The Doorknob is the main entrance to Wonderland in Disney's 1951 animated feature film Alice in Wonderland. He lies at the very end of the rabbit hole that Alice fell through. Due to his small size, the only way to enter him is to drink from a special bottle of multi-flavored liquid that will shrink the drinker in size. The drinker also needs the key to open the Doorknob which is located on the same table as the liquid.
Originally, the bottle that said 'Drink Me' was originally going to be the personified object Alice met in the beginning. But it was ultimately changed to the Doorknob. The 'Drink Me' bottle was planned to be voiced by Cliff Edwards, most known for voicing Jiminy Cricket.
The Doorknob is, in keeping true to his name, a sentient gold door handle. His escutcheon plate is shaped like an elongated trapezoid with a semi-circle bump on the bottom and a curly design on the top, giving the Doorknob the appearance of having a chin and hair, respectively. A gold screw on each bottom corner of the plate keeps the Doorknob attached to his door.
He has close-set, beady yellow eyes and what seem to be black "eyebrows", though these may actually be engravings on the Doorknob's plate rather than hair. The Doorknob's prominent bulbous nose is actually the knob part of a doorknob, the part that is turned to open the door, something the Doorknob doesn't pretend to enjoy. His mouth is the keyhole part of a doorknob (as well as the Keyhole of Wonderland), though it is not fixed in place like it should be; the Doorknob has no problems moving his "lips" to talk.
The Doorknob is a generally nice character and was rather kind to the stranger that stumbled into Wonderland. However, he has a tendency to joke around during serious situations but is overall well-meaning. In addition to this, the Doorknob was one of the few characters in Wonderland to show any sympathy for Alice.
The Doorknob was first seen inside a large empty room when Alice first landed in Wonderland. There, she asked to pass through his door but he stated that it was "Impassable" as she was too big. The Doorknob informs her to drink the bottle on the table to shrink herself. When Alice turned small, the Doorknob now claims to be locked and that she accidentally left the key atop the table (well it was that she didn't accidentally leave it on the table, because the Doorknob made it appear like magic, so Alice never actually touched the key).
Unable to reach it, the Doorknob suggests that she eat a sweet to make her grow larger. However, she grows far too large to the point where she becomes a giant. Her seemingly inescapable situation results in Alice having a breakdown and starts to cry. Her tears start to flood the room, to the dismay of the doorknob. He then sees the bottle and tells Alice. She drinks the bottle again and not only shrinks but traps herself in the bottle as well, traveling through the Doorknob's mouth and venturing further into the rest of Wonderland.
During the climax, Alice tries to escape the Queen of Hearts through the door, but it is still locked. The Doorknob tells her that she is already outside and just asleep. This one visit saves Alice, who awakens from the dream.
The Doorknob makes two cameos in the episode series. In "Big Bad Wolf Daddy", the Doorknob was seen sitting at a table with Mickey's dressing room door. In "Thanks to Minnie", he responds, "Who's there?" when Goofy tries to tell a knock-knock joke, only for Goofy to give up and claim that knock-knock jokes stink, prompting the Doorknob to storm out of the club in disgust, taking Goofy's remark as "a personal slam on doors".
In Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the doorknob can be briefly spotted right at the part where Eddie Valiant twists his nose and closes the door to an unfinished bathroom in order to get away from Lena Hyena.
The doorknob also makes a cameo in Bonkers.
Video game appearances
In Disney's Villains' Revenge, he appears, along with another anthropomorphic doorknob created for the game and known as his "twin brother", as the locket who closes the magic storybook in which Jiminy Cricket and the player have to enter.
In Kingdom Hearts, Sora, Donald, and Goofy followed the White Rabbit into the Bizarre Room. As soon as they enter, they see that the White Rabbit has shrunk and ran through a small door. Sora and his friends look at the door and wonder how the White Rabbit got so small. Much to their surprise, the Doorknob starts talking and tells them to try the bottle on the table, then goes back to sleep. Much later, Sora comes back to the room and defeats the Trickmaster. The Doorknob wakes up after the battle and yawns to reveal Wonderland's Keyhole, which is inside of his mouth. Afterward, the Doorknob goes back to sleep.
In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, when Roxas first visits Wonderland and enters the Bizarre Room, he is originally trying to find the White Rabbit that ran past him but finds the Doorknob instead. The Doorknob tells Roxas that the Rabbit drank from the bottle on the table. Roxas, being confused, asks the Doorknob about the White Rabbit and the door, but the Doorknob is fast asleep and won’t answer
In Kingdom Hearts coded when Data-Sora speaks with the doorknob it is sideways because of a glitch. Data-Sora then returns after he fixes the glitch.
The Doorknob appears in the Disneyland dark ride based on the film. He appears at the beginning of the ride, where he swings his door open to allow the guests to venture on further into Wonderland.
- The artists of Beauty and the Beast used the design of the Doorknob as inspiration for the furniture servants.