Film: Alice in Wonderland
Oops, wrong rabbit hole...
Alice Kingsleigh (Mia Wasikowska
) has been having strange dreams since childhood, dreams filled with unusual creatures. Nearly twenty years old, she attends a fancy party with her mother and sister where Hamish, a young lord, proposes to her. Marrying him is what is expected of her, but she's conflicted enough to run away. And then promptly falls down a rabbit hole
She finds herself in Underland, where the White Rabbit is confident that she's "the real Alice", while others aren't so sure. The Red Queen has taken over nearly all of Underland, but the ancient document called the Oraculum shows the Frabjous Day arriving, a day of battle on which it is foretold that Alice will slay the Jabberwocky
and put an end to the Red Queen's reign.
There're only a few problems: Alice thinks this is all a dream
, and she's not prepared to slay anything.
A 2010 film by Tim Burton
, also released in 3D. Not an adaptation of either book, but rather a sort of sequel.
Just as the 1951 film inspired two different rides at the various Disney Theme Parks
, this version has now also inspired the Mad T Party
, a nighttime event at California Adventure featuring live music that replaced ElecTRONica
If you're looking for the 1951 Disney film, visit here
In December 2012, Disney confirmed that work on a sequel entitled Through the Looking Glass
had begun. Johnny Depp
and Mia Wasikowska
are slated to return, but Burton won't. Instead, The Muppets
director James Bobin will take charge. The project is currently set for a May 2016 release.
This film provides examples of:
- 0% Approval Rating: The Red Queen. As the Knave of Hearts comments to her, and she later agrees, "It's better to be feared than to be loved." The only reason anybody followed her is because of her big dragon. After the thing dies, they immediately turn on her. Meaning she never learned the other warning of The Prince, "Avoid being hated." The White Queen has clearly read the book.
- Abnormal Limb Rotation Range: Mad Hatter's dance after Alice killed the Jabberwock.
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: The Vorpal Sword.
- Action Girl: Alice becomes this in the final battle.
- As well as the Dormouse of all people.
- Actual Pacifist: The White Queen - sort of. She's okay with people fighting for her, but refuses to fight herself because of having taken vows never to cause physical harm to anyone (Cruel Mercy, on the other hand...). Or she can't lower her arms from their permanently raised position to hold a sword, one of the two.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: In the books, the White Queen did not change much in appearance when she turned into a sheep. Here, she's played by Anne Hathaway. Helena Bonham-Carter's Red Queen, like other adaptations, is a Composite Character of the Red Queen and Queen of Hearts, who is a Gonk, so she probably counts as well.
- Adaptational Heroism: The Hatter certainly wasn't a villain in Carroll's books, but he really wasn't a hero either, at least not the type with the Knight in Shining Armor attitude he is here. In fact, most of Alice's allies here count, but mostly the Hatter.
- Adaptational Villainy: By that same factor, the Red Queen and the Jabberwock, for the reasons mentioned on that very Trope page. The Knave of Hearts too, who didn't do anything more than petty theft (maybe) in Carroll's book.
- Adaptation Induced Plothole: In the original book it makes perfect sense for the Queen of Hearts to have an army of lower cards serving her. But there's no real reason why the Red Queen, who's not a playing card, would have one.
- Added Alliterative Appeal: The White Queen, Mirana of Marmoreal.
- Alien Blood: The Jabberwocky bleeds purple.
- All Just a Dream: Averted, although Alice spends most of the film convinced that it is.
- All Up To You: Combine this with You Can't Fight Fate and Because Destiny Says So for Alice's final battle with the Jabberwocky.
- Androcles' Lion: The Bandersnatch.
- And You Were There: Set up, then averted.
- Animals Lack Attributes: The family of bloodhounds. The mother of the puppies has no discernible mammaries, and Bayard has nothing between his legs with which to create said puppies, even when he flops down on his side in front of the White Queen with his crotch pointed right at the camera.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: "I'm sorry, Aunt Imogen, but there is no prince." Now, let me go play with my talking animal friends, this queen I met, and a Hatter who shrinks people and can turn his head about like a hundred owls. It would be Hypocritical Humor were it played for anything but drama.
- Arranged Marriage: Well, practically — for Alice to Hamish.
- Attempted Rape: At one point The Knave of Hearts pins Alice between him and wall in the hallway and rather seductively (and creepily) whispers to Alice how he "likes largeness." However, Alice fends him off easily because of being nine feet tall at the moment (compared to the Knave's seven). If she had been her normal size... Well, actually, he would have left her alone. (This probably got as close to the Trope as the movie could get while still keeping the Rating it had, more or less.)
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: The Hare, in general.
- Awesome Moment of Crowning: After Alice slays the Jabberwocky, the Red Queen's crown floats over to land on the White Queen's head (though, of course, the Cheshire Cat was holding it).
- Bad Boss: The Red Queen is sort of a hypocrite here. She does order her minions executed for trivial reasons and sadistically use them like furniture. On the other hand, the Knave of Hearts gets off with nothing more than a few slaps to the face when Alice escapes with the Vorpal Sword (something you'd think would really be bad for them) because he was too dumb to know that she was the one staying in the castle as a guest (of course, part of that was the Queen's fault too, but she wasn't one to accept blame).
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Alice falls down a rabbit hole, gets shrunk, enlarged and stuffed in a teapot, then fights the Jabberwocky...all without a curl on her head getting tangled. (Though to be fair, she probably got to have a bath while she was in Marmoreal.) With one small aversion in that even when she returns to her daily life, she still bears the scars from the Bandersnatch attack.
