we will look at how film adaptations have changed Carrol’s classic; from characters, to plotline.


It was well-received upon publication and is today among the most well-known pieces of Victorian literature. Its plot, organization, characters, and imagery have greatly influenced popular culture and literature, particularly in fantasy. It is credited for contributing to the end of a period of didacticism in children’s literature and the beginning of a new period in which writing for children focused on entertainment. Since the story plays with logic, it has an enduring appeal to both adults and children.  The book has been translated into 174 languages and has never gone out of print. Its legacy includes film, animation, radio, art, ballet, opera, musicals, theme parks, and television adaptations.

Although the frontispiece lists the publication date as 1866, an approved edition did go on sale that day, November 11, and the book—which has been translated into 176 languages—has since never been out of print. One of its great fans was Queen Victoria. She wrote to Dodgson to express her excitement about his upcoming book, and she must have been taken aback when she received a copy of the Syllabus of Plane Algebraical Geometry. However, a sequel did come in 1871, and since then, in the numerous adaptations created for film and television since 1903, directors have frequently combined scenes from both Through the Looking Glass and Alice in Wonderland. The following are just a few of the film adaptations, animations, musicals, and tv series that have been created:

Dreamchild (1985)
Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Alice (1988)
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Alice in Wonderland (1933)
TV Series Adaptation
Alice in Wonderland (1903)


John Tenniel

British artist John Tenniel created the bizarre assortment of images in the 1865 novel Alice in Wonderland. Tenniel, born in London, England, in 1820, drew political cartoons for the mocking Punch magazine throughout most of his career. Tenniel initially attended the Royal Academy of Arts for his official education, but he later dropped out in favour of self-learning. He didn’t like the strict requirements for art at the academy and wished his drawings were fancier and more extravagant.

While employed by Punch, Tenniel created the initial images for Alice in Wonderland, sending Carroll draft sketches in his free time. Tenniel would ink over his designs and trace them into blocks of wood after they were approved. These wood blocks were delivered to carvers using Tenniel’s drawings for manufacturing wooden printing blocks. The carvings were mass made and utilized in the Alice in Wonderland books that were published commercially.

The MadHatter

John Tenniel’s


The original Alice pictures by Tenniel stand out as peculiar, fantastical, and comical. His intricate line work provides a more weird and unusual tone, while the exaggerated faces and oddly shaped bodies of Wonderland creatures are amusing and entertaining. Thousands of cartoons were created by Tenniel, but his images for the Alice volumes remain his best-known creations.

Our designers are hard at building an immersive Wonderland for our Alice in Wonderland that is just as odd and delightful as Carroll and Tenniel’s original vision, just as the surreal realism of Tenniel’s drawings makes us wonder what reality we are in. We invite you to go with us on this incredible voyage into a non-human universe.

The Cheshire Cat
Alice in wonderland

Disney 1951 Animation

Numerous film adaptations have been made of Lewis Carroll's well-known tales Through the Looking Glass and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Walt Disney's animated masterpiece Alice in Wonderland, which debuted in 1951, is one of the most well-known adaptations. It cemented Alice's appearance as a blonde wearing a blue dress, a white apron, and Mary Jane shoes.

Based on Lewis Carroll’s Alice novels, Alice in Wonderland is a 1951 American animated musical fantasy comedy film made by Walt Disney Productions. The movie had its London debut on July 26, 1951, and its New York City premiere on July 28, 1951. It was the thirteenth release of a Disney animated picture. It featured the voices of Verna Felton as the Queen of Hearts, Ed Wynn as the Mad Hatter, Sterling Holloway as the Cheshire Cat, and Kathryn Beaumont as Alice.

In the 1930s, Walt Disney attempted to turn Alice into a full-length animated picture; he later attempted again in the 1940s. The movie was going to be a live-action/animated hybrid, but Disney changed their mind and opted to make it entirely animated.

The Caterpillar
The MadHatter
The Cheshire Cat
Queen of Hearts
The White Rabbit

However, making the classic was not always simple. Walt had to wait for at least ten years before he could finally realize his thoughts of making an Alice movie, and when he did, there were many things to think about, like how Alice would talk and which characters to delete. How does Walt’s rendition vary from Caroll’s then?

Characters that were Cut in Disney’s rendition of Alice in Wonderland (1951)


Humpty Dumpty

There are many vibrant and eccentric personalities in the Wonderland universe. Since there are more than eighty in total, it was impossible to incorporate them all in a full-length film. The eliminated characters were the Griffin, the Mock Turtle, Humpty Dumpty, and the White Knight.

Humpty Dumpty & Alice

The Gryphon & The Mock Turtle

The Mock Turtle was a proposed appearance in the 1951 Disney animated adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. However, the Mock Turtle, the Jabberwock, and the Gryphon were dropped due to pace issues. The Mock Turtle did show up alongside Alice and the Gryphon

The Gryphon, Alice, & The Mock Turtle

The White Knight

The White Knight, who would be one of the few to be friendly to Alice, was a figure that Disney liked quite a bit. On the other hand, Disney decided to delete the section, reasoning that Alice should find things out on her own without assistance.

The White Knight & Alice

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