Friday 29 May 2009


As some of you may know, I'm rather keen on Cheshire Cats and especially the one who regularly appears (and disappears) in Walt Disney's 1951 film version of Alice in Wonderland. For proof of this obsession (madness isn't stroing enough a word!) see here and various other elsewheres!

Back in 2006, I blogged about an art exhibition devoted to the film feline which included a series of Disney cats customised by contemporary artists, like this Spanish puss by Irene Garcia...

Well, the vinyl figure which provided the basis for those interpretations is now being commercially marketed - presumably as a result of the inexplicable wave of popularity which keeps the tedious Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise afloat - as a PIRATE!

These buccaneering moggies come decked out in a stripped sailor shirt and sporting anchor tattoos, an eye-patch and a gold tooth...

Oh, yes, and - underneath - one wooden leg!

Actually, if the Cheshire Cat became a crew member of the Black Pearl, I might almost be tempted to endure the forthcoming Pirates of the Caribbean 4.

Then again.........

I'll leave you with first encounter between Alice (spoken for by Kathryn Beaumont) and the Cheshire Cat in the film during which the crazy character (voiced by Sterling Holloway) sings the opening verse of that Looking Glass ballad, 'Jabberwocky'...


scb said...

Surely the Cheshire Cat would not feel the need to embrace commercialism so firmly as to go on board the ship of the Pirates of the Caribbean... and if he did, I fear he'd have to do it without me. I've resisted the P of the C so far, and intend to continue to do so. (And I really preferred the dolled-up red cat to the masquerading-as-a-pirate cat, if we really have to have a transmogrified moggie at all...)

REMIN -- eating ramen noodles for the second day? (and misspelling them?) (I really need to sharpen my wit... Do you have a whetstone, or perhaps a witstone, I could use?)

Suzanne said...

I love him! My new motto is "you need a bit of madness to remain sane"... but maybe that's just my excuse! I shall have to re-read "Alice" one of these days, to "sharpen" my wits!
mebessi: a feline interpretation of "shiver me timbers"

Brian Sibley said...

SCB - Pirates... The first film was tolerable (despite the abysmal non-acting by Orlando Bloom) mainly because of the divine Mr Depp; the second was overlong, tedious tosh; the third was execrable. You've missed nothing and saved yourself three cinema admissions!

By the way, you don't need a whetstone (or a witstone) if you can make puns about 'transmogrified moggies'!

SUZANNE - I can just hear that piratical cat saying "Mebessi!" in a suitably Robert Newton-Long John Silveresque accent.

I just occurred to me that the Latin Lady Cat depicted on the blog would probably be just the kind of gal to seduce a hapless Pirate Cat venturing ashore in any port along the Spanish Main!

Anonymous said...

Strange, I must be the only person in the world to adore PTOC3. It was by far my favourite of the three.

I guess I see things in it that most people don't see, maybe even more than was intended (?) It's the shamanic references that do it for me and the way they used the various mythologies and "magical systems" (for lack of a better expression) of each land. I usually find it too obvious in other movies or too far stretched but this time it felt right to me.

Part of the plot is based on a book by my favourite author(Tim Powers) and I loved that.
To the point I am really obsessed by these movies. I could talk about this for hours ;)

I would love to work on making props for the fourth one! I am working on a concept for jewelery and "props" based on an idea I had while reflecting on all this.

Also, isn't Captain Jack Sparrow part Cheshire Cat already? =^.^=

I should have used him as a reference here:
I am not satisfied at all by this old drawing

Brian Sibley said...

Of course, you are not alone in your love of the POTC franchise, DRAGONLAYCH, otherwise they wouldn't keep making the damn things!! ;-)

Yes, Johnny D is rather Cheshire Catlike and, personally, if I'd been Tim Burton I'd have cast him as such rather than as the Hatter in the upcoming Alice film.

I like your pirate cat - especially the trophy mice hanging from his belt!

Good Dog said...

Oh, how I would grin like a Cheshire cat if the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean sank without trace.

The first one was brilliant because there were no real expectations. And it was jolly good fun.

After that the sequels became so horribly calculated. The stories were too damned complicated to try and make them bigger and better.

Granted the second movie wasn't as bad as the third, but when the best laugh came in the post-end credits scene then something was wrong.

Love the peg leg on the pirate cat. When there are details you aren't going to see on first appearance it shows the makers have really gone to some trouble.

Brian Sibley said...

Yes, I'm with you on POTC. And I agree that if I had a sufficient surplus of cash to invest in piratical cats (Cheshire or otherwise) the peg-leg would swing it for me!

Brian Sibley said...


Who's there?


Cheshire who?

"Cheshire, that's my baby,
No, sir, don't mean maybe..."

Brian Sibley said...


Who's there?


Cheshire who?

"Cheshire song at twilight, when the lights are low..."

scb said...

"Knock, knock!"

Who's there?


Cheshire, who?

"Cheshire spoonful of sugar helps the [mousies] go down..."

scb said...

I am wracking my brain to come up with something terribly clever to comment, simply so that I can define the Word Verification that's on my screen -- but alas, I cannot, which makes the definition all the more real.

FICTINSA -- a society for those, like me, who only imagine their great intelligence...

Anonymous said...

I guess I was surprised that I liked it that much. Usually the more commercial a thing is the less likely it is I will like it.

I'm pretty sure I will like Tim Burton's movie I love all his movies. But I agree of course. Personally I would have cast Alan Rickman as the Hatter :D but he will be brilliant as the Caterpillar too!

And thanks for the kind remark. Maybe I will draw a new version some day.

SharonM said...

Have you been at the cooking sherry again, Mr Sibley!

Knock-knock, who's there?


Sibley who?

Sibleysing hot day in London, where I was this afternoon.

Matt said...

And for those who just can't get enough multicolored vinyl Cheshire Cat, look here and here.

Brian Sibley said...

SCB - First rate, 'Knock-knock'!

DRAGONLAYCH - Rickman as the Hatter. Yes, I'd have gone with that. Christopher Lee was angling to play the Caterpillar, he is going to be seriously miffed!

SHARON - The shooking cerry? Me? Don't be diriculous! *HIC!*

MATT - Thanks for those Kool Kats! I particularly like the one with the bats... "Do cats eat bats? Do bats eat cats?"

Anonymous said...

Oh yes C. Lee as the Caterpillar would have been perfect! He, he, does that mean the cast was well done but they just didn't attribute the roles as we'd have liked them to!
Ok I am biased I would always cast A. Rickman in roles where I can sit back and swoon ;)

By the way there is a French graphic novel that will soon be published, I really love what I have seen so far (I know the illustrator from a forum and he showed us some of his sketches):

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