Attention, all Mimsy Minions! (If Lady Gaga can dub her fans “Little Monsters” then surely Lewis Carroll’s must be called “Mimsy Minions”.) It’s a lot of work to keep up with nifty Carrollian information for our blog. Please pitch in and show your colors! Submit any blog-worthy items (with URLs where appropriate) to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Do this early and often! Let’s demonstrate just how nifty blog crowdsourcing can be. Thanks! :-)
Perhaps unique in the annals of Alice publishing, syndicated columnist Jon Carroll of the San Francisco Chronicle is publishing the text of Wonderland one sentence at a time at the end of his column, beginning on July 25 in one titled “Turning on to rainbows, and tuning out.” He had just finished publishing King Lear this same way. Inspiration perhaps came from a similar stunt in the New Yorker, whose editor, Gardner Botsford, got bored with seeing the same capsule review for The Fantastics, which ran for 42 years. In its place, beginning on November 23, 1968, with the copyright—or, one could argue, December 21 with the opening line—it began serializing the first chapter of Ulysses, ending in November of 1971.
For many collectors, the act of cataloging the collection can be an essential part of the pleasure. Caterina Morelli’s blog Alice in Wonderland is a great example. In her native Italian, Morelli painstakingly documents her extensive collection of Carroll editions; as she puts it, “every post is an index card of a book.” Each card starts with an evocative description of the edition, followed by detailed information about the illustrator, publisher, and text – even the dimensions and the construction of the book are recorded. The cards are organized by illustrator.
When she told me about her blog, Caterina mentioned that some day she would like to translate it into English. Perhaps someone reading this blog is an Italian-English translator and an Alice fan? Would you like to help with her project? What nicer way could there be to brush up on your Italian?
“Alice looked back once or twice, half hoping they would call after her: the last time she saw them they were trying to put the Dormouse into the teapot”
Many [learning and development] people struggle with the challenge of engaging and enrolling business managers in employee development. Trying to wedge them into a place they don’t really want to be. More…
The post is the last in a series of three which uses Alice’s adventures to illuminate strategies for effective learning in the workplace wonderland. Previous posts covered “The Lobster Quadrille for Learning and Development” and topical advice from the Cheshire Cat.
The Publisher’s Weekly blog PWxyz ranked The 5 Books that Inspire the Most Tattoos, finding Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in the top 5. Their online research seems to be thorough, even if the methods aren’t scientific: “We spent an untold number of hours combing the Internet’s two most extensive literary tattoo sites: Contrariwise: Literary Tattoos and The Word Made Flesh, then cross-checking the most frequently occurring tattoos with Google searches and Google image searches, all to get to the bottom of what books inspire the most tattoos and why.” Lewis Carroll’s book was beat out only by… Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut, only because of the popularity of the phrase “So it goes.” So it goes.
2. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Alice has inspired the most varied collection of tattoos of any book. Its wide cast of characters, quotes and images are all represented: the Cheshire Cat, the Dodo, the White Rabbit, and the Caterpillar all have fans out there. Out of the quotes, “We’re all mad here” was the most commonly occurring. Credit Alice‘s popularity among the tattooed to the fully-realized world Carroll created, and for tone specific to its story. More than any other book on this list, you’d be likely to get an Alice tattoo because it simply looks great and is hyper-intricate. Tim, who has an image of the Cheshire Cat on his shoulder blade, said on Contrariwise: “The Cheshire Cat is the only creature in Wonderland who uses logic. Though his words often seem mocking and bizarre, his process is always logical. To me the Cheshire Cat symbolizes the fragility of the border between genius and insanity.”
Alice in Wonderland is increasingly popular as a wedding theme on reality television and in life (one “credit crunch” bride has even described it as recession-defying). As ever, some couples go further than others. This week many blogs have been reposting these pictures of newlyweds Erin and Matt – a couple with a vision, to be sure. You can see many more pictures at BitRebels.
You know how it is. You read an email alert which leads to a blog, which leads to a YouTube clip, which leads to you spending 6:31 minutes watching a 1987 spoof of Madonna’s “Material Girl” starring Alice and six men in Tweedle suits, shot entirely on location and out of hours in Disney World, Florida.
It’s brilliantly awful, but if for any reason you can’t quite watch it all, at least skip to the end to read the extensive credits. Prominent thanks are given to the Walt Disney World Character Wardrobe, on the principal that sometimes it is easier to ask forgiveness than permission, I assume.
