“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.
The Queen of Hearts seems to enjoy her anger management problems in a way. She reminds Alice at one point, "If I lose my temper, you lose your head," indicating that she is fully aware of her power, and wants everyone else to as well. When she orders the beheading of the cards that painted her roses red, the crowd cheers, and she looks very pleased that she made this decision, and that the crowd approves of it. Most of all, at Alice's trial, when the White Rabbit is taking a long time to read all the charges, she snaps at him, "Never mind all that! Get to the part where I lose my temper!" She says it with a sense of glee, twiddling her fingers giddily, and with a tone of excitement in her voice, indicating that hearing about her outbursts is something she thoroughly enjoys.
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.
Alice in Wonderland
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 and dispose of the evidence, 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). The Queen's croquet game.
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 is 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 the Queen, all while keeping his presence a secret, getting the Queen to threaten to have Alice beheaded is she angers her one 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.
Queen trial The Queen of Hearts during the trial.
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 holds 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, with the characters attempting to pacify him with jam; when the Queen yells "Let me have it!", she is misunderstood and gets it in the face. To add insult and injury, the King of Hearts manages to hit the Queen with the gavel while trying to crush the mouse. 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, as the King actually pardons behind her back every single person she condemns. This is not mentioned in the Disney film. Also in the book, the game of croquet is played with many lords and ladies (including the Duchess, a rather important character in the book that remains absent in the movie), and not just Alice.
The Queen of Hearts appeared frequently as one of the guests on House of Mouse.
In "The Stolen Cartoons," the Queen of Hearts was briefly used as a hiding place for Pete.
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.