Alice in Wonderland [Import]
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Alice in Wonderland
This is an impressive-looking version of Lewis Carroll's story originally produced for NBC-TV. Dreading a singing recital at her parents' lavish home, Alice falls into a strange world in pursuit of a large White Rabbit. The talented child actor Tina Majorino (Corrina, Corrina) plays Alice with all the good graces but mostly wanders through the story unquestioningly. Carroll's tale of whimsical, illogical adventures is a field day for designers Roger Hall and Alan Tomkins, costumer Charles Knode, Jim Henson's Creature Shop, and director Nick Willing (Photographing Fairies. Influenced by Time Bandits and Labyrinth (the latter also designed by the Henson company), the film has a splendid array of effects, many dealing with multiple perspectives as Alice constantly changes sizes. The highlight is Whoopi Goldberg as the Cheshire Cat, a seamless mix of cat and comic. Martin Short as the Hatter and Mirandra Richardson as the Queen of Hearts seem to be having the times of their lives. This is not the definitive version of Carroll's tale, and, like the popular Disney animated version, combines some elements of Carroll's sequel, Through the Looking Glass. It is perhaps better viewing for the fan that has seen another version of the tale or read the book. --Doug Thomas --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
True, they did kind of muff it up by making Alice's adventures underground into a learning experience where she realized she did not need to be afraid of performing in public. However, the characters were hilarious. The White Rabbit was a bit boring, but the others seemed to play their parts to the hilt. I especially liked the Caucus Race scene, Pat the Irish gardener and his friend Bill, and the Mock Turtle. Of course, the Mad Tea-Party scene deserves mention as well. Tina Majorino with a British accent is odd, but I suppose it was seen as necessary.
The musical numbers are delightful.
If you don't expect this to be a re-telling of the actual "Alice" story, it is not too bad. I did not care for it the first time I saw it, as it is a little weird, but my kids have come to like it, too--even after having read the original.
The last telemovie attempt at 'Alice In Wonderland' was in 1985 when Irwin Allen made a very admirable attempt at recreating both 'Wonderland' and its sequel 'Through The Looking-Glass'. In comparison to modern film technology, the sets are a bit plastic looking and there are one too many distractingly sickening songs, not to mention some embarrassing moments of 'special effects' (see the model train used to cringeworthy effect in 'Lookin-Glass'). However when stacked up against this travesty, Allen's creation is an absolute opus.
The biggest problem with this latest Wonderland is it gets lost in its own surface. As a result, it is a horribly stilted, detached and depthless rendering of one of the most exciting fictional worlds in modern literature. Nearly every setting is CGI'd beyond recognition, with unnecessary inclusions and digital touch-ups in almost as many scenes. As for the cast, for a group of actors who are arguably the cream of the Hollywood crop they turn in rather unimpressive performances. Tina is a solid Alice, but talented actors like the divine Whoopi Goldberg are wasted on parts like the Cheshire Cat. It comes off as another reviewer stated like a furry grey Whoopi Goldberg, not Goldberg playing a role. Unfortunately, this can be said for most of the other famous names in the film as well. As for the White Rabbit, I don't think I've ever seen a more unconvincing and irritating creature in my life. It looks like the perverted brother of the Energiser Bunny.Read more ›
The actors don't even seem to want to act against the other actors and the camera and costumes ensure you never see them express body language. The camera uses many closeups and quickly cut away from what you want to see, assuming you're already bored, the backgrounds are either blandly digital or miniatures. It's claustrophobic, suffocating and irritating to watch.
Whoopi Goldberg and Martin Short are two examples of inspired casting. Goldberg plays herself as a grinning Chesire cat, Short plays the Mad Hatter as a kind of gay socialite Austin Powers, which I can accept in this rendition but it doesn't totally work. There's no wonder to any of it and all the added-for-tv wacky dialogue just seems to get further and further away from what worked about the book - which was more and it deserves a much better film version. This never came together and when Miranda Richardson was onscreen to play croquet the whole thing just dies and the only thing keeping it going is its set pieces. There was nothing going for this in the first place, so just avoid it.
Just so. While the story remains unchanged over the years the innovations employed in the telling make it what it is.
And this is one of the best adaptations that I have ever seen. Sure there's Disney and the innovations there but the real trick is taking a fantasy like this and telling it with animation as a support and not whole enchilada.
Combine Carroll's classic story with the magic of Jim Henson's Creature Shop and add wonderful performances by Martin Short as the Mad Hatter, Gene Wilder as the Mock Turtle, Peter Ustinov and Pete Postlethwaite as the Walrus and the Carpenter, Christopher Lloyd as the White Knight, Ben Kingsley as the Caterpillar/Butterfly, and Whoopi Goldberg as the Cheshire Cat and you have a made-for-TV production that could have done very well on the big screen.
Care was also taken to ensure that the original illustrations of Carroll's books were faithfully adapted. The March Hare is a prime case in point.
Tina Majorino (Andre) is superb as Alice and the story is as engaging and imaginative as ever. A must have for any video collection.
Most recent customer reviews
The seller ships very, very quickly and the DVD will arrive in perfect condition, guaranteed.
As for the movie itself, it's pretty good. Read more
This is low budget, but I think the Alice here is cute (Napoleon Dynamite anyone?) and it is very true to the book. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Meagz
I got this for my Children so they can see the Movie I grew up watching. They enjoyed it as much as I did.Published on March 18 2013 by Kris
This is an excellent movie with an all star cast. Equally enjoyable for adults as it is for children of all ages!!!Published on Nov. 1 2009 by S. Moore
This is the worst adaptation of Alice in Wonderland I have ever seen. From the ridiculous and invented-for-the-movie stage fright premise on, this is a classic example of a movie... Read morePublished on Jan. 28 2004 by A. Watkins
I love disney's alice in wonderland and i love the book but i hated this version! What the heck is miranda richardson and gene wilder doing in this? Read morePublished on Jan. 20 2004 by Jeremy Boettcher
Dazzling, sparkling TV adaptation of the classic ALICE tale featuring an amazing cast, splendid direction and a great script. Read morePublished on Oct. 27 2003 by Clob Lane
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