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Alice in Wonderland [Import]

Tina Majorino , Whoopi Goldberg , Nick Willing    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 21.87 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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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

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Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Big budget does not a good Wonderland make June 16 2004
By Chris
When I first read of this adaptation in 1999, I was so excited to hear of a huge Hollywood version of my favourite book of all time. Another Wonderland to get lost in, another Alice to follow on her nonsensical, whimsical journey. What I ended up with was another reason not to trust American telemovies.
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.
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By D.N.
I got this in a cereal box for free, which I'm grateful for, but I wish I hadn't watched it. It's everything you'd expect of a modern re-telling of this story with Hollywood comedians and actors. They make the first mistake of having an American Alice attempt a British accent. Secondly, she's had to perform a song, and the story is revealed to be only a result of a dream she's had, like Dorothy. They've penned a couple of wretched, unmemorable songs. A constantly blinking rabbit runs around and seems to have made no contribution. It's cold and lifeless, except for its set design, but it's still not much to look at. It's the Tim Burton excuse of creative style over substance, but Tim Burton movies have something to add.
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.
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By A Customer
Every time Lewis Carroll's immortal classics, Alice's adventures in wonderland and through the looking glass, get told again the risk is run that something will be lacking. After all, how many different ways can a story be told? How many different sides are there to a mushroom?
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "Everyone Here is Mad!" March 21 2003
Alice in Wonderland takes us on a star studded trip down the rabbit hole for another classic interpritation of the land with zany locations and completly zany inhabitants.
Alice (Tina Majorino) is dreading her part in her parents tea party. She has to sing in front of everybody! "How do they expect me to sing in front of all these strangers?". Alice decides to hide in the back garden until the party ends. Just then, as an apple slowly falls from a nearby tree, Alice's spots a white rabbit running along yelling "Oh I'm so very LATE!". She pursues him all the way down his rabbit hole full of strange objects defying gravity, until she lands in an underground world known as Wonderland. She sets out to find a beautiful garden (She couldn't get to it because she was to big to fit through the door leading to it). She keeps changing sizes going up to 10 feet high then down to ten inches high. As she wonders through the land she meets the strangest people including: Major Catapillar (Ben Kingsley) who tends to smoke his hooka, and, to Alice's annoyance, talks in very short sentences; the Duchess (Elizebeth Spriggs) who manages to ignore the air in her house filled thick with pepper; the Chesire Cat (Whoopi Goldberg) who seems to be the sainest creature around; the Mad Hatter (Martain Short) who has a tendency to break into song when unexpected; the Queen of Hearts (Miranda Richardson) who owns the garden and has hobbys of playing Crouquet and screeching "Off with her head!"; the Mock Turtle (Gene Wilder) who sings, tells storys, and burst into tears regularly; the White Knight (Christopher Lloyd) who loves riding his horse even if he can't stay on it for long; and Tweedle Dee (George Wendt) and his brother Tweedle Dum (Robbie Coltrane) who love reciting poetry.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Love this one it's awesome watch it over and over
Published 1 month ago by Charlene
4.0 out of 5 stars Cute rendition
This is low budget, but I think the Alice here is cute (Napoleon Dynamite anyone?) and it is very true to the book. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Meagz
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it
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 18 months ago by Kris
5.0 out of 5 stars Alice in Wonderland
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
4.0 out of 5 stars It may not be the REAL Alice, but...
...I have come to enjoy it for its own good qualities.

True, they did kind of muff it up by making Alice's adventures underground into a learning experience where she... Read more
Published on Oct. 30 2007 by Chara
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh, Alice, what have they done to you?
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 more
Published on Jan. 28 2004 by A. Watkins
1.0 out of 5 stars i hated hated hated this movie!
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 more
Published on Jan. 20 2004 by Jeremy Boettcher
5.0 out of 5 stars Alice in Wonderland (1999)
Dazzling, sparkling TV adaptation of the classic ALICE tale featuring an amazing cast, splendid direction and a great script. Read more
Published on Oct. 27 2003 by Clob Lane
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story!
This movie was modeled after Disney's version of Alice in Wonderland with a few new twists. I enjoyed Whoopi Goldberg's smile as the Cheshire Cat, Martin Short as the Mad Hatter,... Read more
Published on July 2 2003 by jif101
4.0 out of 5 stars ah, another great alice film!
as an a.i.w. buff, I loved this film! though, I wish they would have added more elements from both wonderland and through the looking glass, I still enjoied the actors and many... Read more
Published on March 24 2003
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