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The Wonderland

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Curiouser and curiouser.

Most fantasy worlds are unrealistic in some way or another, but at least they are reasonable. Wonderland is... different. The details vary, of course, but they are invariably strange places filled with strange phenomena and populated by strange people. But they are not so far gone as to permit absolutely anything - Wonderland still makes sense, but not that kind of sense.

Many will have a theme of some sort, especially if there is An Aesop. The Mental World and Dream Land are often wonderlands; there is also a certain amount of overlap with the World of Symbolism or the Land of Faerie. See also Cloudcuckooland and Wackyland.

A type of Eldritch Location. Compare to Another Dimension, which makes more conventional sense, and the World of Chaos, which makes less.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Kamichu!: A little girl waking up one day and realizing she's a god is odd enough. The land of the gods, however, where other gods like Laserdisc God reside, is very Wonderland-like.
  • The Digital World drifts into this on occasion, depending on the continuity and location.

    Comic Books 
  • The 1950s strip from the Anthology Comic The Beano Pansy Potter in Wonderland.
  • The Dreaming from The Sandman (1989).
  • In Superman, Htrae is a Bizarro Earth, a cubical planet where things are the opposite of Earth. It's also very inconsistent due to the fact that various authors chose to focus on different aspects and also had different ideas of "opposite" (which kind of works in a meta-sense since Earth is pretty consistent)
  • Figment (based on the Journey into Imagination ride) takes a journey into a world of imagination through a mentally projected portal. The Imaginary realm is divided into various provinces of creative expression such as the Color Wheel, Mathmagicland, the Audio Archipelago and the Nightmare Nation, though only the latter two are properly visited. As Blair was the one that created the portal with his mind, he has some influence over reality there and in time gains a full mastery of that gift and his "mental energy devices" to properly become the Dreamfinder.

    Films — Animated 
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas: Although only Halloween Town and Christmas Town are shown, presumably each of the holiday towns is a themed wonderland following their own logic.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Labyrinth: The Goblin King's kingdom has a structure (both physically and politically). Reason and logic still work there (assuming you take nothing for granted, and take everything literally). Everything that appears in that world also has a 'real-world' referent. And there are rules and laws, although those rules are—to a certain extent—set by and subject to the moods and whims of the king.


    Puppet Shows 
  • South African childrens' series Die Liewe Heksie is centred on the life of the young Witch Lavinia, who lives in the gloriously sunny and beautiful Bloemmieland ("Land of Flowers"). This wonderland is perpetually threatened by the neighbouring country of Giftappeltjieland ("Poisoned-Apple Country") which is barren, bleak and a wasteland ruled by an evil Witch who is constantly trying to overcome livinia so as to take Bloemmieland for her own.

    Tabletop Games 
  • JAGS Wonderland has... well, Wonderland of course. Or more specifically, the deeper "Chessboards" of the Layered World the game takes place in, which stop resembling "our world but crazy", and instead become more symbolic and fantastical.
  • The Demiplane of Dread, better known as Ravenloft is a Gothic Horror take on this trope. Being made up of cursed realms ruled by immortal Darklords, where even the gods cannot reach. Within their realm, each Dreadlord is practically a Physical God... but their realm is also an Ironic Hell that they're unable to leave.
  • Voivodja, from the sourcebook A Red And Pleasant Land, is a campaign setting for Lamentations of the Flame Princess, though it's designed to be adapted into other D20 systems. One could call it "Alice in Wonderland but with Vampires", but doing so severely short-sells it's strange and macabre world of eternal night, where Our Vampires Are Different is in full effect.

    Theme Parks 
  • In the original version of Journey into Imagination, the Realms of Imagination are this, each embodying different forms of creation: Art, Literature, Theater, Science, and Film.

    Video Games 
  • Katamari Damacy: The sky broke, and it can be fixed by rolling a sticky ball around Earth to create replacement stars. Rolling around the world, seeing a child riding a panda bear like a motorcycle is not unusual.
  • LittleBigPlanet: Especially owing to the user-created content and the customizable nature of the game.
  • The Fairy Land of Neirutvena in Chains of Satinav is one of these. Among other oddities, the season is determined by the orientation of a painting in the royal art gallery, the direction of the wind is determined by the large-nosed crab creature that acts as a weather vane, and the time is determined by a large peacock who lights up his plumage based on the season and the direction of the wind.
  • Most of the settings of the Super Mario Bros. series falls into this. As most are strange locales populated by strange people and creatures. The mushrooms that increase Mario's size are even a direct shout out to the mushrooms from Alice in Wonderland. This is cranked up further in Super Mario Bros. Wonder, where distorted flowers change the entire landscape around them in varying capacities, regular flowers are quite chatty, and floppy-eared and betrunked apples turn their imbibers into anthropomorphic elephants... among other things.
  • The Dark World of Deltarune can only be accessed when a Dark Fountain is nearby, which turns everything in the vicinity into its citizens. For example, an ordinary jack of spades in the real world turns into the lovable Lancer in the Dark World.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: In Volume 9, Team RWBY accidentally end up in the Ever After, a strange location that functions on fairy tale logic instead of Remnant's logic. The landscape is split into hexagonal "acres", each linked by bridges that span abyssal gaps that descend into the Void Between the Worlds. Every acre has a different environment that are shaped to the needs of its denizens, which include talking animals and living toys. The Jungle Acre has golden skies and two suns while the Red Acre has red vegetation, green skies and one sun. At the centre of it all looms an enormous tree that sheds rainbow leaves across the entire realm, and all residents play "roles" that are determined by what they are.

  • The Property of Hate is set in a world where lies, doubts, fears and ideas are tangible entities. The sun fell out of the sky and turned into trees and a ocean rests on top of a forest.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • The universe as described by quantum physics and special relativity make very little intuitive sense to us feeble-minded humans, but both systems adhere to strict mathematical premises and make internal sense.
  • Although logic as it appears in dreams tends to shift erratically from moment to moment, in any given moment there is usually some underlying logical structure that the narrative of the dream is following.
  • To early people, any far away land or sea would be like this. Especially when they've only heard about them from others who managed to explore such places. An example would be Australia for European explorers. To them, it was a strange place where there were giant rat-like animals that hopped on two legs and had pouches, beaver-like animals with duck bills and where the swans were black instead of white.
  • Our own world would seem like this trope to a human suddenly perceiving it through Bizarre Alien Senses, and presumably the same would be true for a creature with different sensory abilities that found itself seeing, hearing, or otherwise feeling its environment in the way we do.


Video Example(s):


Willow Farm

While the entire epic is strange, the fifth movement is notorious for being especially bizarre. The visual interpretation here paints it as taking place in a dreamlike realm under the control of the Narcissus Flower.

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