Video: This 60th Anniversary Edition of `Alice in Wonderland' debuts on Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. The film can be viewed in its original aspect ratio or with DisneyView, a feature which allows you to fill the black bars with beautiful and unique borders by veteran Disney artist Michael Humphries. The film looks absolutely beautiful in high-definition. The animation quality is amazing and it is even more incredible when you realize the film is now sixty years old. Colors are also top notch, rich and vibrant throughout. Disney has done a great job restoring the film to its original glory. (5/5)
Audio: The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio was also wonderful (although no 7.1 like the more recent releases). It was nicely recorded and remastered. (4.0/5)
This is simply amazing that Alice in Wonderland is already 60 years old. I still have the original VHS tape, plus the laser disc, plus two versions on DVD (Gold Collection and the Masterpiece 2-disc edition). But this blu ray release is without a doubt THE definitive edition of this wonderful film. This film demands repeated viewings with the whole family. If you have forgotten about the film, you will fall in love with it all over again. It will bring back many happy memories from years gone by. Also, some young viewers may think that Tim Burton's version is the original version of Alice In Wonderland. Viewing this film will introduce a new generation of young viewers to appreciate and enjoy this ORIGINAL evergreen classic. Highly recommended.
on April 8, 2004
I think some people have forgotten that this movie came out in 1951, before the days of halluciginic drugs. Those drugs did not come around until the 1960's. Alcohol was the common "drug" of that time period. I grew up watching this movie and it never made me want to go out and smoke, drink, or do drugs. I still watch it and I never think about those things. I do not see what is wrong with this movie, it is a lot more appropriate for children than some of the "adult" movies parents let their children watch.
This movie makes a lot of sense, but you have to look beyond what there is on the outside. This movie teaches us that no matter how great our daydreams are, we must always come back to reality, and sometimes reality is a lot better. Life needs order or it will not make sense and will be full of chaous. Maybe people do not catch onto that when they watch it, but watch it again and look closely. Maybe you will find it makes a lot more sense than you think. This movie is mostly supposed to entertain families, not have a deep meaning that makes you think for days on end. I love movies like that, but it's nice to watch something that is just fun. It has catchy music and unforgettable lines.
I just spent a couple of hours looking at this wonderful movie and the extra features. The aptly named Masterpiece Edition is worth every penny, and like The Matrix, should be included in any movie collection, whether you have a child to hide behind or not.
Beautifully adapted and animated from Lewis Carroll's highly imaginative, high-trippin' classic, the imagery and illustrated puns amaze and amuse, especially the little things like the rocking-horse fly, the bread-and-butter flies, the vultures, the pencil and hammer birds, the momeraths, and the bird in the tree (Queenie Leonard) yelling "Ser-pennnnnt !"
The animators drew each frame based on the portrayals by the actors voicing the parts, and the stand-outs are Kathryn Beaumont as Alice, Ed Wynn as the Mad Hatter, Verna Felton as the Queen of Hearts, Bill Thompson as the White Rabbit, and the very flexible and versatile J. Pat O'Malley as Tweedle Dum, Tweedle Dee, the Walrus AND the Carpenter, in one of the best scenes in the movie.
With fourteen songs, this is the most musical Disney around, but unfortunately, the songs are not very easy to sing along to, making me sound like William Hung every time I try to impress people with my thorough knowledge of the lyrics.
There are lots of interesting tidbits in the extras, such as the discarded Cheshire Cat song, and the fact that one of the songs was later re-worded for Peter Pan. There are other links between Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan, but you'll have to watch the extras to find out just what, cause I'm not telling.
For those who don't want to watch the previews at the beginning of the DVD, just press "Menu" and get plugged directly into Wonderland.
Amanda Richards, July 18, 2004
on July 15, 2004
One of my fav children's books gets Disney-ized. I find that this version is simply AMAZING! Yes, there are LOTS of drugged out images (ie..the caterpillar is smoking an opium pipe, she eats mushrooms to get bigger or smaller etc) but its a magical story and its told VERY well by the Disney guys. Not to be missed, grab it before its out of print.
on February 26, 2004
The Alice in Wonderland DVD is released in its original theatrical aspect ratio of approximately 1.33:1 - or as we know it, fullscreen. Before you start bagging any dvd for not being released in widescreen you might want to find out of it was in widescreen to begin with.
