- “All ways here, you see, are the QUEEN'S WAY!”
- ―Cheshire Cat to Alice.
The Queen of Hearts is the main antagonist of Disney's 1951 animated feature film Alice in Wonderland. She is the tyrannical and deranged ruler of Wonderland, and serves as one of the primary members of the Disney Villains franchise.
- “One word: psycho. The Queen of Hearts is perhaps the most mad inhabitant of Wonderland. Her answer to everything is a beheading!”
- ―Kram Nebuer's description of the Queen in UltimateDisney's Top 30 Disney Villains list
The Queen of Hearts has a very psychotic personality. All the residents of Wonderland are mad (insane) in some way, but the Queen of Hearts is the most dangerous of them all, by being the ruler of the land. She completely dominates her weak husband, the King of Hearts. She is also very egotistical, as she likes to hear the words "Yes, your majesty" and insists that "All ways are my ways!"
The Queen of Hearts is also shown to be a rather childish character, even in the face of Alice, as she is incredibly impatient, irrationally sensitive, prone to temper tantrums and, as stated above, rather egotistical.
Like any insane person, she has huge mood swings, from content to enraged at a moment's notice. Her immediate solution to every problem is beheading, whether her roses have been planted white, she misses a shot in croquet or feels insulted in any way.
Though she clearly overpowers her husband, the King of Hearts, he appears to be the only resident in Wonderland to have any affect on her actions and opinions, to the point where he can cease (or at least, delay) a beheading, as seen a few times throughout the film. With these facts, it can be concluded that the King is the only resident the Queen has any knowledgeable care for, interestingly.
The Imposing Queen
In the Disney animated feature, Alice in Wonderland, the Queen appears as Alice puts it, as a "fat, pompous, bad tempered old tyrant." Her presence is all the more striking because of how tiny her husband is made to look in comparison to her. Similar to the book, Alice meets three cards painting the roses red, since they planted white roses by mistake. She decides to help but they are soon interrupted when the Card Guards of the Queen of Hearts arrive, announcing that her majesty is underway. The three cards scramble in an attempt to quickly paint the roses, but they are too late. When the Queen arrives, she immediately notices the paint and interrogates the trio, though she doesn't notice Alice just yet. After becoming frustrated with whoever committed the crime, the Queen of Hearts simply sentences all three of her cards to death via decapitation (especially for having blamed each other instead of admitting their own parts).
Alice tries to plea for the cards, catching the Queen's attention. However, instead of becoming furious, the Queen of Hearts actually takes a liking to Alice, who tries to explain she's trying to find her way home. When she does, however, the Queen loses her temper, declaring all ways in Wonderland are her ways. She then switches from anger and sweetly asks if Alice would like to join her for a croquet game out of literally nowhere. The game begins and in during which, the Queen appears to be a terrible player, though her card guards and servants merely cheat for her to keep her majesty happy, as well as to keep themselves from being beheaded. In the mix of the game, the Cheshire Cat arrives and purposely gets Alice in trouble by aggravating to Queen, all while keeping his presence a secret, getting the Queen to threaten to have Alice beheaded is she angers her oe more time. Eventually, the cat goes a bit too far, and the Queen of Hearts is humiliated in front of all her subjects. Infuriated, the Queen immediately blames Alice for the embarrassment and sentences her to death. The King of Hearts, however, asks the Queen if a small trial could be held first, as it would be fair, and her majesty reluctantly agrees.
At the trial, the Queen rebuffs Alice's insistence having verdict before sentence. Just as she is about to have Alice beheaded, the King insists that the Queen have some witnesses to the incident. The White Rabbit calls the March Hare, the Dormouse and the Mad Hatter as the witnesses. The trio hold an Unbirthday party for the Queen, but during the party, the Cheshire Cat reappears and sets the Dormouse into a panic. The mouse runs all over, and in an attempt to crush the mouse, the King of Hearts manages to hit the Queen with the gavel. The Queen, of course, blames Alice for it, and is going to have her beheaded. But Alice eats mushrooms she had procured earlier, which make her grow bigger. Although Rule #42 says that anyone more than a mile high must leave the court immediately, Alice feels free to call the queen a "fat, pompous, bad tempered old tyrant." Unfortunately, she subsequently shrinks down to her normal size. As the Cheshire Cat repeats what Alice has said about the Queen to her, she furiously orders "Off with her head!" but Alice flees the trial, with the Queen, King, the card soldiers, and eventually all the infuriated inhabitants of Wonderland in hot pursuit, chasing her out of her own subconscious and back into reality.
Differences from the book
In the book, the Cheshire Cat casually comments that the Queen never really has anybody beheaded; she's just being facetious. This is not mentioned in the Disney film. Also in the book, the game of croquet is played with many lords and ladies, and not just Alice.
