|Created by Lewis Carroll|
|Nickname(s) The Blue caterpillar|
Foes Slave-making ant, Birds
|First appearance Alice's Adventures in Wonderland|
Aliases hookah-Smoking Caterpillar, Absolem
Personality Serious, Stuck-up, Wise, Hot-tempered, Confusing
Appearance 3 pairs of hot pink hands, Blue nose
Goal To have Alice tell him what her name is
Likes Giving advice, Recitations, Smoking his hookah, Eating leaves.
Similar Alice, White Rabbit, The Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat, March Hare
Alice Meets The caterpillar - Alice In Wonderland (1951)
- Alice Meets The caterpillar Alice In Wonderland 1951
- Appearance in Alices Adventures in Wonderland
- Other media
- Disney film
- Tim Burton films
- Once Upon a Time
Appearance in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Introduced in Chapter Four ("Rabbit Sends in a Little Bill") and the main center of interest of Chapter V ("Advice from a Caterpillar"), the Caterpillar is a hookah-smoking caterpillar exactly three inches high (a height of which he argues in defense, against Alice's complaint). Alice does not like the Caterpillar when they first meet, because he does not immediately talk to her and when he does, it is usually in short, rather rude sentences, or difficult questions.
The original illustration by John Tenniel is something of a visual paradox, wherein the caterpillar's human face appears to be formed from the head and legs of a naturalistic caterpillar. In another allusion, the flowers on the right of the illustration appear to be a form of tobacco, while the caterpillar is smoking heavily.
The Caterpillar makes an appearance in a few other places outside Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, such as American McGee's Alice and the novel The Looking-Glass Wars; in both of these spin-offs he plays the role of an oracle.
His memorable phrase is a breathy "Whooo ... are ... you?". In the Disney animated film, this line is visualised as exhalations of smoke in the shapes "O", "R" and "U". Alice remarks in the original story that the Caterpillar will one day turn into a butterfly, and in both the 1999 television film and Disney's 1951 version he does so in Alice's presence. He is voiced by Richard Haydn.
The Caterpillar in the Disney film is a blue creature who, as in the original Carroll story, smokes a hookah. He is seen as a very violent character as he screams at Alice quite often during the scenes he appears in. He blows smoke in Alice's face and when she needs help he ignores her. He is a quite mean character as he provides little to no help to Alice and ends up confusing her more while she is trapped in Wonderland. He then ignores her and turns into a butterfly and flutters away not caring if Alice makes it out alive or not. He also instructs her to eat a mushroom but doesn't tell her what it does thus putting her into possible danger. He reappears one final time during the ending chase, still in butterfly form but once again smoking on his hookah, and again ignoring Alice when she asks for his help escaping the Queen of Hearts.
Tim Burton films
Alan Rickman voices the Caterpillar, who in this adaptation is named "Absolem". Rickman was filmed while recording his voice in a studio, but his face was not composited onto the character's face as originally planned.
He appears five times in the movie. The first time is outside Wonderland, when a young man named Hamish Ascot is about to propose to Alice and she notices a blue caterpillar on his shoulder. The second time is when Nivens McTwisp the White Rabbit, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, Mallymkun the Dormouse, and the Uilleam the Dodo consider Alice's identity, and they consult him. Absolem appears in a thick cloud of hookah smoke, which he blows at Alice. He appears again after Alice arrives at the White Queen's Castle, and again to remind Alice of her previous visit to Wonderland. He blows smoke at her twice this time, and Alice asks him to stop it. At the end of the movie, Absolem, as a butterfly, appears on Alice's shoulder as she sets off for China.
Rickman reprises the role in Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016), though he remains a butterfly, leading Alice to the looking-glass portal to Underland and informing her that matters require her urgent attention. He isn't seen again for the rest of the film but makes a cameo in the credits. This was one of his final film performances and the film is dedicated in his memory.