When watching Alice Through The Looking Glass the thought came to my mind that the Red Queen's hair is shaped like Mickey Mouse's ears. There is even this spike at the middle, with a large forehead. The head itself is much larger than the body.

Does anybody know if it was made on purpose? Is it a tribute to Mickey of some sort? One of the reasons would be that Mickey is an emblematic character of Disney, the production Studio of the movie.

It is pretty obvious that the primary design goal is to make her head look like a heart. This is not the question here. There can be several design goals. The question is whether there is an easter egg or tribute consisting of adapting this heart-shape hair to evoke Mickey Mouse.

Does anybody knows any interview confirming or denying this?

Red queen in Alice Through the Looking Glass Mickey Mouse

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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Ankit Sharma
    Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 17:03

3 Answers 3


As with many adaptations of Lewis Carroll, the characters of the Queen of Hearts and the Red Queen have been combined.

Thus her hair is in the shape of a heart. Any resemblance to Mickey Mouse is coincidence.

The widow's peak is a common appearance, especially for villainous characters, and also makes her face more heart-shaped.

The concept art looks even less like Mickey Mouse.

Sketch by Tim Burton Sketch by Colleen Atwood

No, nobody has ever explicitly confirmed nor denied this, for the same reason nobody has explicitly confirmed nor denied whether her hair was intended to look like a pretzel.

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    The answer is still "no". And there is no evidence that it is intentional.
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 17:06
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    What will it take for you to accept that the answer is "no"? You're the one who thinks it's based on Mickey Mouse - the burden of proof is on you. All the "evidence" you have presented has been refuted.
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 17:09
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    @Tom are you saying you won't be satisfied until someone provides information which agrees with your theory? He provided a reason for the shape and showed designs to suggest it was only supposed to be a heart. It's pretty easy to see that at some angles it may look like mickey ears, but this is quite a convincing argument that it is coincidence. It would be hard to have it look like a heart from every angle.
    – JMac
    Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 18:55
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    I think Disney did this as a sort of opening for a crossover between the Mickey Mouse and Alice in Wonderland universes. Just kidding. Her hair is obviously resembles a heart.
    – helrich
    Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 20:02
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    @Tom You're right that a lack of evidence regarding Mickey is not the same as evidence that he's not related, but nobody's going to make a list of things the Red Queen's hair isn't patterned after. You aren't going to find a quote from the hairstylist saying "her hair was NOT modeled after Mickey, or a bactrian camel, or the Mandelbrot set, or a porpoise's forehead, or..." etc. At some point you just have to accept with a reasonable certainty that there's probably not a connection to Mickey because we can't absolutely know for sure.
    – Ben Sutton
    Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 0:40

According to hairstylist Terry Baliel, the wig for Helena Bonham-Carter was specifically designed to look like a heart. Any resemblance to the shape of Mickey Mouse's head would appear to be a coincidence, and therefore unintentional.

Hair: “Helena’s look was hard and structured,” says Baliel. “We wanted the wig to be heart-shaped — we built some mesh pads and combed the hair, strand by strand, over that, ending up with curls on top so it almost looks like a bouquet of roses.

Here is a link to the interview where the costumes & hair design for each character are discussed:



With a little more research, we find that both The Queen of Hearts as well as her enemy The Duchess had heads that were roughly heart-shaped due to their headdresses, which are notably Elizabethan in origin. This interpretation of the character goes back to the original 1871 Tenniel illustrations:

enter image description here

It's important to note that the actual text of the books never describes her head as such, or even gives much of a physical description at all.

  • This interview is interesting indeed. And I think there was no doubt the idea was to make it a heart shape. However this is not incompatible with the Mickey Mouse hypothesis. She doesn't deny it nor confirm it.
    – Tom
    Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 21:45
  • @Tom - neither Burton nor Baliel seem to be active on Twitter, but I sent a tweet to what I THINK is Bonham-Carter's account. She probably won't reply, but maybe we'll get lucky.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 23:00
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    @Tom - I'm not sure how "We wanted it to be heart-shaped" is in any way compatible with looking like Mickey, since his head is very much not heart-shaped.
    – Bobson
    Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 0:35
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    @Tom: Tom, please understand and internalize the ideas of "burden of proof" and "proving a negative".
    – GManNickG
    Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 1:06
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    If I had a proof, I wouldn't ask the question. And I don't have a definitive idea on it, this is why I ask the question. Other comments misinterpret my intentions.
    – Tom
    Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 7:31

I agree with @OrangeDog that the heart-shaped hair is intended as a reminder that this character is both the Queen of Hearts and the Red Queen. However, it might also be an exaggerated version of the hairstyle found on a famous portrait of Queen Elizabeth I.

The "Armada Portrait" of Queen Elizabeth I, by an unknown English artist

This is attested to by Valli O'Reilly, an Oscar-winning makeup artist who worked on Alice in Wonderland, as reported by the New York Post:

"Helena [Bonham Carter] took longer because we had to have a prosthetic piece put over her eyebrows," says [Valli] O'Reilly. "Tim [Burton]'s notes to me and Helena were: Bette Davis as Queen Elizabeth, in that 1939 movie where she had red hair and her forehead was really high and the eyebrows might even have been shaved off."

Here's a short video clip and a photograph of Bette Davis from The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939), which is likely the movie referred to, from Stalking the Belle Époque:

Bette Davis as Queen Elizabeth from *The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex* (1939)

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    Actually I thought it was not implausible that Mickey Mouse had become so popular because he had a certain regalness. It is not impossible that he was subconsciously modeled in part after this portrait. Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 22:42
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    You're actually more correct than I thought: "Bette Davis as Queen Elizabeth, in that 1939 movie where she had red hair and her forehead was really high and the eyebrows might even have been shaved off."
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 16:41

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