The White Rabbit is a fictional character in Lewis Carroll's book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. He appears at the very beginning of the book, in chapter one, wearing a waistcoat, and muttering "Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!" Alice follows him down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. Alice encounters him again when he mistakes her for his housemaid Mary Ann and she becomes trapped in his house after growing too large. The Rabbit shows up again in the last few chapters, as a herald-like servant of the King and Queen of Hearts.
In his article "Alice on the Stage," Carroll wrote "And the White Rabbit, what of him? Was he framed on the "Alice" lines, or meant as a contrast? As a contrast, distinctly. For her 'youth,' 'audacity,' 'vigour,' and 'swift directness of purpose,' read 'elderly,' 'timid,' 'feeble,' and 'nervously shilly-shallying,' and you will get something of what I meant him to be. I think the White Rabbit should wear spectacles. I'm sure his voice should quaver, and his knees quiver, and his whole air suggest a total inability to say 'Boo' to a goose!"
Overall, the White Rabbit seems to shift back and forth between pompous behavior toward his underlings, such as his servants, and grovelling, obsequious behavior toward his superiors, such as the Duchess and King and Queen of Hearts, in direct contrast to Alice, who is reasonably polite to everyone she meets.
In the Disney version of the book, the Rabbit seems to have the most logic out of all the Wonderland characters. Thus, he is often the straight man for their zany antics; when he asks the Dodo for help on getting the "monster" (Alice) out of his house, Dodo's ultimate solution is to burn the house down, to which the White Rabbit is greatly opposed. At the Mad Tea Party, the Mad Hatter and the March Hare try to "fix" his watch, proclaiming it "exactly two days slow". Through various food they put in the watch (butter, tea, jam, and lemon), the two cause it to go mad, and the Hare smashes it with his mallet. The Rabbit was perhaps most famous for the little ditty he sang at the beginning - "I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date! I'm late! I'm late! I'm late!" The Rabbit was voiced by Bill Thompson.
Some believe the rabbit was late for the announcement of the Queen to the royal garden. The panic the rabbit showed was his fear of losing his head. Upon her arrival (where Alice has been helping to paint the roses red) the cards finish their song and the rabbit blows his trumpet (which he had been carrying for most of his lines) royally introducing the king and queen.
The Disney Rabbit made a few appearances on the Disney Channel original show, House of Mouse. His most noticeable appearance was when he confessed to Clarabelle Cow that "I'm not really late, and I don't really have a date. I'm a fraud!" He was voiced by Corey Burton, who would voice the Rabbit in all future speaking roles.
The White Rabbit also appears at the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts as a meetable character.
Tim Burton film
The White Rabbit works for the Red Queen, but is also a secret member of the Underland Underground Resistance, and was sent by the Hatter to search for Alice. Sheen stated, "The White Rabbit is such an iconic character that I didn't feel like I should break the mould too much." In this film adaption, the white rabbit is given the name Nivens McTwisp.
In popular culture
- In American McGee's Alice, the White Rabbit is responsible for Alice's return to Wonderland. He is first seen as Alice's soft toy, then becomes something that resembles a shrivelled version of the John Tenniel illustration. When Alice is chasing him in the Village of the Doomed, he shrinks and goes down a hole. Alice follows him by shrinking herself with a hand-made potion. They meet again in the Wonderland Woods, where he tells her to find Caterpillar. Later, he is attacked by the Mad Hatter.
- In the PlayStation 2 action-RPG game, Kingdom Hearts and its Game Boy Advance follow-up, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, the White Rabbit leads Sora, Donald Duck and Goofy to the Queen's palace, worried about being late. His Japanese voice actor was Shigeru Ushiyama.
- Rockstar's game Manhunt features a level called "Kill the Rabbit." In this stage, the player hunts down a man wearing a white rabbit suit, which the game's antagonist describes as "Wonderland fun".
- The rabbit appears in the video game adaptation of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland as a playable character. He attacks using his watch, and can manipulate time.
- In the Eye of the North expansion of Guild Wars, finding the boss Nulfastu Earthbound requires the player to follow a white rabbit into a rabbit hole. When the player enters, the boss appears, along with a large amount of other hostile monsters, that easily overwhelms an unprepared group of players.
- There is a reference to the White Rabbit in Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow.
Television and films
- In Lost, the White Rabbit is alluded to several times in the series. First it is the name of the episode, and Locke claims that Jack is chasing the White Rabbit in the form of his father. The White Rabbit is also the symbol for the Looking Glass Station and it is also carrying a clock with it.
- In Star Trek, near the beginning of the 1966 episode "Shore Leave," the White Rabbit appears to Doctor McCoy.
- Neo is told to follow the "White Rabbit" in The Matrix in one of many metaphysical "waking up" metaphors. Seconds later, his doorbell rings, and when he opens the door he finds a woman with a tattoo of a white rabbit on her shoulder. Later in the film right before he meets the oracle one can see Night of the Lepus playing on a nearby television, symbolizing Neo's decision to "follow the white rabbit" and to disturb the order of the Matrix.
- In the Syfy Alice, The White Rabbit is a secret organization that works for the Queen of Hearts and abducts people from the real world (referred to as "Oysters"), so they can gamble in the Queen's casino.
- In Jurassic Park, the character of Dennis Nedry writes a computer program to disable security systems of the park and hide his steps. Samuel L. Jackson's character finds a file called "whiterabbit.obj" that he claims did it all.
- In Wizards of Waverly Place, Alex chases the White Rabbit (Justin Russo).He is has white jeans,a white T-shirt,White hair,and Big rabbit ears.
- In The Looking-Glass Wars, the White Rabbit is re-imagined as Bibwit Harte, an albino tutor with super-sensitive hearing.If you unscramble his name correctly you get(White Rabbit).
- In the manga series Alice in the Country of Hearts, written by Quinrose and published by Tokyopop.There is a character who is obviously the white rabbit. He is named Peter White, in this version he is the prime minister of the castle of hearts. He is portrayed as a cruel man who would kill anyone in an instant. He has little in common with the image of the white rabbit other than white rabbit ears, a large oversized pocketwatch, and a suit. He is desperately in love Alice and often caught rhyming as he speaks. Alice does mention hating him on several occasions and claims to hate "White Rabbit ears" the most.
- In the Stephen King novel The Long Walk, a boy named Stebbins refers to himself as "The White Rabbit type."
- Jefferson Airplane recorded a song called "White Rabbit", with references to this character and the Wonderland saga in general as metaphors for drug-induced experiences.
- The Blue Man Group's 2003 album The Complex, Track 8 titled "White Rabbit" makes references to the Wonderland saga in general.
- Screaming Tea Party's song "Reckless Rabbit" opens with the lyrics, "My name is Alice, and I'm following the White Rabbit."
- Electric Six's song "Feed my Fuckin' Habit" makes reference to this with the lyrics "Feed my fuckin' habit... Follow the white rabbit" (album I Shall Exterminate Everything Around Me That Restricts Me from Being the Master, 2007).
- My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult's song "A Daisy Chain 4 Satan" has references of a white rabbit in their lyrics about drugs: "I live for drugs... I'm the white rabbit. I freaked out on acid... I'm the white rabbit."
- The White Rabbit appeared as a banished fairy tale creature in the original Broadway musical Shrek, based on the 2001 film. He was played by Noah Rivera.
A military trench-digging machine developed by the British Royal Navy at the beginning of World War II was originally known as White Rabbit No. 6, but the name was changed to Cultivator No. 6 to conceal its identity.
- White Rabbit character description
- TSR Modules EX1-2, Dungeonland and The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror - article on the modules and download links