Linda Woolverton‘s screenplay for Tim Burton‘s new Alice in Wonderland has very successfully been kept under lock and key. This has led to a certain amount of confusion or even misinformation springing up and circling reports of the film. Thankfully, having been shown a full copy I can now report that all of the early information I was given by sources close to the film seems to be completely true.

The big surprise for most people, I think, will be that this is at once an adaptation of and sequel to the Lewis Carroll books. This is thanks to a plot wrangle at least as clever as that in Abrams’ Star Trek. Essentially, Wonderland is both a real place and a recurring dream of Alice’s. In this film she’s dreaming of it at a somewhat later part of her life than in the books, so certain things are different. This is just one clever element of a truly charming and surprising screenplay that I’m now really very sure will become a true humdinger of a movie.

To fully understand the script immediately one would need a glossary of terms. Thankfully, Woolverton prepared one and it was circulated to cast and crew. I’ve had it explained to me, so I’m going to pass on what I know to you after the break.

Here in alphabetical order are the various terms you’d need to fully understand the screenplay. While a handful come from the books, most of them appear to be brand new.

  • Bandersnatch, The: evil creature under the control of the Red Queen.
  • Brillig: 4 o’clock in the afternoon. When one begins broiling things for dinner.
  • Crims: The central area of Underland.
  • Downal wyth Bluddy Behg Hid: Down with the Red Queen, the slogan of the Resistance.
  • Ezel: High, go higher, go up.
  • Fairfarren: Farewell. May you travel far under fair skies.
  • Frabjous day: The day Alice slays the Jabberwocky and frees Underland from the oppression of the Red Queen.
  • Frumious: Dirty and smelly.
  • Futterwacken: The Underlanders’ dance of unbridled joy.
  • Gallymoggers: Crazy.
  • Gribling: The day Alice will return to Underland.
  • Guddler’s scut: Thief’s butt.
  • Gummer Slough: Dangerous swamp of thick viscous mud.
  • Horunvendush Day: The day the Red Queen took control of Underland.
  • Jabberwocky: A deadly creature employed as the Red Queen’s ultimate weapon.
  • Jubjub Bird: A Bird under the control of the Red Queen.
  • Kiotchyn: ‘Heads’ up or ‘pay attention’.
  • Naught for usal: It’s no use trying.
  • Noge:  Go low down.
  • Nunz: Wait or ‘Don’t go, not now’.
  • Oraculum: The Calender of all the days of Ulnderland. Each day has its own title and illustration.
  • Orgal: To the left.
  • Outlands: The untamed land to the west of Witzend.
  • Outlandish: The old language spoken only in the Outlands and used by the Underland resistance as a secret code in the revolution against the Red Queen.
  • Pishsalver: A potion that makes one shrink.
  • Queast: A land to the east, but ‘not in the least’.
  • Quillian: The following day after Alice returns.
  • Saganistute: A wise person of poetry and vision.
  • Salazen Grum: A port city where the Red Queen lives.
  • Shukrn: Faeces. Ewww.
  • Sloth: Slowly
  • Stang: To the right.
  • Slurvish: Selfish or self-centered.
  • Snud: A region in the south of Underland.
  • Tulgey Wood: Where Alice meets the Jabberwocky.
  • Underland: The real name for the place Alice calls Wonderland.
  • Upelkuchen: A cake that makes one grow.
  • Slurking urpal slackush scrum: rude or dirty words of the most foul meaning.
  • Witzend: The western land where the Mad Hatter and March Hare were born.
  • Yadder: Far away. Way yadder beyond the Crossling in Snud.
  • Zounder: A warning to ‘look out behind you!’
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