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Cheshire Cat

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Cheshire Cat

Cheshire Cat AMA render

Cheshire AMR render

Biographical information
Provenance

Wonderland

Physical description
Gender

Male

Eye color
Skin color

Gray and black

Skin type

Fur

Personal information
Allies

Alice Liddell

Enemies

Jabberwock, Queen of Hearts

Further information Knife icon
Voiced by

Roger L. Jackson

View image gallery
Only a very few find the way, and most of them don't recognize it when they do. Delusions, too, die hard. Only the savage regard the endurance of pain as the measure of worth. Forgetting pain is convenient, remembering it... agonizing. But recovering the truth is worth the suffering and our Wonderland, though damaged, is safe in memory... for now.
— Cheshire Cat to Alice[1]

The Cheshire Cat is Alice Liddell's primary ally and principal companion in Wonderland. He is a talking cat that constantly smiles, and can disappear at will.

Although a friend to Alice, the Cheshire Cat commonly has a snarky attitude towards her and she always returns the same treatment. Cynical, sarcastic, distant, philosophical and earnest, he can render valuable service.

Biography Edit

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Edit

Cheshire Cat on a tree

Cheshire Cat sitting on a tree branch.

During Alice's first visit to Wonderland, he was the pet cat of the Duchess and was very fat. He later followed Alice, asking where the Duchess' baby had gone. Alice told the Cat that the baby had turned into a pig and ran away. The Cheshire Cat disappeared briefly before coming back to double-check her answer, as he thought Alice had said "fig" instead of "pig." He also told Alice about the Mad Hatter and the March Hare, and pointed where they lived.

Alice, who was not at ease by the Cheshire Cat's sudden disappearances, asked if he could do it slower. The Cat did as he was asked, disappearing bit-by-bit until all that was left was his smile. Alice responded to this by remarking "I've seen a cat without a grin, but never a grin without a cat!" before the smile disappeared. His head later appeared during the Queen of Hearts' croquet game to cheer up Alice.

The Queen ordered the Cat to be the decapitated, but the Executioner argued that he could not because the Cat lacked a body to decapitate. This led to an argument between the Queen, the King and the Executioner about whether or not a disembodied head could be decapitated. The Queen ordered that the Duchess should deal with the Cat, as it was her pet, and let her out of jail. After the Duchess took Alice to see Gryphon and Mock Turtle, the Cheshire Cat was not seen again during Alice's first trip and never made an appearance during her second trip. However, it was believed that the Cheshire Cat made other appearances in unrecorded trips to Wonderland.

American McGee's Alice Edit

Alice and Cheshire Cat

Alice meeting the Cheshire Cat.

After falling into Wonderland and into the Village of the Doomed, Alice met him after briefly seeing the White Rabbit. Alice remarked that he had gone mangy although his grin was a comfort.[2]

He often spoke in riddles and gave cryptic and sometimes nonsensical advice.[3] When the White Rabbit died, Cheshire Cat told Alice not to pity herself and continue her mission.[4]

During the confrontation with the Queen of Hearts, the Cheshire Cat was about to say something to Alice in a non-cryptic way, although he was killed under the Queen's orders before he could deliver the full message about both Alice and her nemesis.[5] He was brutally beheaded by one of the Queen's tentacles, causing Alice to be emotionally distressed.

After Alice killed the Queen of Hearts, he was restored back to life.[6]

Alice: Madness Returns Edit

Cheshire Cat in Vale of Tears

Cheshire Cat appearing to Alice in the Vale of Tears.

When Alice returned to Wonderland, Cheshire Cat greeted her in the Vale of Tears. She appeared to be dismissive and suspicious of the Cat, even telling him not to bully her.[7] Cheshire Cat, along with the Insane Children, acted as Alice's guide through Wonderland once again and gave advice through riddles. He also appeared in certain Radula Rooms, specifically, Quiz Rooms.[8]

Cheshire in the tram

Cheshire on the tram.

On the tram leading to Hatter's Domain, Cat appeared and told her that much has changed in Wonderland since her last visit. Alice mentioned that Bumby told her that change is constructive and good, but Cat replied that change is not necessarily bad or good, and implored her to find the Hatter. Alice dismissed the Cat's remark about her being as randomly lethal as before, and sternly told him to go away.[9]

Outside Queensland, the Cat greeted Alice and reminisced with her before telling her that she must speak to the Queen.[10]

When Alice entered Londerland, the Cat's voice told Alice that she cannot return home, Wonderland was safe in her memory, and the suffering Alice went through was worth the truth of her family's death.[1]

Appearance Edit

American McGee's Alice Edit

Alice and Cat

Cheshire with Alice.

The Cheshire Cat vaguely resembles a Sphinx cat, with its very thin coat of fur and thin body shape. The Cheshire Cat has taken an emaciated, almost skeletal appearance; his bones can be seen through his fur-less, gray skin. His decaying starved appearance is suggestive of a cat carcass that has been rotting for years which could be linked to Alice not seeing the Cat for about a decade, and could be symbolic of the damage and "decay" of Alice's mental state.

He has a large head and paws, a disturbingly human-like smile which is sometimes seen spattered with blood, a long neck, sharp claws, big pointed ears, and a long tail with a tuft of fur on the end. He wears a gold hoop earring in his right ear, and his skin is covered with black markings similar to tribal tattoos. His smile looks maniacal, and he appears to have under-grown yellow incisors that are covered in blood. His eyes are also green, and glow with a bright, illuminating light.

