J. Pat O'Malley
Wilfred Jackson & Hamilton Luske
Running Time: 75 minutes
UK Certificate: U
Country: United States
Remember when Disney used to start and end each of their feature-length toons with bizarre operatic-style singing involving the use of words you could never quite make out? Well, if thats the sort of warbling you enjoy, Alice In Wonderland will be right up your alley. Probably.
The follow-up to 1950s Cinderella, this was Disneys 13th animated big screen release. Unlucky for some, and most notably ol Walt himself, as this turned out to be a bit of a flop in theatres. But, love it or hate it, its a tough film to forget. Certainly one of Disneys stranger productions, it merges elements from Lewis Carrolls two novels The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass with some outright fabrications on the part of the animators. Suffice to say, some of it works and some of it doesnt.
Kathryn Beaumont (shes in her 60s now, but incredibly Disney STILL drag her out when theyve got a gig for Alice) provides the voice for the super-posh kiddy who gets into all sorts of scrapes after following a clock-watching rabbit down its burrow (something most of us make a point of never doing). From then on in theres no particular storyline to speak of. Instead, we see her meeting and greeting a series of barmy characters including tubby twins Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee, a perma-grinning Cheshire cat, and a decapitation-daft Queen. A personal favourite of mine is the Dodo, with his attempts to keep a team of critters dry by having them run incessantly round in circles.
Unfortunately, the enforced wackiness of it all starts to grow tiresome by about halfway through, and it generally goes downhill from the Mad Hatters tea party onwards. Its not at all surprising to hear it often suggested that the entire film is a metaphor for various sorts of drug use. I certainly wont dispute that, but I cant help but think there are some people who seem intent on finding drug references in practically EVERY film. If thats what you want to see in it, then you probably will but its highly unlikely the kids in the target audience will either realise or care.
It's Got: Cabbages and kings.
It Needs: Alice to work on that singing voice.
DVD Extras Nothing on this one honestly, I know were in Region 2, but does that have to make us second-class citizens as well? Why cant we get the same features that are on the Region 1 version? DVD Extras Rating: 0/10
Visually this flick is a real treat, but it has to be said that, even after over 50 years, the jury is still out on the content. Not everyones cup of tea, but worth seeing.