I’ve always been fascinated by the Cheshire Cat from Walt Disney’s Alice in Wonderland (1951). Truthfully, I’ve never quite figured out why–maybe it was the amazing voice work provided by Sterling Holloway, or the beautiful animation by Ward Kimball. Either way, I’ve always thought he was one cool cat.

Alice_CatShot_2
The Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland

In his 1974 lecture, Brian Sibley stated that “the Cheshire Cat is one of Disney’s finest creations; his violet stripes rolling up like bandages as he disappears, and his lingering grin masquerading as the crescent moon. The Cat owes much of its success to its voice talent, Sterling Holloway, whose sibilant tones are as admirably suited to the Cat’s purr-sonality as is the English pedantry of Richard Haydn’s Caterpillar.”

Mary Blair concept art for Alice in Wonderland

Mary Blair’s inspirational concept art for the film, based on John Tenniel’s illustrations for the original Lewis Carroll books, was inspired. It is unquestionably the Disney film where the majority of Mary’s unique concept art style ended up in the final film.

Mary Blair concept art for Alice in Wonderland

When I worked for Disney, I was one of the authors of a Disney Cast Member scavenger hunt called Minnie’s Moonlit Madness. One of the infamous puzzles I created for the game was called “The Rules of the Puzzle of the Cheshire Cat.” And, one of the first pieces we launched here at Main Street Art Corner in 2015 was our Cheshire Cat tryptich “Not All There Myself.”

Our lucky winner at the 2015 D23 Expo with Disney Artist Michael Levey

So, in honor of my favorite Disney cat, I’ve resurrected my Minnie’s Moonlit Madness puzzle just for you. Solve it correctly to get 15% off “Not All There Myself” and free shipping too! Just enter the correct answer to the puzzle as the coupon code during checkout.

Good luck!

-Michael

The Rules of the Puzzle of the Cheshire Cat

In solving any puzzle, the most important thing is to follow the rules very carefully. The rules of this puzzle may not be as concise as others you’ve seen, but to compensate I’ve made the task required by the rules very easy.

Each rule of this puzzle is written as a sentence. The fact that one sentence precedes or follows another does not, in itself, give either sentence priority over the other. Every sentence ends with a period that looks like this:  . The sentences are grouped into paragraphs, each paragraph separated from the next by a space. This sentence, for example, is in paragraph number two. The order in which the paragraphs appear on this page, however, does not necessarily correspond to their numbers. For instance, the paragraph that appears next is paragraph number five.

You should ignore any sentence in this paragraph that begins with the word “ignore.” Ignore the previous sentence, if you dare. If two sentences in the same paragraph contradict one another, follow the one that comes last. But if two sentences in the same paragraph contradict one another, follow the one that comes first.

The name of this puzzle is “The Rules of the Puzzle of the Cheshire Cat.” The answer to this puzzle is a number–which is to be placed in the coupon code box. The number referred to in the last sentence must be formed by writing together the numbers of this paragraph and the paragraph that appears last in these rules. And, in case you’ve forgotten, the name of this puzzle is “The Rules of the Puzzle of the Cheshire Cat.”

This paragraph takes precedence over all others. The last sentence in the next-to-last paragraph of these rules is to be ignored. (The following sentence takes precedence over all others in this paragraph except for any that are in parenthesis.) For the purposes of the second sentence in this paragraph, the order of these paragraphs is not to be considered the order in which they appear on this page, but rather the order in which they are numbered as determined by the rules. For instance, for numbering purposes, this is really paragraph number one. The paragraph that appears immediately before this one is paragraph number six; it has an error in it. In order to interpret the rules of this puzzle correctly, you must correct the error by substituting the word “adding” for the word “writing.” Or rather, you must correct the error by substituting the word “multiplying” for the word “writing.”

The paragraph that appears first is really paragraph number three. Ignore the rest of this paragraph, except for the next sentence. The number of this paragraph is either two, for or six. If this is paragraph number five, then the name of this puzzle is “Wonderment in Wonderland” regardless of anything that may be said elsewhere in these rules. Ignore this sentence and the next. Don’t ignore the previous sentence. Do ignore both this sentence and the previous two.

Can you solve my puzzle?

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