Further, to all those who are offended by "bong" smoking or the "magic mushrooms" you really need to wake up. Kids don't think of drugs when they watch this film, they see it on a completely different level. When I watched it as a child all I saw were funny characters and a world of wonder - It was amazing!
on February 26, 2004
Back in the day, Disney made some great animated films. In fact, you know it's decent if it was made when Walt Disney was still alive. Now, it's a money grubbing corporation cranking out flix and merchandise for $$ like Full Moon Productions. I mean, c'mon! Lion King 2? Little Mermaid 2? Lady and the Tramp 2? Aladdin 3? Cinderella 2? At least twenty different versions of 101 Dalmations? Lets wake up here. Disney used to put out some fantastic films, and Alice In Wonderland is right there at the top. It's the most experimental and disturbing of the Disney features. It's also hilarious! Naturally it doesn't follow the book(s) 100%, but I don't think I've ever seen an adaptaion of Alice that has(if Terry Gilliam got ahold of the rights, THEN you'd see something spectacular!). Some reviewers whine about how this is "boring", "confusing" and "inappropriate for children." Grow up, will ya? It's Alice In Wonderland, not Eraserhead! What kind of adult is "confused" by a Disney film that my daughter can follow? Believe me, this movie will NOT corrupt or traumatize your child. You have the Stanley Runk guarantee on that. Unless your child is a genius and more educated in the ways of the world than you are, they will not pick up on any kind of drug references. And it won't inspire your daughter to smoke a cigar if she sees a talking walrus doing it. My daughter and I watch this all the time. We laugh, we sing, we quote it, we have more fun with this film than any other Disney film. To my knowledge she hasn't started smoking cigars yet. So put that in your hookah and smoke it, Mister! If you haven't seen this(unlikely), pick it up for sure. It's so enjoyable and made in a time when Disney took chances and didn't adhere to the moronic P.C. formulas they do today.
on February 16, 2004
This isn't the best adaptation of Lewis Carroll's "Alice" stories, but it's a charming, fun film with great animated set-pieces. I'm staggered to see how beautifully the film has been restored: a comparison of the old video with the new reveals all sorts of detail in dark areas, especially backgrounds. Certain scenes now take place in day when they originally seemed to be at night! Without a doubt, this is the best restoration of a classic animated film I've ever seen.
The supplements, though, are wanting. The kiddie features are simply atrocious. The "Virtual Tea Party" is probably the most noxious DVD extra I have ever, ever encountered. Watch as character impressionists and a bunch of kids cavort around a tea party set, torturing the viewer with awful songs and games. "We're Painting Our Noses Red" is actually one of the better ones.
Other 2-disc Disney titles have similar bilge, but boast commentaries, documentaries, and restoration featurettes - none of which are on <I>Alice</i>. As a result, there is next to no modern perspective offered on the film itself, or the twenty-year quest to get it made. Aside from the segments on deleted songs, casual fans are left to guess at the significance of most of the 'grown-up' supplements, including TV specials and a 1923 silent short. What's here is nice, but only for those in the know.
This is a great release for fans of the film, because of the beautiful restoration. Try and find it cheap, though, because the second disc isn't worth all that much.
on February 15, 2004
Alice in Wonderland,has always been a favourite book of mine,and this Disney musical version is a brilliant adaptation.Not to mention the beautifully done animation.This new release retains the original's greatness,and throws in numerous extra goodies for children and adults alike! For example....if you like to listen in French or Spanish,the ENTIRE soundtrack is in those languages,including ALL of the songs! Kathryn Beaumont,the voice of Alice,also makes an appearance and looks as wonderful as she does in the archival footage,and leads you through some of the archive materials. For the "kids" there's a "Mad Tea Party" interactive video game,a "match the cards" card game,sing-a-long videos,and an escape from Wonderland quiz game.For the "adults" there's the rare "Thru The Mirror",Mickey Mouse cartoon,( Which inspires many Card routines for "Alice" ),and the very first Disney Television Show ("An Hour In Wonderland" with Walt Disney, Kathryn Beaumont,Bobby Driscol,Edgar Bergen,Charlie McCarthy,and Knucklehead Smith ). For "the collector" there's the trailers,numerous art galleries,a collection of song demos,storyboards for a couple of deleted scenes,"Operation Wonderland" ( A 1950 behind the scenes featurette ),a rare original "Alice" comedy from the 1930's,Walt's two televsion intros. from 1954 and 1964,and Kathryn Beaumont & Sterling Holloway performing selections on "The Fred Waring Show". Also of note,"An Hour In Wonderland",a black and white show featuring excerpts from previous Disney movies,cuts to colour when those parts are shown.( Also of note,this DVD features the FIRST release of an excerpt from "Song Of The South"! See Uncle Remus sing "Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah" in all it's glory!).
The one disappointment is the highly touted Cheshire Cat song "I'm Odd". Firstly,the Disney folks wrote nearly 100 songs for this film.( It was planned as far back as the early 40's.)."I'm Odd" apparently got lost,the music score anyways. So,this DVD contains a NEW recording of that song....in other words it's NOT sung by Sterling Holloway,nor is there any lost animation to accompany it. It's even less of an "artifact" than the original song demos included,and frankly is a poor selling point.( This DVD would've sold without that sort of hype to begin with.) But,this is a small problem. This DVD is BRILLIANT! It's FUN! And Children,Adults,& Child/Adults can all enjoy it,alone or together!By all means,join this Mad Tea Party,and give yourself an Un-Birth Day Gift!
