Disney Canon-Forgotten/Minor Characters #13: The Mome Raths

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I hope you’re not late, not late, for a very important date; because we have to venture into Disney’s 13th animated feature, “Alice in Wonderland”. This was a film that Walt Disney had wanted to make for a long time, even before “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”; but due to various reasons, the film was finally made and released in 1951. Sadly though, it was not a box office success and had to wait over 20 years to be re-released in theaters! During its re-releases, the movie became a financial hit and an animated classic; possibly due to people seeing it as an LSD trip of sorts!

There's no knowing where we're going! Or which way the river's flowing!
There’s no knowing where we’re going! Or which way the river’s flowing!

Whatever the reason, we all can agree that “Alice in Wonderland” has got to be one of the most strangest books and films that we’ve ever read or seen in our lives! And in my opinion, what makes this movie so likeable and perfect are its characters: its PLETHORA of characters; its PLETHORA of ODDBALL characters; its PLETHORA of MEMORABLE ODDBALL characters! So picking a forgotten one was a bit of a challenge, but I managed to complete that task! Let’s follow the Mad Hatter and March Hare’s advice by starting at the beginning and when we arrive at the end, stop!

The story is of a young girl named Alice who, bored from hearing a history lesson given by her sister, starts wishing for a world where nonsense would run free. Boy, does she get her wish granted! She sees a white rabbit in a waistcoat and a HUGE pocket watch and decides to follow it.

By Jove! 12:25 Again?!
By Jove! 12:25 Again?!

This leads her to a rabbit hole and a talking doorknob!

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Wow, first hats and then doorknobs! What else will Walt Disney make into a character?

And after getting through the doorknob via crying and shrinking/growing/shrinking, she enters into the world of Wonderland, where nothing makes sense! There, she meets a slew of crazy characters such as the dodo and his caucus race buddies,

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An exercise in futility, boys! An exercise in futility!

Tweedledee and Tweedledum,

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a British chimney sweep,

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CAMEO, GUV’NOR!

No, actually a British chimney sweep lizard!

Bill-the-lizard

Granted he doesn’t say he is a chimney sweep, but he has the necessary equipment and does mention he’s been down many chimneys before. And what other job requires going down chimneys?

chimney

Oh well, she also meets talking flowers,

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a hookah-smoking caterpillar,

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The Cheshire Cat,

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and most famously, The Mad Hatter, March Hare, and the Dormouse!

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Later on, she comes upon the kingdom of Wonderland and meets the Queen of Hearts, the King, and a whole bunch of card soldiers!

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How the card shark proposed to his girl!

But, these aren’t the weird characters, believe it or not! Oh, no! The weird, freaky characters occur after Alice leaves the Mad Hatter’s tea party and gets lost in Tugley Wood while searching for a way home. That is where it gets freaky!

In the forest she sees…….these,

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My, what a reflective face you have!
The better to see you with, my dear!

these,

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these,

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You entered the wrong neighborhood, little girl! Get ready for malice in Wonderland!

this,

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and these among others!

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But the characters that I chose for today are the Mome Raths! They are sort of……..pants fungi creatures, I guess. They don’t like to be stepped on and based on the “Jabberwocky” song that The Cheshire Cat sings, they also outgrabe (whatever that may mean)!

But these characters actually do something extremely important! They form an arrow amongst themselves and guide Alice towards the path that may lead her home!

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Oh Hooray! Glorious Rapture! What great luck! Oh my goodness, Alice is heading home! Nothing can possibly go wrong! Except maybe coming across a dog with a broom face that sweeps away the path as if it’s dust!

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AARGH!!!! Poor, poor Alice!

Oh well, don’t worry she does end up back home in the end!

Wrapping up, I honestly loved the design of the Mome Raths! Their nonsensical description and name allows for a smörgåsbord of creativity and they actually do assist Alice when she’s in need of assistance. This is the reason why I chose them above all the other weird creatures as the forgotten/minor characters of this film!

10 thoughts on “Disney Canon-Forgotten/Minor Characters #13: The Mome Raths”

  1. Those Mome Raths are cute! I also love the little starfish who take part in the Dodo’s caucus race, because they’re super cute, too! I still don’t know how they were able to get away with that hookah-smoking caterpillar in a kid’s movie…

    xxx

    1. There’s a lot of smoking and drinking in many early Disney films, shorts, and characters. Just look at Pinocchio, Saludos Amigos, The Three Caballeros, Dumbo, etc.

  2. According to the original stories, the mome raths are supposed to be little green pigs, so it seems rather strange that Disney chose to portray them instead as these little stalk-leg things…

    In any event, like with “Pink Elephants on Parade” in DUMBO, I can understand why some people might think that the filmmakers– or, at least, the designers of all the wacko creatures in the Tulgey Wood– were under the influence of something when they were devising the sequence. (And something pretty dang good, at that!)

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