Original movie poster for The Care Bears Adventure in Wonderland (1987), from Wikipedia
I wasn’t aware of the existence of the movie (if it can be called that) called The Care Bears Adventure in Wonderland, but the Nostalgia Critic, from the website That Guy with the Glasses has done a hilarious review of it in his newest episode, and I think you will enjoy it. When I was a little girl, I used to love the Care Bears, and I still find them cute. I also still love the Alice stories, so I was a little excited when learning there is a movie that combines the Care Bears and Alice. The excitement towards the movie quickly diminished. Here’s why. Although I haven’t watched the whole movie, the clips from the review were enough to help me form an opinion, one that isn’t too positive, but I will let you be the judges of that. I do want to point out some things about the movie before commenting on the Critic’s review.
The stories have changed. What a surprise! Alice visits Wonderland but her adventures are completely different from the books. Are they better than the book, you ask? I think we all know the answer to that.
There is one thing I like about this movie (“like” might be too much of a compliment). I should say, there is something I don’t dislike so much about the movie: the Queen is not evil, so it moves away from the usual “evil witch, evil women” most children’s stories present. The Queen might be, as one of the commenters observes, a version of one of the Queens from Looking-Glass but which uses the idea of the Queen of Hearts because she is more recognizable.
This is the most important point. WARNING: After watching the movie clips some of you might feel the sudden urge to poke your eyes out or chop your ears off because, get this… THERE IS A RAPPING PSYCHEDELIC CHESHIRE CAT!
What was up with the ‘80s and ‘90s and the constant need to rap? Ironically this is the character in this movie the Nostalgia Critic “kinda likes,” acknowledging that the bar has been set phenomenally low, so a rapping cat sadly counts as an “up.” Not to give too much away, but if there is one reason to watch this review, it is actually to listen to all the rapping nonsense taking place, and the wonderful remix the Critic produces using other rapping animated artists from other not-so-wonderful movies. This is something the Critic does wonderfully: his references to pop culture, which include the Mario Bros. game and movie, Disney movies, other songs, and even Double Mint gum add to the hilarity of his review. In addition, when the fall into Wonderland occurs, the Critic makes reference to the Disney movie, not Tim Burton’s, but the animated feature from 1951. He refers to it as the “much better Disney movie.” This of course is a point of debate for many of us Lewis Carroll fans because there are very differing opinions about it. I do believe the Critic is referring to the animation in that movie, which was excellently executed and really brought Wonderland to life in a way that not a lot of movies have been able to.
At one point the Critic also comments on the names in the movies, indicating that the Princess’ name is Princess, the Queen’s name is Queen, and the Wizard’s name is… you guessed it, Wizard. This is not only funny but it also makes one think about the absurdity of the movie and makes one wonder how much thought the writers actually put into it. There is one character, however, which is given a name, but I will let you find out for yourselves and laugh at the absurdity, and of course laugh along with the Critic’s comments.
Amid the jokes and screams of frustration, the Critic demonstrates his knowledge of the original books and the period in which they were created. For instance, there is a robot (yes, you read correctly) in Wonderland that needs to be destroyed for some reason. The Critic comments that this is “clearly fitting the Victorian-based novel that this hacked film was loosely based on, but hey, if Tim Burton can throw in breakdancing I guess Care Bears can throw in giant robots.” Robots in Wonderland? This movie seems to be a mixture of Wonderland, Looking-Glass, Care Bears, Transformers, and pure nonsense (and not the good nonsense only Lewis Carroll could so perfectly create). But I don’t want to spoil all the fun of watching the review, which is actually truly funny, and the “fun” of watching clips from the movie. So I will leave you with these wise words about the movie from the Nostalgia Critic himself: “Not only do they insult the intelligence of the younger audience watching this, but now they insult the intelligence of the timeless Lewis Carroll books…” Enjoy!
Warning: This contains some spicy language! Furthermore, our blog posted That Guy with the Glasses‘ review of Alice in Wonderland a few years ago here. Additionally, someone has put the original onYouTube:
Enough Un-Anniversaries, July 28th is actually the day Disney’s Alice in Wonderland was released in 1951. To celebrate properly, we’ll re-post from reigning expert Matt Crandall’s excellent Disney Alice blog, vintagedisneyalice.blogspot.com, where he posted today images of a Disney comic book: