K-pop 101: #19 Alice in wonderland

by: Jeffrey posted: 3 years ago



Alice in wonderland is a story that is used in a variety of different media. Its story speaks to a lot of people and a great deal of people know it or have at least heard of it. That’s why it’s not a surprise that there are quite a bit of K-pop music videos out there that have used the story as inspiration.

Romeo – Miro

The group ROMEO is managed by two companies: the South Korean agency CT entertainment and the Japanese company Pony Canyon. Pony Canyon is a fairly big company as it houses Japanese artists such as Berryz Koubou, Idoling!!! and S/milage. It also handles the Japanese activities for B1A4, Crayon Pop and BTS. With this collaboration it’s one of the first times a Japanese company has started a K-pop group. In the music video there is a cameo by SHINee member Minho. This was made possible because CT entertainment current CEO was SHINee’s former manager. The Alice in wonderland themes that appear in the music video are chess and mirrors. The title which is Korean for maze is also a reference to the story.


Seenroot – He and me

It is extremely difficult to find any information about this indie duo. The duo consists of main vocalist and guitarist Shin Hyunhee, and bass guitarist Kim Root, who also sometimes provides backing vocals. They mostly bring out indie and folk songs. They have quite a unique style that you don’t get to hear within K-pop. Not just their music itself, but also their music videos are very different. They have a vey cute and artistic style. It’s a shame not more people know them, as they are quite talented and refreshing. As the music video begins you are immediately greeted with a book that shows two pages out of Alice in wonderland. It shows Hyunhee in a Alice outfit and the white rabbit is seen throughout the music video. Of course it doesn’t end with just these elements. The music video is filled with elements of the story.


Seungri – VVIP

In this video we see the youngest of Big Bang as the the mad hatter. A credit card slinging version of the mad hatter, who fights using dance moves. I’ve got to say that the video is a bit crazy, but so is the story of Alice in wonderland. So it kinda fits I guess. If you pay attention, there is a funny part in the music video around the beginning where he dresses as all the members of his group. It made me laugh quite a bit. You have Alice drinking the growth potion in the music video, but instead of growing larger like in the story she grows up, you know, like into an adult. Later one you have Seungri trying to kiss Alice and here I was like, wait a minute. She may look older, but she is still only a ten year old girl on the inside. You know, it’s just a little thing I noticed.


IU – Twenty-three

IU is known for her story and fairytale-like music videos. That’s why it was inevitable that she would one day do an Alice on wonderland theme. The music video is filled with imagery of the story. The white rabbit, table scene with the mad hatter, the caterpillar and of course the cheshire cat. She even named her album Chat-shire, an obvious reference. The lyrics of the song are about growing up, the biggest theme that is found in Alice in wonderland. IU was seen as a little sister type for a long time, but now at an older age she struggles with a different image. Especially now as it has been revealed she has been in a relationship with 11 year older Jang kiha for close to 2.5 years now.


Boyfriend – Bounce

The one with the most obvious Alice in wonderland theme is “Bounce” by Boyfriend. I don't even have to highlight what elements are in the music video as it is filled to the brim with it. It even starts with a clock displaying Boyfriend in wonderland. It has a more dark version of the world which reminded me a lot of the 2010 Tim Burton movie. Alice in wonderland isn't the only story Boyfriend have used for their music videos. They have also used Peter Pan and little red riding hood for their “Obsession” and “Witch” music videos.


These weren’t the only music videos with an Alice in wonderland theme that I found, but I limited the list to these five. What was your favourite take on the story? Leave it in the comments down below. Next time I will be looking into some other music videos that take western stories as an inspiration.

K-pop 101: #18 story edition K-pop 101: #20 western inspiration

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