Also, a part of it was watching the 50's Disney version of it in class.
I used to think anime was the only thing that could make a cartoon character truly and honestly "cute". Rewatching Alice In Wonderland, I find that Disney had it down 50 fucking years ago. Disney's Alice was damn moe. And most mind-blowingly of all, Disney did it without making it creepily sexual, which I thought was impossible. Even with shit with her skirt and what not, which happened several times in the flick, not once did I see something that looked like it was intended for pedophiles to jack-off to.
tl;dr, America - 1, Japan - 0.