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
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 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 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!
on July 23, 2000
The Lewis Carroll book was always a top contender for the Disney studios. Yet somehow, when the movie was made, the book must have reined in the artists too much. They couldn't really indulge their creative fantasies as much as they could with the other major Disney features of the times, which were based on very short stories and hence had tons of room for creative innovation. So, ALICE IN WONDERLAND became a picture-movie of the book--delightful and all that, but somehow constrained, restricted. The book was meant to be a study in logical irony; obviously a movie couldn't do that and still make you root for Alice. But if you take the irony out, things happen to Alice that don't make much sense, and I suppose that kids notice this. They can't really relate to Alice. Of course, it's still a very fine movie. And with the DVD on a good TV or projection unit, you find what I consider the absolute best employment of cartoons on a totally black background. Disney kept the black, I suppose, to remind us that it was all a dream. But look at what the black does to the cartoon characters! It brings them out, it almost makes them three-dimensional. The colors become magical because you can focus on them against a solid background of black. There is nothing like it in moviedom except the marvelous ice-skating sequence in SUN VALLEY SERENADE where Sonja Henie skates on black ice!
on February 9, 2004
The latest Disney classic to get the Masterpiece treatment on DVD, "Alice in Wonderland" comes as a two-disc set complete with trailers, featurettes, and a pristine transfer of the 1951 film.
"Alice in Wonderland" is very good, of course, but pales a bit in relation to "Snow White" and "Sleeping Beauty". While faithful to the original source material, the film still seems a bit thin and perhaps even slightly unsatisfying. Maybe this is because the story is only somewhat linear, and of such a surreal nature that it makes viewing somewhat challenging... well, somewhat.
While there are some interesting and fun vintage featurettes and presentations related to "Alice in Wonderland", the biggest drawback with this set is the glaring lack of a documentary on the creation of the film. After some twenty-odd years of pre-production, plus access to star Kathryn Beaumont, you would think that there would have been enough material to put together such a "How They Did It" documentary, a standard extra on the other Masterpiece offerings.
On the plus side, there is an extended clip from the "lost" Disney classic, "Uncle Remus" in one of the featurettes. In recent years, Disney appears to be more and more willing to consider showing some of the politically incorrect bits from its vaults (such as in the "Mickey Mouse in Black and White" compliation, among others), so perhaps this new (and intellegent) attitude bodes well for the ultimate release of "Remus." Well, we can hope so, anyway.
While not the best of Disney, "Alice" is certainly worth a looksee. Some of the techniques used are still superior to the computerized fakery so prevelent in today's animation, and would be instructive to fans and creators of animated film alike.
on January 28, 2004
Lewis Carrol's "Alice In Wonderland" isn't so much fairytale as it is scathing political satire. That the novel just happens to feature such immortal characters as the Mad Hatter and Cheshire Cat was good for masking the author's real acidic read of the British aristocracy. In eschewing Carrol's original intent, Disney gives us spectacle without substance; a series of highly imaginative, magnificently rendered vignettes that, unfortunately fail to provide a cohesive plot for dear sweet Alice to meander through. At the time of its release "Alice" was much criticized for having omitted many of Carrol's best characters and the truncation of his best work in the novel, "the Jabberwacky" is a slight few die hard Carrol-philes have forgiven Disney for since.
TRANSFER: In a word, stunning! A rich, fully saturated spectrum of color that is bold and well defined. While the previously issued DVD suffered from some picture instability and age related artifacts, this version is near pristine and to quote another Disney heroine, Mary Poppins, "practically perfect in every way". The audio has been cleaned up and remixed to 5.1 surround. The songs benefit richly from the remastering effort with robust spread across all five speaker channels that is quite uncharacteristic of most movies of "Alice's" vintage.
EXTRAS: A ton. There's a Charlie McCarthy featurette, some studio junket stuff and a few short subjects that get introduced by Katharine Beaumont - the voice of Alice. There's also the Mickey Mouse short "Through the Looking Glass" which was previously made available on the 'Mickey in Living Color' DVD and a really, REALLY dismal virtual adventure in Wonderland that I can't imagine appealing to anyone outside of the pre-school set. One oversight: there's no comprehensive "making of" of this Disney film - a genuine shame that leaves the other extras sort of out in the cold, presented without any kind of overview and underlying unity - sort of like the film itself.
BOTTOM LINE:If you've always been a fan of this movie this is definitely the version to get. For me, there's still something tragically lacking in "Alice" that not even a wonderland can make whole!
on February 16, 2002
Disney's retelling of the classic story of Alice in Wonderland is pretty cute indeed. The animation of course is breathtaking as almost all of the Disney's films are. It's not a big musical, and it's not a grand movie as when it was released way back when. However, Alice in Wonderland is one of my favorite all time stories by Lewis Carroll. Disney has done a spectacular job of creating the story and combining both Alice in Wonderland and Alice through the Looking Glass, and added their own little touches to the movie. Kathryn Beaumont does a fantastic job of creating the voice for Alice. And she is in one of the Disney's hall of famers now, she went on to do the voice of Wendy I believe in Disney's Peter Pan. The character's are very creative with The White Rabbit, The Mad Hatter and March Hare, The Snobby Flowers, The Caterpiller, The Cheshire Cat, and the Queen of Hearts who really seems to be fond of cutting off people's heads. It's witty and really fun for children of all ages. Though if your a fan like me of the classic story, you may sit there and nitpick the movie. But as I remember it's generally for kids, and they will love this movie. The only thing is now when I try to show the kids other films of Alice in Wonderland they always think of the Disney version :) But it's fun, witty, and a classic Disney hit.
The DVD is a bit disappointing though but does have some rather fun stuff such as: Alice in Wonderland Storybook, Alice in Wonderland Trivia Game, Operation Wonderland (This is actually a very nice feature includes tours through Walt Disney's offices and the creation of Alice in Wonderland, besides that a promotional fun of Alice in Wonderland staring Kathryn Beaumont). They also have an Unbirthday Song Sing-Along, All in the Golden Afternoon Sing-Along, and a Theatrical Trailer. After perchasing the Snow White Collectable DVD collection this is a bit disappointing DVD seeing as how much more attention was paid to Snow White all of Disney's versions should be like the extravagant Snow White DVD. But it's fun, has some really nice things, and the animation on the DVD is spetactualar. Kids and Adults will really enjoy this fun hit :)