- Berserk Button: The Hatter may be as mad as a box of frogs, but he's among the best of the good guys in Underland and will do anything for his friends. However, if you mention the day his family was slaughtered, or you make one wrong move toward either Alice or the White Queen...suffice it to say that if his eyes change color, run.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Alice and the White Queen. The Hatter also lets slip a Double Entendre, though not of the usual sort:
Hatter: (to the Red Queen)
I've been contemplating "m" words lately. (spouts off a few stealth insult
"M"-words, then spots Alice and is startled) M... malice
- Beware the Silly Ones: The Hatter especially, but quite a few of the Underlandians embody this trope.
- BFS: The Hatter wields a claymore in the final battle. He uses it as a walking stick first.
- Big Good: The White Queen. (There are hints, however, that the character's true nature may actually be just as evil - if not more so - as her sister the Red Queen, and keeping this true nature in check is a constant stuggle for her.)
- Big Little Sister: The Red Queen is the eldest, but she's significantly shorter than her younger sister.
- Billing Displacement: A given with any Johnny Depp film. If the ads for the movie were any indication, you'd think this movie would be called "Johnny Depp Wears a Hat: The Movie."
- Blatant Lies: Tragically, by the Hatter.
The Hatter: I'm fine.
- Blood Knight: Of all people, the Dormouse.
- Bloodless Carnage: Not much blood spilt throughout the movie, especially in the final battle, although that one gets a pass as most of the participants are metal cards and chess pieces. The Horunvendush Day scene in particular is ridiculously clean. When the Hatter returns after the disaster, there isn't a single body to be seen, and the only hat left is, conveniently, his own.
- Actually, in regards to the disaster on Horunvendush Day, the Jabberwocky's lightning breath is capable of vaporizing people, as at least one knight meets this fate.
- Body Horror: It's theorized by the White Queen that the Red Queen has some kind of tumor growing in her head. That might explain why her head is so swollen while the White Queen herself is normal in appearance.
- Breath Weapon: The Jabberwocky , which spits purple thunderbolts.
- Brick Joke: Futterwacken.
- Broken Aesop: All the best people are mad, and it doesn't matter what others think. But this message is then thrown out the window when Alice declares that her crazy aunt needs to seek help for her overactive imagination.
- As said in Arbitrary Skepticism, the movie shows that there is a line between mad/imaginative and delusional. Her aunt is clearly delusional/lonely/heartbroken and her belief in the prince is clearly a spoof of a fairy tale. Alice only wanted to help her aunt get over it, not say she should forget the dream. At no point did Alice say she should "forget imagination."
- The Arranged Marriage plot at the beginning of the film sets up the aesop that forcing someone to walk lock-step with social expectations crushes a person's individuality and happiness. Then Alice goes to Underland where she is told that she must slay the Jabberwock Because Destiny Says So ... and she does, even though there are obvious parallels between this destiny and the one back in England. She then goes back home, breaks away from her engagement and starts her own career. So which is it, then - Screw Destiny or follow it to the letter?
- She didn't fight the Jabberwock Because Destiny Says So. She fought the Jabberwock because she became the Determinator.
- The true Aesop in both cases is "When faced with an unpleasant reality, fight, don't stick your head in the sand." The reality for Alice being the perspective of an Arranged Marriage/threat of Jabberwock, in either case something that she is bound to face and that she initially feels is impossible to overcome. Alice's aunt, however, fails to face her own unpleasant reality, so Alice calls her on it.
- Of course, it's always possible that it's Screw Destiny when it's a politically incorrect destiny, and Because Destiny Says So when it's a politically correct destiny. Real Women Don't Wear Dresses, after all.
- Broken Bird: The Hatter. As it gets explained to Alice via flashback (and is made more explicitly clear in supplemental material), his entire family was killed the day the Jabberwock assaulted Witzend and the White Queen lost her crown. The Hatter himself only survived the invasion because he rushed to get the White Queen to safety; he returned to the scene afterward and found everything burning and everyone dead. This is one of the two main reasons for his madness, the other being mercury poisoning (a common malady for Victorian milliners).
- Butterfly of Transformation: In the ending scene, the caterpillar Absolem appearing in the form of a butterfly can be seen to symbolize Alice's own transformation.
- Cain and Abel: The vicious Red Queen jealously loathes her younger sister, the benevolent White Queen, because the latter is adored by the populace (and, to judge by a throwaway line toward the end of the film, was the favorite of their parents).
- Calling Your Attacks: Alice invokes Off with His Head! by name. Doubles as a Pre-Mortem One-Liner.
- Captain Ersatz: The film's version of the Dormouse comes across as a thinly disguised Reepicheep.
- Chekhov's Gun: You'll be seeing that eye again. Also, the Hatter's various... hatting... stuff. And the futterwacken, although that might also count as a Brick Joke.
- Chekhov's Gunman: The Hatter. Several times.
- Cherry Blossoms: Around the White Queen's castle.
- Chess Motif:
- The White Queen, her castle and soldiers.
- The Red Queen, at least in name.
- The battle (Red vs. White) takes place on a giant black-and-white checkered chessboard.
- Chewing the Scenery: Johnny Depp. Oh God, Johnny Depp! Even in commercials he seems to be taking large hunks of scenery into his mouth!
- The Chosen One: Alice, of course.
- The Chosen Zero: The denizens of Underland aren't sure that Alice is the prophesied champion, and the Dormouse is especially prone to proclaiming, "She's the wrong Alice!"
