Alice Character in Alice in Wonderland
Alice, the curious and imaginative protagonist from Lewis Carroll’s 1865 masterpiece, Alice's
Adventures in Wonderland, adapted from his handwritten story Alice’s Adventures Under
Ground and today more commonly referred to as Alice in Wonderland, has been a mainstay
of fictional storytelling for close to 150 years now. Her story of curiosity, adventure, and
misadventure has been entertaining readers, theatre- and film audiences for generations,
and shows no signs of slowing down. Let’s take a closer look at some of the portrayals of
this iconic character through the years.
Alice’s first appearance after the hugely successful 1865 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
was in the sequel, Alice's Adventures Through the Looking Glass & What She Found There.
Her curiosity once again gets the better of her as she travels back to Wonderland and meets
many of the iconic characters still with us today, including Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee.
The first time we see a live-action Alice is in the 1903 silent-ere film, Alice in Wonderland.
The film is a mere 12 minutes long but features the iconic Mad Hatter’s Tea Party scene and
the Royal Procession. Although the only surviving print is severely damaged, the BFI has
uploaded a restored version to YouTube in its original colours.
The next live version came in 1933. Alice was played by an adult, something that fans
couldn’t wrap their heads around, causing the film to be a box office flop. A 1949 version did
better; however, Alice was the only live-action character in Wonderland, while all the other
characters were stop-motion puppets.
Arguably the best portrayal of Alice in film is the 1951 Disney version. This box office hit
cemented Alice’s place in popular culture for years to come. Although she’s a few years
older in this version than in the original books, the design choices made in this film still
contribute to how we picture her today.
Since then, Alice has been portrayed in numerous other films, miniseries, theatrical shows,
video games, and crossovers, however, her next big ‘break’ came in the form of the 2010
and 2016 Tim Burton adaptations. His versions play more on the dark-fantasy themes with
an older and more mature Alice, however, stellar performances by top-tier actors such as
Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, and Helena Bonham Carter have made these films box-
Through all these adaptations, the character of Alice has remained a beloved and iconic
figure. Her curiosity, bravery, and wit have resonated with audiences for over a century, and
the story of Alice in Wonderland continues to inspire new generations of fans.