In the Walrus and the Carpenter sequence, the R in the word "March" on the mother oyster's calendar flashes. This alludes to the old adage about only eating oysters in a month with an R in its name. That is because those months without an R (May, June, July, August) are the summer months in England, when oysters would not keep due to the heat, in the days before refrigeration.
As Alice is helping paint the roses red, they sing, "not pink, not green, not aquamarine." Immediately thereafter, the queen's card army arrives, and after the first rank of normally-colored cards, the following three ranks of cards are pink, green, and aquamarine.
Lewis Carroll wrote the riddle "Why is a raven like a writing desk?" as nonsense - it has no answer. This has not stopped people, despite being repeatedly told that there is not, nor should there be, any answer, from trying to contrive one. Among the suggestions are, "Because Edgar Allan Poe wrote on both" and "Because the notes for which they are noted are not noted for being musical notes" (the second of which is very similar to a solution that Carroll himself wearily suggested when he grew tired of people asking him about it).
During a break in the recording sessions, Ed Wynn ad libbed the speech where the Mad Hatter tries to "fix" the White Rabbit's watch. ("Muthtard? Leth not be thilly!") Walt Disney, who was listening in a nearby sound booth, saw that the recording tape was still recording Wynn's speech. He told the sound technicians, "Hey, that stuff's pretty funny. Why don't you use that speech in the movie?" The sound men objected. "We can't use that speech. There are too many background noises on the tape." Disney smiled, and told them, "That's *your* problem," then walked out of the room. Eventually, with much labor, the sound technicians managed to erase all the background noises from the recording tape so that Ed Wynn's ad libs could be used in the film.
HIDDEN MICKEY: In the scene where Alice grows and gets stuck in the White Rabbit's house, if you look closely at the DoDo bird's flame as he lights his pipe, there is a hidden Mickey flickering in the flame.
Originally, Alice was to sing a song different from "In a World of My Own". It would be a slow ballad entitled "Beyond the Laughing Sky", and it was a song about Alice dreaming of a new world, a world better than her own, very much in the spirit of Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz (1939). However, Kathryn Beaumont had difficulty singing, and it was decided that starting the film off with a slow ballad would be a little risky on audiences. The song we hear today, "In a World of My Own", is livelier, and was easier for Beaumont to sing.
Early drafts of the script had Alice encounter the Jabberwock (to have been voiced by Stan Freberg), from Lewis Carroll's poem "Jabberwocky". The sequence was rejected, either because it slowed the story down, or because of concerns that it would be too frightening. Elements of "Jabberwocky" remain in the film, however: the Cheshire Cat's song "T'was Brillig", consisting of the opening stanza; and the Tulgey Wood sequence, which includes at least one of the creatures mentioned in the poem, "The Mome Raths".
An early plot idea involved Dinah getting lost in Wonderland and getting turned into the Cheshire Cat. Alice, the cat, the Mad Hatter, and the March Hare were to go on a journey together climaxing with Alice's arrest by the Queen. In the end, the Cheshire Cat redeems him/herself and is turned back into a real cat and escaping with Alice for a happy ending.
The English novelist Aldous Huxley worked with Walt Disney on early scripts for this project in late 1945. The original idea was for a cartoon version of Alice embedded in a flesh-and-blood episode from Lewis Carroll's life. Huxley's mother, Julia Arnold, was one of the little girls that Carroll used to enjoy photographing, and to whom he told the Alice stories. The project was close to Huxley's heart, but Disney found his work too intellectual, and it was not used. Huxley received no credit on the finished picture.
Janet Waldo, best known as the voice of Judy Jetson, was considered at one point to voice Alice. She would later voice Alice in Hanna-Barbera's own version of Alice in Wonderland, televised in 1966 over ABC.
Continuing the pattern of film versions of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" not being commercially successful, this movie was a huge box office failure. However, it did become something of a cult film during the 1960s, where it was viewed as a "head film". Several years later it became the Disney studio's most requested 16mm film rental title for colleges and private individuals. In 1974, the studio took note of this fact, withdrew the rental prints, and reissued the film nationally themselves
This was the first feature film for which Walt Disney was able to use television for cross-promotion. Disney's very first television program, One Hour in Wonderland (1950), which was broadcast on Christmas evening of 1950, was devoted to the production of this film. Naturally, the entire program, including the clips from the movie, was in black and white.
An earlier adaptation was planned for the thirties. The storyboards were done by the talented British artist David Hall. It was a bit closer to the book, but it was rejected for being too scary. Amongst the concepts from this version was the Mad Hatter and March hare chasing Alice with a knife and scissors, the Cheshire Cat with hundreds of sharp teeth, and Alice nearly beheaded by a grinding gear.
There were a ton of cut songs composed for this film (over thirty according to some sources). A few were reworked into songs for other projects. For example "Second Star to the Right" and "Never Smile At A Crocodile" from Peter Pan was going to be "Beyond the Laughing Sky", sung by Alice and "Lobster Quadriddle",from the late 30's version. There were also a couple of cut songs for the Cheshire Cat and Mr. Caterpillar; the Cheshire Cat got "I'm Odd", while the Caterpillar got "Dream Caravan", which portrayed him as a Dream Walker and had a ridiculously catchy tune...
This was the first Disney theatrical film to be shown on television, in 1954. It was shown as the second installment of the Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color (1954) TV show, edited to fit into a one hour time slot. It is also the only Disney feature-length cartoon film to have its first theatrical re-release after it had already been shown on television (although the film had been televised only in an edited, one-hour version).
Concept art was made of the Jabberwock, the Bandersnatch and the Jub Jub Bird, too. The Jabberwock had fiery eyes, the Bandersnatch had a long neck and a net for a tail, and one of many concepts for the Jub Jub Bird survives as the vulture-like "umbrella birds" that gave Alice a mean look when she interrupted their bath. Another concept for the Jub Jub Bird was a large eagle-like creature.
The Cheshire Cat's recitation of the opening lines of "Jabberwocky" was to give way to an actual encounter with the Jabberwock itself, voiced by Stan Freberg. It was trashed for evidently being too scary.