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Zigzagged, and it's an important part of how Alice eventually succeeds. Wonderland is real, but Alice doesn't believe it is, and she has to convince herself otherwise. She thinks she's in a dream because everything that's happening seems impossible to her. The only way she can stand up to the Jabberwock - much less defeat him - is convince herself to believe it's real and what she thinks is impossible is indeed, possible.
- Cloudcuckoolander: The Mad Hatter and March Hare. Alice herself is this as far as other people in the real world are concerned.
- Chronoscope: The scroll in that showed the history of Underland and then prophesied Alice's return and her slaying the Jabberwocky.
- Combat by Champion
- Combat Pragmatist: The Mad Hatter.
- Coming-of-Age Story: For Alice. Ironically, while her situation in Wonderland is a case of You Can't Fight Fate, the experience teaches her stand up for herself and Screw Destiny in the real world.
- Composite Character: The Red Queen comes off as a combination of the Red Queen from Through the Looking Glass and the Queen of Hearts. Though she's more The Queen Of Hearts.
- If Tenniel's illustrations on the original book are to go by, her massive head comes from the Duchess being thrown into the mix as well.
- The Dormouse may have been combined with the Mouse, since she first appeared at the beginning (which the Mouse did in the original novel).
- Cool Big Sis: Alice's; her name is Margaret.
- Costume Porn: Alice's dresses are just the tip of the 'berg.
- Crapsaccharine World
- Creative Closing Credits: The film had a very pretty scene for the cast list and Avril Lavigne's song that showed the clouds shifting, mushrooms growing (and glowing) and the bare Goth Spirals branches blooming to show that Underland is healing after the Red Queen's defeat. In the 3D version, this is windowboxed, with the growing fauna spilling out onto the blank areas of the screen, giving the impression that the screen is a window to Underland. This awesome sequence can be seen here.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: The Hatter starts out as a cheerfully insane babbling lunatic with occasional hints of darkness. The final battle has him dueling and defeating The Knave without breaking a sweat.
- Johnny Depp seems to have a particular talent for this trope.
- Cruel Mercy: The White Queen, proving that Light is not always Good.
- Creepy Twins: Subverted with Dee and Dum, who are more woobie than anything else.
- Curtain Clothing: When Alice grows out of her dress in the Red Queen's garden the Queen demands she be given new clothes and tells her servants to "Use the curtains if you have to." When we later see her clothed, she has a belt that looks suspiciously like a tie for a curtain, hinting that it's exactly what they did.
- Cute and Psycho: The White Queen is strongly hinted to be this. Anne Hathaway summed up her character with a caption on a magnet of Happy Bunny holding a knife: "Cute but psycho. Things even out."
- Daddy's Girl: Alice.
- Dance Party Ending: Well, almost, with the Mad Hatter.
- Deadly Decadent Court: The Red Queen's.
- Deadpan Snarker: Absolem the Caterpillar... not that it's any real surprise considering Alan Rickman is its voice actor.
- The Caterpillar was pretty snarky in the book too, so it makes sense.
- Death by Adaptation: In-Universe example, posthumously. The Queen claims she had her husband the King executed some time in the past. (Which may make sense, seeing as Carroll's work portrayed him as a somewhat Reasonable Authority Figure who quietly pardoned anyone his wife sentenced to death.)
- Deathbringer the Adorable: As it turns out, the Bandersnatch.
- Deceased Parents Are the Best: Alice's deceased father, Charles Kingsleigh, while he was alive, would comfort Alice after having a nightmare and encourage her unconventional thought patterns. Alice would eventually follow in her father's footsteps and take up his old business ventures.
- Defector from Decadence: It seems this way for at least a few members of the Queen's court, seeing as many members of the resistance are working against her from within it. The White Rabbit is her courier, while the two Tweedle brothers are her court jesters.
- Digital Head Swap: Tweedledee and Tweedledum have actor's heads on digital bodies. As well, for the Red Queen, Helena Bonham Carter's head is tripled in size.
- The Ditz: The White Queen was written this way in the original script; she was totally oblivious to the fact that Alice was the champion. Between the improvements to her character and the removal of the more blatant Alice/Hatter shipping, most viewers are grateful for the subsequent rewrites.
- Down the Rabbit Hole: Duh.
- The Dragon: The Red Queen has one literal (the Jabberwocky) and one figurative (the Knave).
- Dream Apocalypse: This is played with a little, despite the fact that this isn't a dream, despite Alice's constant insistance that it is. The Hatter mentions to Alice in a rather serious tone (as opposed to his usual one) that if she is dreaming all this, then he must not really exist (and she agrees with him). However, he doesn't seem too concerned about it; he quickly returns to his jovial attitude, saying that she must be a little crazy to have imagined someone like him. (Again, she doesn't deny it.)
- Dull Surprise: Pretty much all Alice's dialogue is delivered in a flat manner - regardless of what's actually happening at the time. Possibly deliberate. She is a young British lady who believes for most of the film that it is All Just a Dream, to contrast with her surroundings.
- Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: The Red Queen.
- Empathic Weapon: The Vorpal Sword never shows any outright signs of life, but it likely is. Many characters suggest that it plays more of a role in fighting the Jabberwock than Alice does, and she simply has to be the one who holds it. When Alice doubts that she can fight the creature, Absolem assures her that she simply has to "hold on" and let the Sword do the work, and the Jabberwock himself is clearly more concerned about the Sword than he is of Alice, (he even calls her "insignificant" when the battle starts).
