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Alice is a character in the books Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, which were written by Charles Dodgson under the pen name Lewis Carroll. She is a young girl from Victorian England. Her last name is never given. She pre-dates Peter Pan by over a third of a century, but because of the many parallels between their stories - in which children are carried away to strange lands where they have impossible adventures before returning home, written by men with unusual relationships with children, to say nothing of the stories' animated adaptation by Disney - they are often linked in the popular imagination.
The character of Alice is based at least in part on Alice Liddell, a child friend of Dodgson's. Dodgson said several times that his 'little heroine' was not based on any real child, but was entirely fictional. Alice is portrayed as a quaintly logical girl, sometimes even pedantic, especially with Humpty Dumpty in the second book. According to Through the Looking-Glass she is seven and a half years old, but seems to conduct herself like a somewhat older child. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland takes place on May 4, Alice Liddell's birthday. Through the Looking-Glass takes place on November 4, her half-birthday (and Alice states that she is "seven and a half exactly.")
Alice is popularly depicted wearing a pale blue knee-length dress with a white pinafore overtop, although the dress originally was yellow in The Nursery "Alice", the first coloured version of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. In the illustrations for Through the Looking-Glass her hair is held back with a wide ribbon, and such hair bows are sometimes called Alice bands, particularly in the UK.
As Alice was first drawn in black and white her colors would vary from artist to artist; it was Disney who made blue the most popular color for her dress and blonde for her hair. This look has, perhaps, become the classic and most widely recognized Alice in Wonderland dress in later works.
Tenniel drew Alice in two variants: for Through the Looking-Glass her pinafore is more ruffled and she is shown in striped stockings, an image which has remained in much of the later art.
Morton N. Cohen suggested that although Alice was physically modelled after Alice Liddell, Carroll drew Alice's characteristics from himself. Alice's journey through Wonderland is a "double-layered metaphor" of the problems faced by children in Victorian society and Carroll's negative childhood experiences.
Alice is the main protagonist of Disney's animated film Alice In Wonderland. She also appears in many episodes of Disney's House of Mouse. She can also be considered an unofficial Disney Princess, seeing as she appears in many instances of Disney Princess art, videos and other media. In the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Alice is mentioned as "Allyson Wonderland" on some graffiti written on the bathroom wall in Toontown.
Alice is portrayed as being very curious. She's often seen daydreaming and gives herself advice instead of listening to the advice of others. The closest thing Alice has as a friend is Dinah, her cat, and not even she understands Alice's dreams of finding "a world of her own". Alice is well mannered, polite, courteous, mature and has an elegance and gentleness of a young woman, although once she falls into Wonderland she finds it harder and harder to maintain her composure. She is shown to be determined, but her determination is often overpowered by her temper, seeing as she doesn't give up on finding the White Rabbit until she gets frustrated, and is easily put off by rudeness.
She is depicted as a fairly beautiful young girl with blue eyes, thick blonde hair and fair skin. She wears a blue knee-length dress with a white pinafore overtop, stockings, petticoat, white tights, a black ribbon to keep her hair out of her eyes, and black strap and round toe shoes in "Mary Jane" style.
For the voice of Alice, Walt Disney wanted one "that would be English enough to satisfy British audiences and preserve the feeling of an English literary classic, but not so English that it would put off American audiences". He found that in young actress Margaret O'Brien. However, O'Brien's mother, Gladys, thought that her daughter was worth more than Disney was offering to pay. This led to Disney to announce that Margaret O'Brien was out of the picture, four days after announcing she was in. Disney then turned his attention to another young girl, Kathryn Beaumont. Within hours of her audition, Disney gave Beaumont the part.
Like many Disney animated heroines, Alice was portrayed by a real life actress as reference material for the animators. This was performed by Beaumont, the voice of Alice. Alice was drawn looking a bit older than her story book counterpart, about 11 or 12, but still keeping the wonder and child-like quality of a young girl.
Kingdom Hearts Series
Alice (アリス or Arisu in Japanese) is seen as one of the most important characters of the video game series Kingdom Hearts. She is the first Princess of Hearts we meet in the game and her world, Wonderland, is also the second Disney-based world the player visits.
2010 Disney adaptation
Tim Burton is directing a sequel, due for release on March 5, 2010. This adaption features a combination of live action and motion-capture digital animation, and follows Alice (Mia Wasikowska), who is now 19 years old, as she attends a party only to be proposed for marriage in front of hundreds of snooty society types. She follows the White Rabbit (Michael Sheen) into Wonderland, where she is needed to slay the Jabberwock. It uses a plot device reminiscent of Hook: adult Alice no longer remembers her prior visit to Wonderland, and must remember it before she can become a hero.
Appearances in other media
Besides the books and the Disney film, Alice has appeared in many other works. In the 2000 PC game American McGee's Alice, Alice is portrayed as an older, dark-brown haired girl with emerald green eyes. In the game, Alice is a tortured young woman, who at a young age was orphaned when her parents were burned alive in an accidental fire caused by her cat Dinah. Afterward, she falls into a catatonic state, and is condemned to Rutledge's Asylum for treatment. There she remains for many years, faced with her own survivor's guilt and the mistreatment of patients in the mental hospitals of the time. Then, the White Rabbit arrives in her cell and tells her she must return to Wonderland and save the creatures there from the tyrannical Queen of Hearts. By doing so, she not only saves Wonderland, but her own sanity. American McGee's Alice has Susie Brann voicing the titular character.
In Frank Beddor's novel, The Looking Glass Wars, an adaptation of the Alice books, Alice is re-imagined as Alyss Heart, the rightful heir to the throne of Wonderland and a warrior princess with magical powers of her own. The preface of the story is that Alyss fled to Earth where she met Lewis Carrol and told him her story. He turned it into a nonsensical fairytale in which he even misspelled her name.
The Czech surrealist Jan Švankmajer retold the story in a very dark 1988 film titled simply Alice. Woody Allen's film Alice, while not a direct adaptation, did follow a woman who has a series of surreal adventures. Alice also appears as a college-attending teenager alongside Wendy Darling, Dorothy Gale, and Susan Pevensie in Chicago of 2005 and 2006, in the comic book series The Oz/Wonderland Chronicles. Alice also appears as an aging woman in Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie's graphic novel Lost Girls.
In the Tokyo Disneyland DreamLights version of the Main Street Electrical Parade, Alice is voiced by Kat Cressida. Kristýna Kohoutová portrayed her in Svankmajer's Alice (her English dub was done by Camilla Power). In the Japanese version of Kingdom Hearts, she was voiced by Mika Doi.
- Wikipedia: Alice