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Frank Beddor
Jared Hoffman
March 1, 2024


Welcome back to the Alice-dome! The blog post where I throw a helpless IP into the fighting pit to see if it has what it takes to stand up against the bone-crushing giant that is our beloved Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. So far, there have been no survivors. That is to say that Alice always wins. Perhaps this is due to its enduring qualities, perhaps the reason it always wins is because it truly is the best, or perhaps it is undefeated because the ref of this competition (Me) is paid to write these blogs about Alice in Wonderland on an Alice in Wonderland website. We’ve had our top scientists trying to figure out why it always wins, but we will never truly know. Anyway, today’s contender is Dune, the science fiction classic authored by Frank Herbert. That’s right, it’s Jabberwock vs Sandworm, tea vs the Spice, Timothee Chalamet vs… I don’t know, Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter? The categories that will be used to find the victor will range from worldwide cultural impact to whatever else I feel could be interesting. So, sit back, relax, and watch the fight.

Still image of Mia Wasikowska as Alice Kingsleigh, wearing a blue dress, in the 2010 Tim Burton film "Alice in Wonderland".
Promotional image of Timothee Chalamet as Paul Atreides, wearing a black clothes and standing in a desert, from the 2021 Denis Villeneuve film "Dune".

Worldwide Cultural Impact:

In this first round of our showdown, we’ll examine the global impact of these two extraordinary franchises. Both have earned their places in the hearts of audiences worldwide, but they do so in distinct ways.

  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: When Lewis Carroll introduced the whimsical and surreal world of Wonderland in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, it was unlike anything people had ever read before. It’s so influential that it is referenced in and/or inspires everything from film to fashion and even our everyday language.
  • Dune: Frank Herbert’s epic science fiction saga, Dune, has left an indelible mark on the genre. Its intricate world-building, political intrigue and exploration of complex themes resonate with audiences globally, solidifying Dune’s place in the science fiction canon.

Verdict: Alice’s Adventures in WonderlandDune’s influence on the science fiction genre and its intricate world-building makes it a strong contender but there is no beating Lewis Carrol’s masterpiece here. Dune might have influenced science fiction but Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has influenced everything else.

Illustration of the Queen of Hearts dragging Alice across a chessboard landscape under the watchful eye of two rooks from artist Ralph Steadman's illustration of "Alice in Wonderland".

Critical Appeal:

In this category, let’s delve into the critical responses to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Dune.

  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: Lewis Carroll’s masterpiece is celebrated for its imaginative storytelling, surrealism, and exploration of the absurdities of Victorian society. Its unique blend of whimsy and philosophical depth has earned it a timeless status in the literary canon.
  • Dune: Frank Herbert’s Dune has received critical acclaim for its depth, complexity, and impact on the science fiction genre. The intricate narrative, complex characters, and Herbert’s exploration of sociopolitical themes have garnered praise from literary critics.

Verdict: Tie – With the invention of Yelp, everybody can truly be a critic. Unfortunately, I don’t read Yelp reviews. Both books were critical successes. A tie might be boring but this one is based on people’s opinions so it’s not that easy to score.

Still image of Timothee Chalamet as Paul Atreides, Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica, Zendaya as Chani, and Javier Bardem as Stilgar from the 2021 Denis Villeneuve film "Dune".

Influences on Language:

Now, let’s talk about language. Both franchises have left linguistic marks with unique phrases and terminology.

  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: Lewis Carroll’s work brought terms and phrases like “wonderland” and “down the rabbit hole” into common usage. The term “wonderland” simply did not exist before Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
  • Dune: “Fear is the mind-killer” and “Spice must flow” are phrases from Dune that have become part of the cultural lexicon. Herbert’s creation of a rich vocabulary, including terms like “sandworms” and “mentats,” has contributed to the language of science fiction.

Verdict: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – In terms of linguistic impact, it’s a no-brainer that Alice is the winner here. Listen, I’ve literally written a blog about how Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is such a massive influence on our everyday verbal lexicon that we don’t even know we are referencing Alice anymore. The terms that were created in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland have transcended references and just are a part of our language.

