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Headscratchers / Alice in Wonderland

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The Disney animated film

  • Regarding the animated Disney film: if the card soldiers would be killed for painting the roses red, why were they singing a song about it? That would be like going through Vichy France singing "Smuggling Jews into Spain, I'm smuggling Jews into Spain!"
    • No musical makes any sense. People don't just burst into song about their feelings or the events of their lives in the real world. Singing about painting the roses red is no more daft than anything else.
      • More to the point, one of the first lyrics they sing is "We dare not stop/or waste a drop". And yet they're splashing paint all over the place.
      • "We're all mad here."
    • It's Wonderland. THERE IS NO LOGIC OF ANY SORT!!!!
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    • Going back to the first question: might be a case of Fridge Brilliance invoking Too Dumb to Live. Yes, it was foolish to think they could sing a song about it and go unnoticed. And what happens next just after they sang the song about how they're secretly painting the roses red ? The angry Queen of Hearts rushes to them "for no apparent reason".
  • What always puzzled me about that part was that the singing voices of the cards are dubbed by the Mellomen, a singing quartet. But there are only three cards...
    • During Thurl Ravenscroft's first solo, it does look like a fourth card is randomly showing up. Doesn't explain how only three of them can sing four voices all together, though.
  • I saw a version of Monopoly starring the Disney Villains, and for some reason, the villain's spaces on the board game included one featuring the Mad Hatter. How exactly is the Mad Hatter supposed to be considered a villain?
    • I came across the same problem on a Disney Villian's towel I bought from Disney World. The Hatter was on it, and I couldn't figure why.
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    • He's not a good guy, either in the original or the Disney version. At best he's an obstacle, at worst he's outright malevolent (he's repeatedly shown to be violent towards the Dormouse and March Hare, though the March Hare does throw a few jabs back, as well as wildly destructive) and simply hadn't turned on Alice yet. It's sort of a Historical Villain Upgrade as compared to most remakes and reimaginings giving him a Historical Hero Upgrade, when he's merely Grey morality of the Chaotic Neutral type. I don't know why they put him as a villain, since there is far from a shortage of Disney animated villains.
      • It bugs me that the Cheshire Cat and Hatter are "villains" when the Firebird or the abusive Stepmother aren't. 1951's Alice and 2010's are one in the same according to Disney, and the Hatter or Cat are not villains in Tim Burton's.
      • The firebird is a force of nature. Lady Tremaine is included in the villain line as often as not.
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    • Yeah, that always confused me too. The Mad Hatter and the March Hare aren't villains - they aren't particularly helpful, but they're not malicious, just mad.
  • During the Walrus and the Carpenter bit: when the Tweedles say "But mother oyster winked her eye/and shook her heavy head/she knew too well this was no time/to leave her oyster bed", Mother Oyster looks over at a calender next to her, and the letter 'R' in the word "March" grows big and flashing red. Is this some kind of hidden joke that I'm simply too young to get?
    • Oysters can only be harvested, and therefore eaten, only part of the year. The general rule of thumb is any month with an R in it.
    • Or put more plainly, oysters are in danger during the colder months, when they can be kept cold (in the days before mechanical refrigeration) for a longer period of time. In the Northern Hemisphere summer months don't have an R in them. Read more here.
  • When does reality end and the dream begin? At the beginning, Alice and Dinah sit in a tree, climb down, walk through a field of daisies, and finally lie down next to the riverbank. Then during the last scene, Alice and Dinah wake up underneath the tree they climbed down from earlier.
    • Most likely Alice just went to sleep right after getting down from the tree, and dreamed of the field, with her mind filling in the gap so she thought she must have walked there from the tree. The dream probably starts at the point where it's obvious that Alice's sister isn't there anymore when she should be right there talking. Another possibility is that she was dreaming from the start- she never got up into the tree in the first place, just fell asleep listening to her sister's lesson. (Which would explain why Dinah acts a bit more intelligently than one would expect of an animal.)
  • So on the quotes page, it's stated that Walt Disney wanted to include the White Knight (from Through the Looking Glass) in the story, but it was felt that it would be changing too much. But they already included the Tweedles and referenced Jabberwocky. It's not as though a chess-piece-based character would have been *that* out of place.
    • Word of God is that it was better for Alice to learn the Aesop for herself rather than having the Knight show up to teach her. So they created the song "Very Good Advice" to serve that purpose.
  • Why is a raven like a writing desk?
    • Edgar Allan Poe once wrote stories on both.
    • Technically, there's no real answer. It's just a mad, illogical question in a story full of them.
    • Because both can hold notes, but they're nevar with the wrong end in front.
  • Why did it take so long for Alice to be woken up by her sister? Surely her sister would've noticed she was sleeping no more than thirty seconds in.
    • At first, the dream wasn't bad, so Alice's sleep was likely very peaceful, and Dinah didn't want to disturb her. But once the dream turned bad, Dinah probably noticed something was wrong (maybe Alice was starting to thrash in her sleep) and tried to wake Alice from her nightmare.
    • And the sister in the opening doesn't seem to care that Alice isn't paying attention. She just reads from the book and only stops whenever Alice does something that interrupts her. So when Alice fell asleep, she didn't interrupt her so she kept on reading. She'd probably finished the chapter by the time she noticed Alice was asleep.
    • The flow of time also feels way different when you're asleep. It's not unusual to having lost track of time upon waking up, or for just a few minutes of napping to feel like several days of dreaming. Alice was probably not out long enough for her sister to notice.
  • During "Painting the Roses Red." How isn't any of the paint going on Alice's dress or the cards? Actually, how is it not staying on?
    • It's Wonderland. Logic is nonexistent.
    • And the cards are waxed cardboard. Paint will slide off that like an egg from a frying pan.
    • And Alice is the most careful out of all of them. She probably avoided the others so she wouldn't get paint on her dress.
  • Actually, how did the gardeners plant white roses instead of red? They know their heads will roll if they plant white.
    • Maybe they didn't see properly. They said that the planted the white roses 'instead'.
    • And they look pretty old too.
  • One last thing. How are the roses not singing like the ones Alice encountered earlier? Or screaming for help?
    • The gardeners said (Or in this case sung) that "They'll cease to grow." When the paint went on they're voices were plugged up.
    • Also the flowers in the field were all different. These are just roses.
  • What, in all honesty, was the White Rabbit late for? The entire story of Wonderland is riding off this. There is no explanation anywhere in the story. Can someone please tell me before I go mad?
    • He was late for the Mad Hatter's tea party, considering his watch was an unbirthday gift to him. The film didn't make that clear but that's how it was in the original story.


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