- Everything's Better With Queens
- Evil All Along: Subverted, sort of. Anne Hathaway has stated that the White Queen was actually just as evil as her sister on the inside, if not more so, but she kept these impulses in check, surrounded herself with beauty and a warm and calm atmosphere to keep herself from showing her true nature and committing the same atrocities- though in a way, this cycles back around to ultimately meaning she's, at the very least, good enough to care deeply about not unleashing her evil impulses on others.
- Or at least, that she's pragmatic enough to realize that giving in to the evil would be counterproductive.
- Evil Counterpart: The final battle presents the Knave as being this to the Hatter.
- Evil Redhead: The Red Queen.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Averted with the White Queen's voice being deeper (and smoother) than the Red Queen's tyrannical shriek. Played very straight with the Jabberwocky, who is voiced by Christopher Lee.
- Eye Scream:
- The Dormouse has a habit of inflicting this on other creatures.
- The Hatter also gets one in on the Knave during the final battle. However, it doesn't seem to affect the Knave much afterward.
- Alice In Wonderland, as a movie, has an abundance of eye tropes. Nearly every character, including Alice, has exaggerated or unique eyes. Even the Dormouse gets a close up of its eyes. And the Hatter's eyes are part of a very subtle scene transition.
- Eyepatch of Power: The Knave of Hearts. Interestingly, his patch is often red when in the Queen's presence, but black at any other moment.
- Faceless Goons: Both the Red and White soldiers.
- Fate Worse Than Death: The White Queen decrees that the Red Queen is to be ignored until the end of time, banished to outer Underland with the Knave of Hearts as her only companion. Considering that the only reason anyone — including even faceless card Mooks — hung around the Red Queen was fear of the Jabberwocky, it's a clear case of Laser-Guided Karma.
- Fantastic Racism: The reason why the Red Queen accepts Alice into her court without question. Alice claims to be from a town that mocked her for her size, and that she came to the court of the Red Queen believing that she would be more tolerant. The Red Queen has absolutely no problem with this, given her own disproportionate head-size. Sure, this is because of her own condition, but the fact that she didn't order Alice's death because she happened to have a massive head that happened to match her body size is fairly impressive.
- Feathered Fiend: The Jub-Jub Bird.
- The Fettered: The White Queen.
- Fingore: "Buttered fingers!"
- Fisher King: "Underland" was definitely brighter under the White Queen compared to its look under the Red Queen, and when the latter is defeated, the sky immediately gets a bit brighter. Also, watch how the scenery changes during the credits.
- Fix Fic: Barely a week after the movie came out in 2010, Fanfiction.Net was flooded (thirty fanfics in the new section and at least that many more in the general Alice in Wonderland section) with fan authors who either have Alice stay in Wonderland with the Hatter, or have him go to her.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Alice and Mock Turtle (sanguine), March Hare and Knave of Hearts (choleric), Dodo and Red Queen (choleric/melancholic), the Pigeon (melancholic), White Queen and White Rabbit (melancholic/phlegmatic), Mad Hatter and the Gryphon (sanguine/choleric), and Dormouse and Cheshire Cat (leukine).
- Friend to All Living Things: The White Queen, whose "vows" include not harming any living creature. Of course, the vows say nothing about getting henchmen to do the harming for her.
- She almost breaks this vow by trying to swat a fly, right after she tells Alice about it. Fortunately, she doesn't succeed.
- Frameup: As if the Knave's crude attempt to seduce Alice wasn't bad enough (see above), when his attempt to seduce her fails, he tells the Red Queen that the exact opposite happened, and she tried to seduce him. This actually works, and she orders her execution. (Ironically, this actually works to Alice's advantage. While he's doing this, she is looking for the Vorpal Sword, and has already found it, befriended the Bandersnatch, and has managed to free the Hatter by the time he shows up to arrest her, at which point what happened before is the least of their problems.)
- Gender Flip: The Dormouse, who's usually male in most adaptations.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: "I shall futterwacken... vigorously."
- A mild example, various characters referring to Red Queen as "Bloody big head"
- The Knave of Hearts is implied to be a macrophile.
- As if a man that tall would not prefer big women!
- As if the Red Queen's boyfriend would not prefer any other woman!
- Each of the Red Queen's courtiers had a comically huge body part, and if one were to look hard enough, there are glimpses of one with Gag Boobs. When it is later revealed that the body parts are all fake, there's a very quick background shot of one of the courtiers tearing the fake breasts away from the woman's chest, though no actual naughty bits are shown.
- So Alice is a 19th-century Brit who is gonna engage in trade with China. Riiiight.
- Doubles as Harsher in Hindsight and Nice Job Breaking It, Hero, since it's implied she'll be the first one to open trade to China.
- Gilded Cage: The White Queen is stuck in her palace after the Red Queen's takeover.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: Played straight with the Red Queen, averted with the White.
- Good Is Impotent: While this is what often happens to Actual Pacifists and Friends to All Living Things in Grimmified versions of fairy tales, both the White Queen and Alice avert this completely. The White Queen is a genuinely decent (if creepy) person, but if she tries to give you a Last-Second Chance, you better take it. Otherwise, see Fate Worse Than Death above. And Alice takes about 20 levels in Badass over the course of the movie - without going Darker and Edgier.
- Good Is Not Nice: The White Queen demonstrates this in the end.
- Goth Spirals: Whole forests of 'em! Well it is Tim Burton.
- Granola Girl: Played for Laughs with The White Queen.
