Monday, May 5, 2014

Doll-A-Day 125: Alice in Lalaloopsyland and the Wacky Hatter

  Today we're continuing with Alice week with a Mini Lalaloopsy set, Alice in Lalaloopsyland and the Wacky Hatter.

  I liked the look of the Lalaloopsy dolls when they first came out. I didn't buy any for a while though. I wanted this set when I saw it because it was not only so cute, but it was Alice, one of my favourite things.
I was lucky enough to nab this one for my birthday last year, just before they disappeared from the stores altogether.

I think they did a pretty good job with this set. Alice is in the traditional blue and white, with blonde hair, but she has the striped stockings from Through the Looking Glass.

They carry the theme of cards or diamonds,spades,clubs, and hearts on several of the pieces.

Remember, Alice met the Red Queen, went to the trial of the Knave of Hearts, and the fellows painting the white roses red so they don't get in trouble with the Red Queen, are, in fact, cards themselves.At the trial of the Knave of Hearts Alice ends the trial (and pretty much the book),by declaring the courtroom's occupants  "nothing but a pack of cards!", at which point they all turn into cards and fly at her.
‘Who cares for you?’ said Alice, (she had grown to her full size by this time.) ‘You’re nothing but a pack of cards!’

I also thought the pets were well chosen: a white rabbit and a cat.

The cat may be the Cheshire Cat, or maybe the character Alice's cat Dinah. (The real Dinah was the pet cat of Alice's sister Ina.)

Another good choice for The Wacky Hatter might have been a dormouse that would have fit in an oversized teapot, since The Dormouse was at the mad tea party and, as Alice leaves, the Mad Hatter and The March Hare are shoving the poor Dormouse in the tea pot.

Some trivia for you: The idea of a 'mad' hatter, and the phrase 'mad as a hatter' come from the fact that in the era the book was written, haberdashers,(At the time a term for hat makers.) used mercury nitrate in the production of felt for making hats. Exposure to the fumes over a prolonged period of time caused many workers to develop a tremor known as hatters' shakes,and/or a dementia characterized by 'pathological shyness' and irritability. The Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland doesn't seem to have a problem with shyness, but he takes the prize for irritability!

The beautiful Mad Hatter by R. John Wright, which I do not own, is a somewhat more congenial looking fellow than the character in the book.

 The Hatter wasn't the only disturbed guest at the tea party. "Mad as a March Hare" is another common phrase used to denote someone who acts erratically. The phrase is derived from the spring mating behaviour of European hares, which is described by Wikipedia thusly:
"This odd behaviour includes boxing at other hares, jumping vertically for seemingly no reason and generally displaying abnormal behaviour." I have seen our old bunny Gabriel and our current bunny Jerome do the vertical jump for no apparent reason. It's the cutest thing ever.

A real dormouse actually looks more like a hamster, with a long furry tail,than a mouse.

It's found mostly in Europe, but also in Africa, and Asia, and it really does sleep alot: up to 3/4 of it's life. In fact, the word dormouse comes from the Anglo-Norman dormeus, which means 'sleepy one'. The name was eventually changed in common usage to 'dormouse'.
A dormouse sleeping in a rose. Photo by Richard Austin.
The dormouse was considered a delicacy in ancient Rome, as a savory or a sweet, dipped in honey and poppy seeds. Blah! They are still a popular food in Slovenia, and the bowl full of cooked whole dormice I saw while researching online looked disgusting!
  And while we're at it, (What are we at?), why does Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter look like Elijah Wood?
Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter 'totally looks like' Elijah Wood.

 Sort of back to the subject at hand, I also don't own R. John Wright's magnificent Red Queen...

But I have seen her in person at a couple of doll shows. She's huge, and very impressive.
...or his gorgeous Alice...

 ...or his other gorgeous Alice with the baby that turned into a pig...
Someday when I'm a millionaire I will own them all...

Tomorrow we'll see another Alice...but not an R. John Wright one.

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