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The Blue Caterpillar

On this page, we are going to look at and watch several different interpretations of the Blue Caterpillar character.

John Tenniel’s illustration of the caterpillar
Carroll’s drawing of the caterpillar

The surrealist painter, Salvador Dali (of the wilting clocks) created a set of illustrations for the Alice stories.

Salvador Dali’s Caterpillar

You may be most familiar with one of these two Disney versions:

1951
2010 – Tim Burton directed Alice in Wonderland

According to IMDB, there have been over 200 filmed versions of the story. This is one of the earliest silent films (just watch the caterpillar scene)

Caterpillar scene 18:30- 23:20

Here is the performer Sammy Davis Jr. from a star-studded made-for-television version of Alice where the poem becomes a full-blown number.

Lastly, take a look at this clip from a ballet version of Alice in Wonderland choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, recorded in 2013 for the Royal Opera House.

RESPONSE:

After reading the text and now seeing these visual interpretations of the blue caterpillar, do you think the figure is representative of something? Is it more than one thing? Do these videos or images support your thinking? How does Carroll’s text support it? What do one of two of the visual versions add or highlight in their interpretation?

16 thoughts on “The Blue Caterpillar

  1. Every interpretation of the caterpillar is different , I love the Royal Ballet. There are many interpretations about the Caterpillar, the idea that the Caterpillar represent change for Alice. in the story Lewis described the caterpillar as three inches tall, quite small in a regular size and smokes a hookah and in the other story the Caterpillar represent as grumpy or angry.

  2. I think the caterpillar, like many of the wonderland characters, helped Alice with this strange new world she was thrown into. He tells her to just deal with it, and then eventually helps her with her big dilemma of changing her size back to normal. I think the visual images and videos really show that guidance that the caterpillar is trying to be

  3. After seeing these visual interpretations of the blue Caterpillar, I think that the Caterpillar represents an essential role in finding Alice’s identity. At the beginning of chapter 5, the Caterpillar asks Alice crucial questions such as “Who are you?”. Through his question, Alice begins to figure out exactly who she is and develop her own identity. Moreover, some people think this story may include hidden meanings to drug use since the Caterpillar is smoking a hookah when talking to Alice.

  4. The interpretations that are visually appealing as they are all differnt in there own unique way but my favorite was the ballet version as the colors and dancing were beautifully drawn out and reveals revisions of Alice on her adventire and the change she must undergo. In the book, the caterpillar is supoose to be tiny and small but in the other intepretaions he is much larger.

  5. All of these are different interpretations of the blue caterpillar. I think the first blue caterpillar helps Alice find her own identity because when he asks her who she is she doesn’t really have an answer for it as she herself doesn’t know.

  6. After reading the text and watching the videos the caterpillar that Alice encounters represents something different in each one. The caterpillar is so tiny but has so much meaning towards Alice finding her true identity and it was the first creature to really guide Alice on her journey.

  7. After watching all these different visual scenes of the caterpillar one can understand better the significance of it. that its time for change and maturity for Alice I definitely enjoy the musical one the colors are beautiful the choreography was well put together .

  8. The caterpillar is usually depicted as blue creature who smokes hookah. The version of it I am most familiar with is from Disney’s Alice in Wonderland. I think the caterpillar is a very important character as he helps Alice focus on what is reality and what is not by asking her questions. The depiction from the royal ballet is definitely the most interesting and one I have not seen.

  9. It was very interesting to see the different ways that the Caterpillar was portrayed throughout time in different films. I think that the Caterpillar, regardless of the way it is presented, serves as a way to help Alice with who she is, especially in the Disney version, which is similar to Carroll’s text. The Caterpillar questions her about herself and offers help to her and her journey in this strange world.

  10. I have two main interpretations of what the blue caterpillar is. The first is that of an insecure and judgmental adult who criticizes and acts like they know everything to hide how little they actually know. My second interpretation is that of an internal monologue which both guides and self critiques what is going on and what one is doing. The text and Disney versions support this in the ways that the caterpillar asks questions which are simultaneously a little condescending as well as introspective. The royal opera house added a movement element that was breathtakingly beautiful and upheld the dreamlike and whimsical tone of Alice in Wonderland.

  11. I have two main interpretations of what the blue caterpillar is. The first is that of an insecure and judgmental adult who criticizes and acts like they know everything to hide how little they actually know. My second interpretation is that of an internal monologue which both guides and self critiques what is going on and what one is doing. The text and Disney versions support this in the ways that the caterpillar asks questions which are simultaneously a little condescending as well as introspective. The royal opera house added a movement element that was breathtakingly beautiful and upheld the dreamlike and whimsical tone of Alice in Wonderland.

  12. There are different interpretations of the blue caterpillar throughout the films. The caterpillar is like a sort of guide for Alice and her adventure into this new world. Specifically, in the Disney movie, the caterpillar is observed as a guide to Alice to identify who she is. When she is in this strange world she is provided help by the caterpillar .

  13. Throughout the different Alice in Wonderland of films, books, media we will be introduced to the Caterpillar in the story. I had may different ideas of what the caterpillar represents to Alice. The caterpillar could be a guide and an older role for Alice’s journey. Another interpretation I had of the caterpillar was the ground of what was reality to Alice by talking to her and having her think if what she’s experiencing real life (since she was in a dream).

  14. These were beautiful depictions though they were all very different. The academic gist n the original was very much nostalgic and appealing to children but the version with Sammy Davis brought a vibrant dancing vibe to its story. the feeling and excitement was different within the wo and the caterpillars use of explanation but all were put in place to aid Alice nonetheless.

  15. Even though the caterpillar is one character, there are different depictions of him. For example in the first version, the caterpillar is kind of like a guide for Alice throughout her adventure of finding who she is. In the other version. the caterpillar is a very wise and sarcastic almost acting like he knows everything but everything.

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