- Hair-Raising Hare: The March Hare is ragged, twitchy, spouts Madness Mantras, and likes to throw things. "YOU'RE LATE FOR TEA!" *flings teacup*
- Hair-Trigger Temper: The Red Queen.
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Several of the Talking Animals, including the White Rabbit and the frogs in the Red Queen's court. Somewhat justified, because the Red Queen is at least decent enough to give her servants red garments or markings.
- Lampshaded when the White Rabbit speaks deprecatingly of the animals in the real world that run around naked and "shukrn" in public.
- Happy Dance: The futterwacken, the Mad Hatter's oft-mentioned dance of joy, finally seen after the Red Queen's defeat.
- Heel-Face Turn: The Bandersnatch once Alice gives its eye back.
- Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Well after all, what the point of sturdy plate armour if you can have your hair flow in the wind?
- Her Heart Will Go On: If you picked up on on the film's "romantic subtext", Alice and Hatter get this. No, he doesn't die, but the look on his face as Alice's chooses to leave sends him into near Woobie territory. It doesn't hurt that Alice said she knew the way back, implying that they could easily meet again someday.
- Heroic Albino: The White Queen, although her big brown eyes and dark eyebrows make her look a little like Cesare.
- The High Queen: The White Queen is an exaggerated version.
- Hypocritical Humor: "Hamish said you were easily distracted. What was I saying?"
- I Control My Minions Through...: Fear and Sovereignty.
- I Fell for Hours: The rabbit hole in the film's original script and novelization. Not as long-lasting or drastic in the film itself, Alice speeds down the rabbit hole, whams into a bookcase and a piano and a bed, before finally crashing through the floor of the Hall of Doors and lands on the ceiling. All within 45 seconds.
- If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: The in-story reason why the White Queen acts as the Granola Girl and doesn't fight her sister directly. When she accepts the Vorpal Sword from Alice and looks like she's on the verge of an orgasm while holding it, she puts it away quickly rather than be tempted into becoming a Lady of War.
- I Have Your Wife: Bayard reluctantly serves the Red Queen because she has his wife, Bielle, and their pups locked in her dungeon.
- In Name Only:
- Despite being named for the shortened-version of the first book, the movie is actually a "pseudo-sequel" of sorts. Alice is actually returning to Wonderland.
- It's not even Wonderland... it's "Under-Land".
- The Red Queen shares only her title with the chess piece from Through the Looking Glass, and is in every other respect based on the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland.
- Interspecies Romance: Supplemental material verifies what's only hinted at in the film — Mallymkun the Dormouse is secretly in love with the Hatter.
- Irritation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery: All of the Queen's couriers have some absurdly-large body part. As it turns out, all of these are fakes, which they wear to suck up to the Queen, who seems rather proud of her own deformity.
- It's All About Me: The Red Queen.
- Jabba Table Manners: "I love tadpoles on toast almost as much as I love caviar."
- Kick the Dog:
- The Red Queen herself kicks the dog when she has a talking frog decapitated just for stealing her food.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: After the White Queen sentences her to A Fate Worse Than Death, the Red Queen takes comfort in knowing that the only person who loved her, the Knave of Hearts, will still be by her side... he is so horrified at the prospect that he tries to kill her, and then begs for his own death when he doesn't succeed.
- Kid Hero All Grown Up: Alice, naturally. The film takes place many years after the original story it is based on. It's also a Darker and Edgier take on the original Mythos.
- La Résistance: The animals mostly serve as this.
- Lady and Knight: Both versions are present:
- The Bright version is the White Queen as the Lady, and she has two Knights. Alice (a rare case of a female filling that role) and the Hatter.
- The Dark version is the Red Queen and the Knave of Hearts, although unlike most versions, he tries to kill her in the end.
- Lady of War: The Dormouse.
- The Lancer: The Hatter.
- Large Ham: Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter. And it's AWESOME.
- However, the Hatter doesn't stand out nearly as much as the Red Queen, who completely steals every scene she's in.
- Licensed Game: Received a video game adapatation courtesy of Electronic Arts.
- Light Is Good: White is associated with the good guys, namely the forces of the White Queen.
- Dark Is Not Evil: The Cheshire Cat. Also, at the end, the Red Queen's minions readily quit and redeem themselves as soon as she is defeated.
- Like Brother and Sister: According to an interview with Johnny Depp, this is how he views the Hatter's relationship with Alice... But, of course, this won't stop the fans from shipping them.
- Line-of-Sight Name: Alice picks up the name "Um of Umbrage" after growing fifteen feet tall at the Red Castle to fool the Red Queen. Counts as Line of Sight because the White Rabbit uttered it in hesitation and the Red Queen took it as an actual name. Hilariously lampshaded later in the movie:
Red Queen: Hello, Um.
- Losing Your Head: The Jabberwocky.
- The Mad Hatter: "You're entirely bonkers... but all the best people are." The March Hare also thanks the Knave for the compliment of calling him mad. The Hatter himself tends to shake off that there's something "wrong with him" with a vigorous "I'm fine." Interestingly, the original script had the Hatter as an extremely lucid character.
- Magic Pants: Averted as Alice gets a new bigger/smaller dress to fit her every time she changes size. During the first time she grows, though, her dress expands to something more her size, but very tight-fitting.
- Maiden Aunt: Alice's, played by Frances De La Tour. Apparently thinks she's Wallis Simpson. ("I'm waiting for my fiance. He's a prince, but alas, he cannot marry me unless he renounces his throne.") When Alice returns, she tells her aunt she has to let go of her fantasy.