The Queen of Hearts appeared frequently as one of the guests on House of Mouse.
In "Goofy's Valentine Date," the Queen whacked Mortimer Mouse with one of her flamingos after he attempted to flirt with her. At the end of the same episode, an advertisement came up about her and the King of Hearts' greeting card business.
In "Thanks to Minnie," she was one of the guests to be apart of a rumor chain. She also appears as one of the villains in Mickey's House of Villains and orders her cards to imprison the heroes in the kitchen. She can also be seen several times in Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse.
In this series, she was voiced by Tress MacNeille.
The Queen of Hearts, as the Red Queen, appeared in the series, portrayed by Armelia McQueen. The Red Queen or Queen of Hearts, is Wonderland's sole monarch (she is combination of The Queen of Hearts from Carroll's original book and the Red Queen from Through The Looking-Glass). She is strict but fair, often citing her mother and grandmother's example in her ruling. Unfortunately, the Queen is occasionally a source for trouble, usually due to her selfish attitude. As queen, she expects to get whatever she wants right away, and often pouts when things go wrong - often to the point where she says "Oh harumph!" She usually ends up eating crow by the end of the episode, but sometimes, she offers solutions to problems other Wonderland residents face. Deep down, she cares greatly for her subjects (especially the White Rabbit), throwing them parties and celebrating their accomplishments.
The Queen of Hearts appeared in Once Upon a Time played by Jennifer Koenig. But in Season Two it was revealed that she is really Regina Mills' mother Cora (played by Barbara Hershey) and started out as the daughter of a miller (played by Rose McGowan) before she met Rumplestiltskin and made various deals with him to get out of poverty and was given a book of spells. She is responsible for the death of Queen Eva, mother of Snow White, by launching an incurable disease by magic, and Regina's true love Daniel, the family stable boy, by ripping out his heart and crushing it to dust, for she believes that "Love is weakness" and so that Regina could marry King Leopold and become Snow White's stepmother and have the life she never got for herself.
On the day of the wedding, Cora finds a looking glass, given to Regina by Rumplestiltskin, and tells her daughter about Regina's future role as Queen, Regina once again voices her desire to be nothing like her mother. She lunges to push her mother into the mirror, but Cora is too fast and uses magic to restrain her daughter in place. Cora reminds her she can't get rid of her that easily, but is unaware of Rumplestiltskin appearing in the mirror from behind urging Regina to do what must be done. Gathering strength in anger, Regina breaks free of the binds and uses magic for the first time, causing Cora to fly back towards the looking glass. Cora manages to hang on for a brief moment with a look of surprise and sadness on her face before slipping through the looking glass, which shatters into pieces almost immediately.
Cora is sent to Wonderland and becomes the Queen of Hearts. At some point, she captures Henry, Regina's father. She shrinks him in size, puts him in a box, and seals him in one of her vaults. As he is her husband, he is, presumably, not harmed in any other way. Regina, determined to get her father back, enlisted the help of magician, Jefferson, and took Henry back. However, as only two people could leave Wonderland through the Looking Glass, she concealed the information about her father from Jefferson, who ended up being left behind. The Queen of Hearts' guards captured Jefferson and brought him to her. The Queen interrogates him on how he got to Wonderland, and he refuses to answer her. As a result, she orders his head to be cut off. Jefferson panics at the loss of his body and tells her the truth. The Queen tells him that in order to get out of Wonderland, he must make another hat of magic that will allow him to do so. He is imprisoned in a room filled with hat-making materials, and that is where he becomes the Mad Hatter.
Sometime later, Captain Hook is tasked by the Evil Queen with traveling to Wonderland and killing her mother, Cora. He arrives in Wonderland with a dead body in tow, and is brought before the Queen of Hearts. She asks through the Knave of Hearts why Hook is there, and Hook tells her that he is seeking a woman who goes by the name Cora in a native land.
She lowers her mask to reveal that she is in fact, Cora, and immediately dismisses the Knave and the Courtiers so that she can speak with Hook in private. She asks why Hook is here, descending her throne, and Hook lunges forward and plunges his hook into her chest to take her heart. But he is stunned to find that there is no heart there. Cora throws back her head and laughs and states that she is the Queen of Hearts, and she would be a fool to keep her heart where everyone else does, and so easily accessed. She then plunges her hand into Hook's chest, and grabs his heart, forcing him to tell her that he was sent by Regina to kill her. Rather than rip out his heart, Cora leaves it and goes back to sit upon her throne.
