Think, for a moment, about what a subversive fellow is the waistcoat-clad White Rabbit from Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland. He sends Alice tumbling down a dangerous hole into a menacing dream world, where she trips out on mushrooms and nearly loses her head. (No wonder he inspired that Jefferson Airplane song.) In Tim Burton’s smash 2010 reboot of enduring children’s classic, Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is older, on the cusp of womanhood, but still just as vulnerable to the influence of the rabbit (voiced by Michael Sheen).
She’s forced to live out the same nightmare from her girlhood all over again, though at least she has an unlikely ally this time in the form of Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter. (By the way, there’s another crazy rabbit at his tea party, the March Hare, as in, “Mad as a…”, voiced by Paul Whitehouse.) Alice does manage to slay her dream-projection demons, return to the surface world, and display a streak of independence that’s scandalous for a Victorian woman. Still, that White Rabbit has a lot to answer for.