- Man in a Kilt: The Hatter wears one for the final battle. No explanation is offered, other than the Hatter's occasional Scottish-ness.
- Actually, there may be some sort of explanation: Near the beginning of the movie, when Alice dances with her would-be fiance she tells him that she had a vision of women wearing pants and men wearing dresses (or something to that effect). Since she is effectively wearing pants in the final battle, the Hatter wearing a kilt might sort of fulfill the other part of her vision.
- Manipulative Bitch: The Red Queen thinks her sister the White Queen is this (and, to an extent, she's right).
Mirana can make anyone fall in love with her. Men... Women... Animals...
Even the furniture
(later) "I know what you're doing. You think you can blink those pretty little eyes and I'll melt, just like Mommy and Daddy did. It is MY crown! I am the eldest!
- Meaningful Name:
- The Knave's real name is Stayne (Stain), and he certainly is one on Underland.
- The Red Queen's real name is Iracebeth, a play on the word irascible, which she very much is. Contrast that with her sister — the White Queen's real name is Mirana, which is a variant of Mira, which means "peace."
- Also, the Hatter's real name is Tarrant Hightopp, with the last name being a reference to the top hats favored by his family.
- Mercy Kill: The Knave begs the White Queen for this when she has him shackled to the Red Queen "from this day until the end of Underland." Of course she denies him.
- Though to be fair, at least in this fantasy world, the characters aren't immortal. Red Queen: HE TRIED TO KILL ME! (Unless the Outlands, to which they were banished, have a magic spell surrounding them that prevents death.)
- A Minor Kidroduction: We first see Alice as a little girl, then again in flashbacks of the original story.
- Ms. Fanservice: Alice.
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: The Cheshire Cat and the Bandersnatch.
- Mythology Gag: The real name of Wonderland is Underland. The original name Lewis Carroll gave Alice in Wonderland was Alice's Adventures Underground.
- While the Gryphon from the books is absent as a character in the events of the film, he is referred to in the Red Queen's castle◊. The Mock Turtle◊ and Walrus also appear as portraits.
- Lady Ascot (Hamish's mother) griping about how the gardeners planted white roses when she specifically requested red, and Alice's response that she could paint the roses red, is a shout out to the Queen of Hearts in the Disney adaptation, as well as to other adaptations.
- And the actual book.
- We also briefly see her doing so in a flashback of her first visit to Underland as a child, with the Red Queen watching over her.
- Named Weapons: The Vorpal Sword
- Negate Your Own Sacrifice: The Cheshire Cat takes a beheading for the Mad Hatter. This trope applies because the Cheshire cat can detach his head from his body at any time.
- Never a Self-Made Woman: Despite Alice's father having very little screen time, once Alice understands who she is she labels herself as her father's daughter, then proceeds to continue his work.
- However, she chooses to go into a business and leave home to establish trade routes, rather than get married to a 'suitable' member of the aristocracy. She's doing what the eldest son of a family would be expected to do, rather than a daughter.
- Never My Fault: The White Rabbit is pissed off at Alice for being "The wrong Alice" several times lecturing her and calling her out as a fraud, despite he was the one who chose her and brought her there. (Of course, he may have a valid reason for being angry, because as it turned out, he had not chosen the wrong Alice, and Alice's constant denial that he had the wrong person was likely making him upset.)
- Never Trust a Title: See In Name Only entry above.
- Never Trust a Trailer: In the trailer, there's a scene where a frog confesses to stealing the queen's food. In the trailer, it was treated as a funny scene. In the movie? It's played up to be the Queen's Kick the Dog moment.
- Nice Hat: The Hatter has one (and makes a bunch more for the Red Queen at one point) - it even serves as a Chekhov's Gun. And a mode of transport.
- Nightmare Fetishist: The White Queen, as illustrated by the cheerful way in which she puts the disgusting ingredients in the potion she makes for Alice. As explained by her actress Anne Hathaway, the White Queen has the same craziness In the Blood as does her sister, the Red Queen, and so she tries to act very good and pure to compensate, but is still kind of odd - you could think of her as a Perky Goth who happens to wear all white.
- She does show a look of brief disgust when Alice cuts off the Jabberwock's tongue.
- And when she collects blood from the Jabberwock's severed head.
- She also seems to be close to vomiting when briefly smelling the buttered finger for the potion.
- No Name Given: Averted in that almost every resident of Underland has a "real" name, despite almost none of them being given one in the original stories. The Cheshire Cat is Chessur, the March Hare is Thackery, and the White Rabbit is McTwisp, just for starters.
- Non-Human Undead: The Jabberwocky, who looks all decayed and emaciated, and its intro even looked like resurrecting from the dead.
- Noodle Incident: One that, when mentioned, immediately prompts the Hatter to fly into a furious tirade.
Cheshire Cat: What happened that day was not my fault.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: The Hatter plays up his insanity to the Knave of Hearts, but is secretly quite the badass. The March Hare, however, definitely isn't pretending.
- Of Corset Hurts: Alice refuses to wear her corset to show how free spirited she is, saying how it's an item of female restriction.
- Off with His Head!: Alice to the Jabberwocky and of course the Red Queen. Unlike the book and the Disney film, the Red Queen actually goes through with it even against her own husband!
- The Omniscient: Absolem the Caterpillar is implied to be this. Hardly surprising since he's keeper of the Oraculum.
Alice: It's a calender...
. It tells of each and every day, since the beginning.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Johnny Depp is... rather inconsistent about which part of the United Kingdom the Hatter is from (either because he's, well, mad, or... see What Do You Mean, It's Not Political? below).
