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The Jubjub Bird

The Jubjub Bird

The Jubjub Bird (also sometimes spelled Jub Jub Bird) is a character in both Lewis Carroll's Through The Looking Glass and Tim Burton's 2010 film Alice in Wonderland. The Jubjub Bird is a dangerous creature mentioned in Lewis Carroll's nonsense poems "Jabberwocky" and "The Hunting of the Snark".

In "Jabberwocky", the only detail given about the bird is that the protagonist should "beware" it. However, in The Hunting of the Snark, the creature is described in much greater depth. It is found in a narrow, dark, depressing and isolated valley. Its voice, when heard is described "a scream, shrill and high" like a pencil squeaking on a slate, and significantly scares those who hear it, including the Beaver who "turned pale" from end to tip. Its character traits include that it is "desperate" and "lives in perpetual passion", it knows any friend it has met once before and will not look at a bribe.

History

The Hunting of the Snark

When the Butcher and the Beaver are hunting the Snark, a scream is heard, which the Butcher recognizes as the call of the Jubjub. However, the Butcher and the Beaver become distracted trying to work out how many times the Butcher said that it was the Jubjub bird making the noise. Eventually, after working out the answer (three), the Butcher distracts the Beaver again by giving it a lesson on the Jubjub Bird, saying that in lives in perpetual passion, will not look at a bribe and stands at the door in charity meetings, although it does not subscribe. He also says that when cooked in sawdust and salted with glue it is delicious. At this point, the Jubjub stops, presumably believing that they mean to eat it.

Alice in Wonderland

The Jubjub Bird appears in Tim Burton's version of Alice in Wonderland as a black monstrous vulture under control of the Red Queen. He has a large crest, stubby, broad wings, and seems to be a very primitive bird, with sharp teeth and a well-developed blue tongue as well as a yellow beak with red markings on it to resemble lipstick and long legs that resemble those of a Quetzalcoatlus. His plumage is heavily striped like a zebra, which may be used to confuse prey, and he has a long neck and large red eyes. Contrasting to his long legs and neck, the Jubjub has a relatively short tail. He makes a low husky shriek. In the movie, he captures both Tweedledee and Tweedledum away from Alice. He is not seen again until the Mad Hatter and the Dormouse are about to be executed, the Cheshire Cat reveals himself and the Hatter exposes the Red Queen's inner circle as frauds, also forming a following from the prisoners in the audience, so the Queen releases the Jubjub Bird to set people straight. The Jubjub Bird accompanies the Red Queen's forces into battle against the White Queen. During the final battle, after the Hatter interferes the Jubjub Bird joins in the fight, only to later have his head crushed by a giant boulder from a catapult fired by one of the Red Queen's soldiers, ultimately killing him.

Trivia

  • In the computer game WarBreeds, a reptilian version of the Jubjub is the flying unit of the Tanu race.
  • The Bluetones recorded a song titled "The Jub-Jub Bird" which was released in 1998 on their second album Return to the Last Chance Saloon.

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