- “The time has come!”
- ―The Walrus
The Walrus and The Carpenter are two characters in Disney's 1951 film Alice in Wonderland, originally created for Lewis Caroll's book Through the Looking Glass. They are two jobless travelers whose story was told to Alice by Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. Both of them are voiced by J. Pat O'Malley, and later by Jim Cummings and Corey Burton respectively.
The Walrus acts as the leader of the duo. He is in many ways like Honest John from the film Pinocchio: he is a conniving character who resorts to trickery to get what he wants. While the Carpenter believes that finding employment will better improve their lives, work is the last thing on the Walrus's mind, regardless of his constant ramblings of "cabbages and kings" (his way of saying that their futures will soon enough be bright). He is also very greedy and self-conceited, not hesitating to eat all of the naive oysters (whom he deceptively convinced to follow him ashore and into a restaurant that Carpenter built out of salvaged remnants of a boat) by himself, much to the Carpenter's rage of being left out of the feast.
The Carpenter acts as the Walrus's dimwitted sidekick. He often acts before he thinks (nearly blurting out to the oysters their plans to eat them), leading to his smarter friend constantly punishing him through slapstick forms of abuse. Despite his stupidity, he is shown to be less despicable than the Walrus and very eco-friendly when he suggests that they clean up the garbage that was lingering on the beach only to have the Walrus turn down this idea when he knew it involved work. He is also a speedy builder, constructing a small restaurant out of a destroyed boat in seconds as soon as the Walrus lured the oysters inside. However, the Carpenter does not take being swindled himself very well, bringing him to the point of enraged retribution on the Walrus when the latter devoured all of the oysters himself, leaving none for the Carpenter.
Role in Alice in Wonderland
When Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum warn Alice that her curious nature could get her in trouble they proceed to tell her the story of poor oysters who met their demise because of their curiosity.
The Walrus and the Carpenter were traveling through the beach when the Carpenter discovered a family of oysters. The Walrus tricks them into coming with them on a walk, the oysters being unaware that the duo was planning to eat them. The Walrus used his clever lies to arouse the oysters' curiosity and, with a merry Pied Piper-like dance and flute solo, lures them to a restaurant built by the Carpenter in less than a few seconds. Once there, the Walrus tricks the Carpenter into preparing some food so he can eat all the oysters himself. When the Carpenter returns, he calls the little oysters and, when they do not respond, he looks for them and, behind the menu, he sees the empty oyster shells and realizes that the Walrus didn't leave any for him. He then proceeds to chase the Walrus in anger.
They are later seen near the end of the film in the final chase sequence when Alice tries to escape from Wonderland. In the scene the Walrus and the Carpenter, along with the other characters in the film chase Alice through a vortex leading her back to the doorway home.
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland
Only the Carpenter, portrayed by John Prowse, appear in the show. Alice meet him when she finds herself inadvertently in a strange wood while she left on Cyrus's tracks, himself having released itself from the cage where he was prisoner by Jafar. However Alice becomes suddenly euphoric, insane and amnesic concerning her lover. Will Scarlett who joined her, discovers that the wood has a power hypnotizing on people which crosses it, putting them in a state close to hallucinogenic effects and transforms them literally into tree as it was the case for The Carpenter whose legs were replaced by a trunk.
The Walrus appears as a walk-around character in various Disney parks, though he is rather difficult to find.