Sometimes after, however, Cora leaves Wonderland, with Hook as her new accomplice, in midst of seeking revenge. After the curse on Storybrooke is broken, she and Hook travel to the town and frame Regina for the murder of Archie Hopper, turning Regina to her ally when everyone turns against her. However, before Cora can seek out Rumplestiltskin's dagger to kill their enemies, Regina returns her heart which has been poisoned by Mary Margaret with the same candle that Cora poisoned Snow's mother with. Upon repossessing her heart, she admits that she loves Regina until she dies in her daughter's arms.
After receiving an invitation to the upcoming wedding of the Red King, she shows up at the royal castle to greet the soon-to-be Red Queen, Anastasia. As they casually talk, Cora manifests vases of roses hall, despite that she knows the Red King dislikes magic since he believes it separates them from their subjects. Seeing Anastasia's likeness to herself, as Cora came from humble beginnings as well, she offers to teach her magic without the Red King's knowledge. Anastasia declines, not wishing to start a marriage with a secret, to which Cora departs, or so it appears. She eavesdrops on a conversation the future Queen has with a former beau, Will, who pleads for Anastasia to meet him at their old wagon and run away together. The next morning, Cora sabotages any reconciliation between the two lovers by telling Will that Anastasia decided to marry the Red King.
As he expresses a longing hope that his beloved, in time, would've changed her mind and returned to him, she gently pushes him to give up. Cora consoles him, stating that he helped Anastasia realize her calling as a Queen, and now is the time to move on. When prompted with a request to take out his heart, she warns him of the consequences, but he insists. Once the task is done, she sends him off from the wagon and pockets the heart in a bag. Later, Cora stops Anastasia from leaving the castle for her sweetheart by giving the girl a glimpse at the wagon where Will is nowhere in sight. She manipulates a heartbroken Anastasia into believing all hope of regaining Will's trust and love is forever lost, and that her place is as a Queen. Eventually, Cora teaches her how to conjure fire by channeling all the unworthiness she feels as a person into power, to which Anastasia successfully uses magic.
The Queen of Hearts also appeared in this game, and she changes Alice's ending by decapitating her head. She is voiced by Tress MacNeille. During the final battle her statue was decapitated, what goes around comes around.
The Queen of Hearts appears as a minor antagonist in the video game series, as an inhabitant of the world of Wonderland. She is voiced by Tress MacNeille in English, and Japanese voice by Sumie Ozawa.
In the original, Kingdom Hearts, she accuses Alice of stealing her heart; sentencing her to decapitation before Sora, Donald, and Goofy intervene. The trio claim Alice is innocent, but until proof is given, the Queen declares her a suspect, and keeps her locked away in her garden, under arrest. However, Alice is eventually kidnapped under the plans of Maleficent, leaving the Queen baffled.
In Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, she appears as a figment of Sora's memory, where she accuses Alice of stealing her memory and sentences her to death. However, Sora claims to be the truth thief, resulting in a battle. After the defeat of the card soldiers, Sora seeks the true culprit, only to find himself confronted by the Queen in the Bizarre Room, where the truth thief (a Heartless) appears.
She plays a minor role in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, where she's in constant pursuit of a Heartless that startled her.
In Kingdom Hearts coded, she returns and has her memories "stolen" again, though this time, it was a result of the Bug Blox corrupting Wonderland. Though Sora tries to explain this, the Queen merely accuses him of conspiring against her, alongside Alice.
The Queen appears in this game as a meet-and-greet character in Fantasyland, near "it's a small world". She also appears in the Croquet Game section of the Alice in Wonderland mini-game. Among the quests that the player gets from her are to turn some white roses red using the magic wand that was given to them by Cinderella and fetch some cards to watch those roses, as well as to help plan an Unbirthday Party for the Queen, who will then appear in the Mad Tea Party section of the aforementioned mini-game.
The Queen of Hearts is a character commonly featured in the Disney theme parks around the world; mostly in material centering the Disney Villains franchise, such as promotional animation, entertainment, and merchandising.
She also has her own spell card known as "The Queen of Hearts' Card Army" in the attraction Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom.
Queen of Hearts appears as an audio animatronic in the dark ride based on the film of the same name.
The Queen of Hearts appears in the live show in the Magic Kingdom park at the Walt Disney World Resort. In the show she is summoned to celebrate the darkness of Halloween. Notably, in 2011, she was given her own solo dance at the end of the stage show.
- Though the Queen of Hearts was not one of the prominent villains in Mickey's House of Villains, she is featured on the cover of the DVD and home video.
- The Queen of Hearts was prominently in a YouTube campaign of internet meme videos in which characters outside Alice in Wonderland would tell the Queen of Hearts herself to shut up or otherwise insult or defeat her.
- Despite appearing on the game cover of Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion, the Queen of Hearts never made an actual appearance in the game itself.