Alice: Madness Returns Edit

A year after her release from Rutledge Asylum, Alice returned to Wonderland to find out that majority of its citizens and places had changed. The Cheshire Cat has been skinnier since then and his fur has become a darker hue. His tribal tattoos are more prominent, while his golden hoop earring becomes silver in color and has been placed on his left ear. His eyes become darker yellow and the shape of his tuft of fur on the end of his tail becomes a bit sharper.

Symbolism Edit

Cat sketch

Alice's Cheshire Cat drawing.

In the Extra Content, Alice comments that she feels he might be her "alter ego", giving voice to the doubts and fears she is unable to express.

The Cheshire Cat may represent Alice's id: the inaccessible part of one's psyche, which contains one's primary instincts. If the Cat is Alice's id, he is the embodiment of her desire to escape insanity, and possibly her desire to finally be able to live a normal life. That would explain why the Cheshire Cat acts as an ally of Alice. Furthermore, Alice's Wonderland avatar is meant to be her ego, the part of one's psyche whose purpose is to please the id's drives, which would explain why Alice takes advices from him. If the Cat is really a reflection of Alice's id, he is the embodiment of all her raw instincts, which means he knows everything about Alice, and therefore all about Wonderland, explaining his omniscience. Additionally, after Alice walked out of the train station and into Londerland, he calls Wonderland "our Wonderland" during his narration implying he may hold some control or ownership.

The way the Cheshire Cat speaks in rhyme and cryptic tongue could be a reference to Alice's way of speaking when she was in Rutledge, as noted by Dr. Wilson in his journal based on his observation of her speaking in a strange, cryptic way when she came out of her catatonia.

Real-life counterparts Edit

In his diary, Dr. Wilson mentions an emaciated cat who seems to be stalking Alice and trying to claim her as his own "private property." At the time of her stay in the asylum, it had been speculated that the emaciated cat was the "real world's version of the Cheshire Cat," similar to Alice's toy rabbit being the "real world's version of the White Rabbit". However, Alice's comments on the white cat she found near Houndsditch suggested that they are two separate characters.

The Cat could be a possible Wonderland counterpart of Alice's cat Dinah. The Cheshire Cat tends to help her, similar to how Dinah helped Alice by saving her from the fire, and her distrust of him during her journey to find the truth of her family's demise, possibly showing that during this period Alice knew about Dinah's relations to the fire. However, Dinah is female and Cat is male.

In Through the Looking-Glass, Dinah also has a second kitten, a black kitten named "Kitty". It is unknown if Kitty exists in the American McGee's Alice canon. If Kitty does, then it can be theorized that Kitty followed Alice to Rutledge and may have also been the cat following Alice in the ending of American McGee's Alice. Thus, Cheshire Cat could be a representation of Kitty.

Trivia Edit

  • Despite being killed by the Queen in American McGee's Alice, the Cheshire Cat can still be summoned for advice during the fight in the original game.
  • The Cheshire Cat was voiced by Roger L. Jackson in American McGee's Alice, and returns in the sequel. He is heard repeating many of his most well known phrases from the first game.
  • Before the final release of the sequel, it was discovered that the Cheshire Cat was going to be just as accessible as he was in the previous game. The reason for this being cut out is unknown.
    • Additionally, in the remastered version of American McGee's Alice, he summons himself at various locations because he cannot be summoned manually.
  • The Cheshire Cat has the second-largest number of individual voice-over recordings after Alice herself in American McGee's Alice, with around 600.
  • In the Extra Content, Alice remarked that cats are not known for their altruism, explaining her distrust for the Cat.
Cheshire Cat trailer

Cheshire's earring in the Alice trailer.

  • The Cat's earring is not consistently on the same ear in promotional artwork, or even between the games.
  • The Cheshire Cat in the first game has green eyes that glow, however, his original eye color is yellow.[3]
  • Alice can wear a dress based on Cheshire Cat as DLC in Madness Returns.
  • Alice can use a Teapot Cannon, called the Catnip Cannon, based on Cheshire Cat as DLC in Madness Returns.
  • A Cheshire Cat-inspired hot air balloon appeared in the "Leviathan" short of Alice: Otherlands, showing that Alice's psyche is overlapping with Jules Verne.

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Spicy Horse (2011-06-17). Alice: Madness Returns. (Electronic Arts). Scene: The End. Level: Chapter 6: Infernal Train.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Rogue Entertainment (2000-10-06). American McGee's Alice. (Electronic Arts). Scene: Dementia. Level: Village of the Doomed.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Throughout American McGee's Alice
  4. Rogue Entertainment (2000-10-06). American McGee's Alice. (Electronic Arts). Scene: Dry Landing. Level: Wonderland Woods.
  5. Rogue Entertainment (2000-10-06). American McGee's Alice. (Electronic Arts). Scene: Heart of Darkness. Level: Queensland.
  6. Rogue Entertainment (2000-10-06). American McGee's Alice. (Electronic Arts). Scene: Happily Ever After.
  7. Spicy Horse (2011-06-17). Alice: Madness Returns. (Electronic Arts). Scene: The Vale of Tears. Level: Chapter 1: Hatter's Domain.
  8. Throughout Alice: Madness Returns
  9. Spicy Horse (2011-06-17). Alice: Madness Returns. (Electronic Arts). Scene: Hatter's Gate. Level: Chapter 1: Hatter's Domain.
  10. Spicy Horse (2011-06-17). Alice: Madness Returns. (Electronic Arts). Scene: Least Wing. Level: Chapter 4: Queensland.

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