Still image of the Queen of Hearts ripping up a tree as Alice lies face down from the 1951 Disney film "Alice in Wonderland".


It’s worth noting that both Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Dune have faced controversies related to their content and themes.

  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: Over time, some critics and readers have engaged in discussions about the surreal and whimsical nature of Wonderland, questioning its appropriateness for certain audiences. The abstract and sometimes nonsensical elements have sparked debates regarding the interpretation and potential impact on readers.
  • Dune: Frank Herbert’s Dune has faced criticism and controversy for its portrayal of complex political and social themes. Some critics argue that the narrative’s depth and intricacies can be challenging for certain readers, while others praise its intellectual complexity.

Verdict: Tie – Unfortunately, we have another tie here, as I find both criticisms to be incredibly weak and if I’m being blunt, pretty stupid. In Alice’s case, the “dangers of nonsense” argument is really grasping at straws. Who doesn’t like a bit of nonsense in their lives? As for Dune, being complex isn’t a negative, just get better at reading. I say this in general too, I had read somewhere that the average reading level of adults is that of a ninth grader… That’s the reading level of a fourteen-year-old! Statistically, you, reader, have not gotten better at reading since you were fourteen. Lucky for you my writing level is that of a ninth-grader so it evens out.

Cover of the Puffin 150th anniversary deluxe edition of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" featuring Alice amongst mushrooms and other plants on a maroon background. Illustrated by Anna Bond.
Cover of Penguin deluxe hardcover edition of "Dune" by Frank Herbert, featuring a cloaked figure standing in a desert environment with a planet looming in the background.

Books Published:

Now, let’s turn to book sales and the impact of the printed word.

  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: Lewis Carroll’s literary masterpiece has sold over 100 million copies worldwide and has been translated into more than 100 languages. With over 300 editions in print, Alice’s adventures continue to find new readers across the globe.
  • Dune: The Dune series, initially written by Frank Herbert and later expanded by other authors, has sold millions of copies worldwide. The franchise includes multiple novels exploring the expansive universe Herbert created.

Verdict: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – One hundred million is a bigger number than the vague “millions” that I could find online relating to Dune. I know you read and I write like a ninth grader but this math is elementary.

Still image of Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter and Mia Wasikowska as Alice Kingsleigh standing in front of a beast and an army from the 2010 Tim Burton film "Alice in Wonderland".

Box Office Success:

Next, we compare the box office success of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Dune.

  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: Various film adaptations of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland have had success at the box office, particularly Disney’s adaptations.
  • Dune: The 2021 adaptation of Dune achieved both critical acclaim and box-office success, reigniting interest in the franchise.

Verdict: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Okay, this is tricky, since there are multiple Dune movies and, if I counted correctly, a little over a billion Alice in Wonderland film adaptations. So, what I did was compare the most recent live-action Alice film to the most recent Dune film. If we are looking at success purely from the financial angle, Tim Burton’s 2010 Alice in Wonderland grossed over $1 billion at the box office whereas Denis Villeneuve’s Dune made only $402 million. BUT, I do want to mention that the Dune remake was much more successful critically, averaging a strong 83% on Rotten Tomatoes compared to Alice’s 53%. Also, if we were to compare the older versions of each franchise, the 1951 Disney Alice in Wonderland grossed $96 million adjusted for inflation compared to the 1984 Dune’s $30.9 million.

Still image of Zendaya as Chani, wearing an armored bodysuit and breathing tube, from the 2021 Denis Villeneuve film "Dune".

Things That I Like and Dislike

And now for the least biased section of the blog, things that I think are cool from each IP and things that I don’t like.

Things I like:

  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: Jabberwock’s, The Looking Glass Wars trilogy (Frank didn’t tell me to say this), flamingo croquet, those hammer birds from the cartoon, and of course, playing Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon over a muted Alice in Wonderland and freaking out at how perfectly it syncs up.
  • Dune: Sandworms, those dragonfly helicopter planes, the Pain Box, saying “spice mélange” in a funny accent, Zendaya.

Things I dislike:

  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: The little box that Frank keeps me in when I’m not writing for him.
  • Dune: Timothée Chalamet.

