Lewis Carroll’s beloved 1865 novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has inspired countless retellings on screens both big and the small — each one curiouser than the last — and this Thursday marks 65 years since Disney’s animated retelling, 1951’s Alice in Wonderland, hit theaters.
While we know that nobody in Wonderland has any interest in an actual anniversary, we just can’t help but celebrate Alice in Wonderland’s non-un-birthday with a lovely tea party and, naturally, a ranking. So, in honor of the animated classic’s 65 years, here are all the bizarre denizens of Wonderland that Alice encounters on her grand misadventure, from the worst to the wonderful, below.
14. The Dodo
The Dodo has absolutely no regard for anyone but himself and is a terrible problem-solver. Furthermore, his tri-corner hat is ridiculous.
The almost impossibly irritating Tweedledee and Tweedledum serve little to no narrative purpose, lecture Alice about having manners while demonstrating none themselves, and are, for the most part, completely interchangeable. That being said, the clearly designated “dum” one gets ranked just the tiniest bit lower.
Barely edges out his brother for having a name with an internal rhyme.
11. The Rose
It doesn’t matter how many self-congratulatory nonsense songs they sing; nothing can change the fact that the flowers of Wonderland are mean girls, and the Rose is their queen bee.
10. The Doorknob
The Doorknob gets points for wordplay, but he gives Alice a lot of trouble when she’s first trying to gain entry in to Wonderland, making her cry an actual river.
9. The White Rabbit
While we regret that the Mad Hatter broke his watch, which was given to him as an unbirthday present, we have no interest in the White Rabbit and his difficulty being punctual, which we think would be considerably alleviated if he would stop complaining about being late and just Waze the quickest way to his engagements in the future.
8. Bill the Lizard
Bill the Lizard seems like he could be the rare Wonderland-er who isn’t completely awful to deal with, but he probably only appears that way because he has too little screen time to prove otherwise, and because he is basically an animated lizard version of Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins.
Go home, Dormouse. You’re drunk.
6. The King of Hearts
Bless his heart, the sweet little King of Hearts never seems to realize how little everybody actually notices or cares about him, and we love him for it.
5. The Cheshire Cat
The Cheshire Cat is probably a sociopath. That said, we do appreciate that he enters reciting “Jabberwocky,” and also that he is one of the only characters who ever actually helps Alice move forward, rather than just in circles (though he also scares her, frames her, gaslights her, laughs at her, misdirects her, and generally torments her).
4. The March Hare
Though he is often overshadowed by his unbirthday party companion the Mad Hatter, the March Hare truly takes tea-drinking to another level — not to mention his use of his own ears, which are more versatile than his hands and more expressive than his mad eyes.
3. The Caterpillar
Rude as it may be to blow alphabet-shaped smoke rings into people’s faces, the Caterpillar is pretty chill. And even mid-tantrum, he still dispenses helpful hints.
2. The Queen of Hearts
The Queen of Hearts is obviously horrible, but somehow she has seized and retained complete control over Wonderland and all of its bizarre inhabitants, and we can only applaud such a strong woman in a man’s world.
1. The Mad Hatter
Before Johnny Depp took up the Hatter’s mad chapeau, he was already the best character in Alice in Wonderland. He may ruin the White Rabbit’s watch and talk in circular riddles and eat tea plates as cookies, but the man keeps a firework-launching birthday cake (among other treasures) under his hat.