Alice in Wonderland (animation, fantasy, family, musical)
Directed by Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson and Hamilton Luske
Starring the voices of Kathryn Beaumont, Ed Wynn, Richard Haydn, Sterling Holloway
Disney / Buena Vista | 1951 | 75 min | Rated G | Released Feb 01, 2011
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.32:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
English: Dolby Digital 2.0
French: DTS 5.1
Spanish: DTS 5.1
English SDH, French, Spanish
50GB Blu-ray Disc
Celebrating its 60th anniversary, Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland looks perfect on Blu-ray. The movie was nominated for one Oscar (best score) and contains a number of songs, as well as having a strong musical presence throughout.
Watching a classic Disney title is like stepping back in time. Compared to modern animation, the classics contain more warmth and less peril. There's also considerably less action. The stories are full of wonder and revel in showing the viewer the setting. One common theme running through all of the titles is the friendly nature of animals and inanimate objects.
In Alice in Wonderland, all of the animals talk. You'll also hear from flowers and a door knob. It's a strange fantasy world inhabited by weird creatures. The adventure begins when Alice follows a white rabbit down a hole. She stumbles across such creatures as oysters, a walrus, the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat and an army of somewhat threatening playing cards.
Alice can change size by eating things in Wonderland. This can be helpful, but regularly causes her problems. Nothing is logical because it's the stuff of dreams. Most of the creatures are friendly and well-meaning, but there are a few moments of danger when Alice encounters the Queen of Hearts.
The movie has a few too many songs for my particular taste, although it works perfectly as a family film. It's not hard to see why the movie has enchanted children for the past 60 years as there's always something interesting happening. For adults watching it alone, it won't appeal to everyone in the way that perhaps a Pixar movie would. This is mainly aimed at children.
I found myself recognizing some of the voices. The Cheshire Cat was voiced by Sterling Holloway who also played Winnie the Pooh and Kaa the Snake in The Jungle Book. Kathryn Beaumont, who is still alive, voiced Wendy Darling in Peter Pan.
While the movie is a lot of fun, it lacks the heart and innocence of other early Disney classics such as Bambi or Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. That said, it deserves a place in your library if you have young children. The colors, songs, memorable creatures and fast pace will hold the attention of most children.
Video Quality 5/5
Quite simply, the transfer couldn't be better. The colors are bright and the image is clean. It looks like the characters were drawn yesterday. The only thing that makes the movie look dated is the style of the animation. It's a lot flatter and lacks the three-dimensional appearance of modern Disney movies such as Bolt or the Pixar titles. Nobody will be disappointed with the appearance of this 60th anniversary Blu-ray edition.
Audio Quality 4.5/5
There are two English audio tracks included, along with French and Spanish tracks. One English track is a restored stereo version of the original soundtrack. My preferred version is the lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix. Everything is clear, but the track is front-heavy. You will hear something from your rears, but it won't match more recent releases. However, this is another fine upgrade over previous releases.
Special Features 5/5
There are over four hours of additional features, the best of which is the 76-minute Through the Keyhole: A Companion's Guide to Wonderland feature.
Deleted Materials includes 21 minutes of footage that didn't make it into the film.
The remaining features include a song, an interactive game, TV specials and reflections on the film.
The Alice in Wonderland Blu-ray offers a huge jump in quality over previous releases of the film. Disney hasn't disappointed me yet. Also included is a DVD version. It's not the best of the classic Disney titles, but is worthy of being in any collection.
Overall score 4/5 (for its intended audience)
on May 19, 2004
This is one of the best DVDs to come out in a whlie. Though the movie it contains is not neccessarily Disney's most readily accessible title (except for during the sixties when they found out it had gained popularity on college campuses, know-what-I-mean, nudge-nudge) it is two discs of pure Disney magic.
Setting aside the feature, which we all know is one of the best adaptations of Lewis Carroll's works (and if not the most accurate, certainly the most "watchable," as it is just dark enough to keep that edge but...well, let me put it this way: have you SEEN another version of "Through the Looking Glass?" I need a stiff drink before getting into that) the real highlight of this disc is the special features.
Two TV introductions by Walt, a 1950's making-of featurette, vintage television programs includin the historic "One Hour in Wonderland" the first Disney TV show, a whole album's worth of demos for songs that were never used, concept art galleries and more. This disc is an essential for anyone, like me, who is in love with Disney animation.
If for no other reason than the "One Hour in Wonderland" show features a clip from "Song of the South." It's worth buying the whole disc just for that, since it's the closest that movie's ever going to come to a DVD release in this lifetime.