Monday, November 5, 2007

It's Wonderful in Wonderland

In the hands of Disney's extraordinary animation artists, Lewis Carroll's immortal literary classic comes to life like never before!
The surprises begin when a daydreaming Alice encounters a White Rabbit who is frantically running late. She chases him and falls into the magical, madcap world of Wonderland with its kaleidoscope of off-the-wall characters-- including Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the Cheshire Cat, and the manic Mad Hatter and March Hare, who invite her to a memorable tea party! The crowning confrontation begins when Alice meets the notorious Queen of Hearts and her enchanted deck of playing cards. Tricked into a curious game of croquet, Alice, and her patience, end up on trial. Is there no escape from this whimsical escapade?
Filled with fantasy and topsy-turvy fun, Alice in Wonderland is teeming with spectacular songs and astonishing animation in the highest Disney tradition!

Title: Alice in Wonderland
Release: July 28, 1951
Genre: Animated
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Based On: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
Writer: Winston Hibler, Ted Sears, Bill Peet, Erdman Penner, Joe Rinalidi, Milt Banta, William Cottrell, Dick Kelsey, Joe Grant, Dick Huemer, Del Connell, Tom Oreb, & John Walbridge
Director: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, and Hamilton Luse
Music By: Oliver Wallace
Produced By: Walt Disney
Studio: Walt Disney Productions
Distributed By: RKO Radio Pictures (theatrical)
Run Time: 75 minutes

For the longest time Disney’s Alice in Wonderland animated film was my absolute favorite childhood films. One I could watch a million times in a row and never get tired of. Maybe
because it doesn’t make you sad or because it’s just plain fun with all the songs and vivid colors but I always believed it to be one of Walt Disney’s finest achievements.

Recently I’ve discovered that I just might have to agree with the big man himself that the film is a little cold because almost everyone in Wonderland is unkind to Alice at some point or another and she really doesn’t have anyone to act off of. That’s not to say that I don’t still find the story, the animation, the voice work, and the songs absolutely enchanting though.

One of my favorite things about Alice in Wonderland is how they used such unique voices and Disney Legends for the characters. Alice herself is played by Kathryn Beaumont who later went on to voice Wendy in Peter Pan. Then there’s Ed Wynn as the Mad Hatter (he appeared in several Disney films including Mary Poppins), Verna Felton as the Queen of Hearts (she played lead roles in Dumbo, Cinderella, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, & even The Jungle Book), and my personal favorite Sterling Holloway who of course played the Cheshire Cat (he has voiced many Disney characters but he’s most famous for Winnie the Pooh).

Another one of my favorite things about the thirteenth film (which did prove unlucky for Walt Disney originally) in the animated film canon is how creative and visually entertaining it actually is. Take those interesting creatures found in Tulgey Wood for example, those could have easily been scary for children but they aren’t! Even if I don’t enjoy this little film as much as I used to I have no problem telling you that it’s a genuine treasure that everyone should see.

I recommend this 2-disc DVD to any Disney enthusiast as it includes many songs not used in the final film and quite a few Walt Disney specials like the One Hour in Wonderland and Operation Wonderland.

Featured Songs
Alice in Wonderland
In a World of My Own
I'm Late
The Caucus Race
The Walrus and the Carpenter
All in the Golden Afternoon
A-E-I-O-U (The Caterpillar Song)
'Twas Brilling
The Unbirthday Song
Very Good Advice
Painting the Roses Red

Find Alice in Wonderland Online

Lenny's Alice in Wonderland Site (page about film)
Old Official Site UK
Kathryn Beaumont Fan Page


Disneyland Introduction:

Wonderful World Of Color Introduction:

Related Reviews
Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
Visitors from Oz by Martin Gardner
The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
Seeing Redd by Frank Beddor
Alice in Wonderland (1933)

Kathryn Beaumont-Alice
Challenge to Lassie (1949)- Tenement Child (uncredited)
Sterling Holloway- Cheshire Cat
The Jungle Book (1967)- 'Kaa' the Snake
Mickey and the Beanstalk aka Fun and Fancy Free (1947)- Narrator
Make Mine Music (1946)- Narrator (segment "Peter and the Wolf")
The Three Caballeros (1944)- Narrator for 'The Cold-Blooded Penguin'/Professor Holloway
Bambi (1942)- Adult Thumper
Dumbo (1941)- Mr. Stork
Alice in Wonderland (1933)- Frog
Jerry Colonna- March Hare
Make Mine Music- Narrator for Casey at the Bat
Verna Felton- Queen of Hearts
The Jungle Book (1967)- Winifred (the elephant)
Sleeping Beauty (1959)- Flora
Cinderella (1950)- Fairy Godmother
Dumbo (1941)- The Elephant Matriarch/Mrs. Jumbo
J. Pat O'Malley- Tweedledee / Tweedledum / The Walrus / The Carpenter
The Jungle Book (1967)- Col. Hathi the Elephant (voice) / Buzzie
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)- Cyril Proudbottom
Bill Thompson- White Rabbit / Dodo
Sleeping Beauty (1959)- Hubert
Queenie Leonard- Bird in the Tree
Doctor Dolittle (1967)- Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
My Fair Lady (1964)- Cockney Bystander (uncredited)
James MacDonald- Dormouse
Fun and Fancy Free (1947)- Mickey Mouse


  1. My absolute favorite Disney film, or at least tied with The Rescuers!!!

    I adore Alice, the Queen, and the other characters. I am even using them all in a new online store I am creating.

    I loved how Disney used some of Lewis Carroll's poetry throughout the film too, spoken like a true English major :)

    Thanks for reviewing this one. It makes me want to take out my DVD and watch it tonight!

  2. My favorite Disney movie was Peter Pan. I am still a fan of Neverland stories.



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