Verdict: I was too lazy to count the points – I was told this section wouldn’t count in the final tally anyway but I wanted to place it here. In my heart, I want to give it to Alice since, to my knowledge, Timmy C has never been in any of the film adaptations. Look, it’s not because I think he’s a bad actor or anything, I just enjoy disliking things NYU students like. That being said, the box Frank keeps me in is quite small and dark so I guess it’s a tie.

Frank Herbert, author of science fiction novel "Dune", reclines in a chair in his home office.

The Battle of the Franks

This is a last-minute addition that I realized is worth pointing out. Frank Beddor, my warden and/or boss and author of The Looking Glass Wars (which is the TRUE story of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) has the same first name as Dune author Frank Herbert. I think it would be only fitting for us to throw them into the fighting pit as a sort of an undercard match before the conclusion of the main event.

Pre-Fight Weigh-Ins:

Well, this is awkward. It turns out that unfortunately Frank Beddor and Frank Herbert will not be able to fight physically because Frank Herbert has been dead for the past thirty-eight years… So, I guess instead we will compare them as authors. What’s worse is that I had bet my life savings on Herbert getting a knockout in the third round and my bookie is refusing to give me my money back. Well, let’s just get on with comparing them.

Round 1:

Number of Books written in the series

  • Frank Herbert: Six books in total for the whole story of Dune.
  • Frank Beddor: Three if I count the novels for the main series of The Looking Glass Wars. There is of course; The Looking Glass Wars, then Seeing Redd, and finally ArchEnemy.

Round 1 Scores: Frank Herbert: 1, Frank Beddor: 0

Round 2:

Games inspired by their books

  • Frank Herbert: Besides the many actual Dune games that have been released, Frank Herbert’s book has been a massive influence on an uncountable number of games not directly related to the Dune universe.
  • Frank Beddor: Being trapped in a box and forced to write for Frank, sometimes I hear things. Little nibbles of knowledge. While I cannot officially say anything for fear of my water bowl not being filled, there may or may not be some kind of game based on The Looking Glass Wars Wonderverse. Perhaps there might be some cool lore expanding on the more intricate details of the aforementioned Wonderverse. If there were to be such lore, maybe, just maybe, there might be a short story or two written by yours truly. This is all purely hypothetical though.

Round 2 Scores: Frank Herbert: 2, Frank Beddor: 0

Round 3:

Film and Television Adaptations

  • Frank Herbert: Two official film adaptations with part two of the most recent adaptation on the way.
  • Frank Beddor: Frank Beddor’s The Looking Glass Wars trilogy has not been adapted to the screen yet. That being said, it should. I’ve written many a blog talking specifically about how it should be. Not only would it be a good show, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that if the stars align properly, perhaps, just maybe, with the right amount of begging, he would maybe consider staffing me for the show.

Round 3 Scores: Frank Herbert 3, Frank Beddor: 0

With a landslide victory of 3-0, Frank Herbert is the top Frank! Now I’ll be honest, I’m hoping I can sneak this past Frank Beddor. No one tell him he lost in this section. If I stop making blog posts, don’t assume that I’m on some kind of break or found another job, it means Frank Beddor found out about this section and I am missing. This stays between us. Okay? Now, let’s quickly get back to the main event before he finds out.

Still image of Alice, the March Hare, and the Mad Hatter drinking tea from the 1951 Disney film "Alice in Wonderland".


Alright, now that the dust has settled in the fighting pit, let’s see who has won. With six points to Dune’s four, our winner, and continual reigning champion, is none other than Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. And the crowd goes wild! Nobody could have seen this coming, not even me. When it comes to IPs, Alice is the reigning champion. I hope you all enjoyed this installment of the Alice V.S. series. Let me know what you think. But please know, all those who are Tim Chalet fans, aka NYU students, will be ignored.

Meet the Author

Jared Hoffman Headshot

Jared Hoffman graduated from the American Film Institute with a degree in screenwriting. A Los Angeles native, his brand of comedy is satire stemming from the many different personalities and egos he has encountered throughout his life. As a lover of all things comedy, Jared is always working out new material and trying to make those around him laugh. His therapist claims this is a coping mechanism, but what does she know?

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