- Whenever he's angry, he slips into the Scottish accent. This is accompanied by a change in color for both his eyes and the coloration around them.
- Johnny Depp has a remarkably impressive record of successfully imitating a British accent in films - making it more likely to be a clever manifestation of the Hatter's madness than anything else.
- Parental Favoritism: As noted below under The Unfavorite, this is the Red Queen's Freudian Excuse; her parents (and, apparently, the rest of the whole kingdom) always favored her little sister. Notably averted with Alice's family, since she and her sister are very close and both love their parents very much.
- Perky Goth: The White Queen - Anne Hathaway is clearly having a ball floating around like a melodramatic crazy girl. Hathaway's own description of her character is "a punk-rock vegan pacifist." One movie critic summed her up as "Morticia Addams's hippie cousin."
- Pet the Dog: Arguably. The Red Queen usurped her sister the White Queen and exiled her to the fairytale castle of Marmoreal. Bad, sure, but at least she let her little sister keep her head. The Red Queen's own husband, whose head is shown floating in the moat at Salazen Grum, wasn't as lucky.
- Pimped-Out Dress: The Queens and their courtiers. Also, Alice gets several over the course of the movie to match her ever-changing size.
- Politically Correct History: Alice would not go on a journey to China after telling off all those people and talking nonsense, she would be sent to a sanatorium. She's nothing but a young woman in Victorian England, after all. But a fabulously wealthy young woman in Victorian England, so she can do more than most. Just go with it!
- Pragmatic Adaptation: A few things or characters are either mixed together or adapted out for the sake of letting the story flow.
- Psychopathic Womanchild: The Red Queen according to her actress, who evidently took inspiration from her young daughter, Nell.
The Red Queen is just like a toddler, because she’s got a big head and she’s a tyrant. Toddlers have no sympathy for any living creature. That’s our toddler, Nell just bosses us around with no please or thank yous. It’s ‘Mummy, come here’, ‘Mummy, carry me’. It’s all about her, she never considers us.
- Public Domain Character: But of course.
- Red-Headed Hero: The Hatter.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: The Hatter's eyes go from neon-green to fiery-red when he gets angry.
- Green Eyes: They become a deeper green when he's happy.
- The Scapegoat: Chess takes a lot of heat for something he did when the White Queen was overthrown, and the Hatter blames him for the whole incident. (This was not without malice on Tim Burton's part; he hates cats.) Although, he redeems himself eventually.
- Scenery Porn and Scenery Gorn: It is a Tim Burton movie, after all. A visual feast is practically expected. Even the bombed-out ruins of the White Queen's party look impressive.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Chessur does this when the guards crash the Mad Tea Party.
- The Seven Basic Plots: Voyage and Return. Yep, painfully as obvious as Alice's adventure, but inverted at the end when Alice leaves Wonderland but vows to return, and once in her own world sails off to China, implying she has one more voyage before coming home.
- Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing: Whenever Alice shrinks or grows, her clothing remains its original size, forcing some creative costume changes until the White Queen finally puts her back to normal.
- Alice's father's name is Charles; Lewis Carroll's real name was Charles Dodgeson.
- Charles Kingsley, author of The Water Babies, was another famous Victorian children's author whose work influenced Lewis Carroll.
- The twisted tree near the entry door to Wonderland is very similar to the one in Sleepy Hollow.
- The Jabberwocky acting as the Red Queen's Sentinel, similarly to American McGee's Alice.
- The Knave's comment to the Red Queen, "Is it not better to be feared than loved?" is in fact a shout out to Macchiavelli's The Prince.
- There seem to be a few shout-outs to that other Big Effin' 3-D CGI movie that came out only a few months before, such as the floating seed pods, the main character growing and shrinking, being called stupid and having to lead an army to fight a dragon with a dangerous creature they befriended, but it's probably that movie referencing this one's story plus another big effin' movie trilogy's tropes.
- The scene where the Jabberwock appears bears a striking resemblance to Chernabog emerging from the mountain.
- The first shot of the Hatter sitting in his cell is a visual allusion to the shot of the falsely-imprisoned man◊ in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: Alice: "Enough chatting!" She slices off the Jabberwock's tongue.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: The Red Queen and the White Queen.
- Slasher Smile: The Cheshire Cat, and virtually everyone else who smiles in Underland.
- Smoking Is Cool: Absolem, of course.
- Sore Loser: The Red Queen after Alice vanquishes the Jabberwocky.
- Split Personality: The Hatter seems to have one - he lapses into a Scottish brogue and his eyes even change color as an indicator on occasion. Supplemental material explains that the brogue is common to those who speak Outlandish, the language from the portion of Underland which includes the Hatter's home village of Witzend.
- Statuesque Stunner: 9-foot-tall Alice. Well, to the Knave of Hearts, anyway.
- Stepford Smiler: The White Queen, when she's not pretending to be a Purity Sue.
- Stealth Pun: If you listen to the White Queen condemn her sister, you will notice that the Red Queen is 'Iracebeth of Crims'. That is, she's crimson.
- Crims is the region of Underland where Iracebeth's castle, Salazen Grum, is located. The origin of the name probably is a reflection of the color, though.
- Take That: Alice's dance near the end of the movie; Gasp! She's not wearing stockings!
- Talking Animals: Non-talking (well, not on camera anyway) animals are the aforementioned "furniture".
- Tantrum Throwing: The Mad Hatter does this in the Red Queen's Castle.
- Tailfin Walking: The fish courtman.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: The Dormouse again. After the final battle, the Hatter throws his scissors right into the Knave's wrist, just as he is about to murder the Red Queen (to whom he was forcibly handcuffed as punishment).
- Tome of Prophecy: The Oraculum.
- Took a Level in Badass: Arguably, the entire cast. Specifically Alice, the Dormouse, and the Hatter. Even the White Queen seems to take one when she gets the crown back.
- Trickster Archetype: The Cheshire Cat. In true Trickster fashion, it's even implied this whole mess started because of him.
- Troubled Backstory Flashback: The Hatter.
- Tsundere: The Red Queen. Dere Dere when it comes to the Knave, Tsun Tsun about everything else.
- Tyrant Takes the Helm: The Red Queen fits this trope.
- Unexplained Recovery: The Bandersnatch's eye. Also Alice's infected arm after the Bandersnatch cures it in return.
- The Unfavorite: The Red Queen, or at least she thinks she was; she insists that her parents favored her little sister the White Queen. This is her Freudian Excuse for being such a psycho.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: Alice and the Mad Hatter, although this is a strange example because they're probably not intended to give off such vibes to viewers, and it's not quite Will They or Won't They? because they never really hint at anything too obviously. The original script, however, included two passionate kisses between them, and there is a rumor that one of them was actually filmed.
The Mad Hatter: (to 9-foot-tall Alice) Why is it you're always too small, or too tall?
"You're terribly late, you know... naughty."
- Unusual Euphemism:
- "slurking urpal slackush scrum": No literal translation was given, but rather simply "words of the foulest meaning".
- Unusual Eyebrows: The Mad Hatter.
- Upper-Class Twit: Hamish, Alice's would-be fiancé, could be the poster child for this trope.
- Violent Glaswegian: The March Hare is always muttering to himself or shouting in Scottish accented gibberish, and he's certainly violent.
- The Mad Hatter gets a Scottish accent (with a kilt and a claymore in the final battle!) when angry.
- Vertebrate with Extra Limbs: The Jabberwocky. And it walks on all fours- with its wings. It can even make fists with them, or climb up the ruins, but it can't fly.
- Waif-Fu: Alice, who looks like River Tam's even waifier sister, dons a shining suit of armor, and beheads the friggin' Jabberwocky.
- Weapon of X-Slaying: The Vorpal Sword is implied to be this for the Jabberwocky.
- Weird Moon: Once the Cheshire Cat gets hold of it.
- Also, just for a moment in the opening sequence, the clouds in front of the moon form the Cheshire Cat's face as we pull back.
- What Happened to the Dodo?: After the croquet game, the Dodo just disappears. There is no mention of him, he doesn't even show up during the final battle!!
- The Bandersnatch too. He is last seen tackling a deck of cards, but never appears again.
- Who's on First? : The Knave has some trouble with the name "Um".
- Wild Mass Guessing: Depp's take on the Mad Hatter is a historical one: Hatters went mad due to working with mercury (which can turn hair and eyes red while bleaching skin and cause anxiety, hallucinations and possibly schizophrenia), and the Mad Hatter has had mercury poisoning for a very long time. He also went with the Edgar Allan Poe angle to the Raven/writing desk riddle.
- Woman in White: The White Queen in all her pacifistic glory.
- The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: The White Queen spends most of her time looking elegant and floating around waving her arms in the air, but during her first appearance, she asks her courtiers to excuse her for a moment, and the second they leave, she drops her arms, picks up her skirts and runs to greet Bayard in a gush of emotion. She's making use of Obfuscating Weirdness.
- Yes Men: The Red Queen's courtiers. The Mad Hatter actually calls them "lickspittles."
- You Can't Fight Fate:
- So it is written, so will it be done. It was prophesied that Alice would slay the Jabberwocky before Alice was even given a proper understanding of what was going on when she reached Underland. She did try to Screw Destiny for a while, and even showed, eventually, that this was less Genre Blindness and more backbone (Off the Rails, as it were). But even that turned out to be part of the big prediction. Reminds one a little of Tolkien, with his God character saying stuff like "You thought you were singing against me, but that was part of my musical masterpiece all along."
- There is an interesting zigzagging of this trope in the movie, what with Alice fleeing a forced marriage into Wonderland where she runs into another forced destiny, tries to screw it but still plays by it, carries out her destiny in Wonderland, but still manages to Screw Destiny in England!
- Not quite - Despite the prophecy, Alice had the choice to say no at the end, same as the acceptance of marriage was ultimately her choice as well. For an admittedly rather short while before the big battle, it looked like she did/would go the Screw Destiny route. The point was that destinies are inevitable, but one can choose which destiny shall they follow.
- Put bluntly, Alice fights, not because she is destined to, but because she wants to. In other words, she accepts Fate, but on her terms.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Fur for the Cheshire Cat, feathers for the Dodo.
- The White Queen has pure white hair while her sister has blood-red hair.
- Youngest Child Wins: Mirana succeeds in taking the throne away from her older sister and bringing peace to Wonderland.
- Your Cheating Heart: Alice catches her sister's husband making out with another woman. For extra Jerkass points, he says that if she tells on him, it will be her fault that their marriage founders. At the end, he is put in his place.
- Xenafication: Alice, naturally, but not right away. At the start of the film, she's pretty much just a teenage version of the girl she was before, and has to take several levels in badass before the full Xenafication process is complete at the end. (And she becomes a mature, independent young woman in the process.)