Monday, 24 October 2011

Alice in Wonderland - 1933 film

Hi there, today I will be talking about the 1933 film, Alice in Wonderland, which is based on both of Lewis Carroll’s books, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.
Paramount Pictures produced this movie and it remains today (2011) the only major live action Hollywood-produced film directly adapting the original Alice in Wonderland story. The 2010 Tim Burton film, while using the title, would be a sequence to the story.
Lovely Original Movie Poster
Don't let the colour fool you, it is a black and white film!
Except for the animated sequence of the Walrus and the Carpenter (by Leon Schlesinger Productions), it was an all live-action film with an all star cast directed by Norman Z. McLeod. Charlotte Henry starred as Alice, and though most of us today might not remember the stars of 1933, it is noted that Cary Grant, who was on the rise, played the part of the Mock Turtle, Gary Cooper as the White Knight and W. C. Fields as Humpty Dumpty.

Many people didn't believe Cary Grant played the mock turtle. Well, how would you know?
In 1939, MGM’s ‘The Wizard of OZ’ proved that live-action fantasy could be successfully presented on screen, however in 1933 there were many doubts and many critics and unfortunately, Alice in Wonderland was a box office flop. (poor Alice)

I though Charlotte Henry was a lovely Alice

My thoughts…well, for me there can be no hating of Alice, however there are some very disturbing masks that most of the characters seem to be wearing, and I have to wonder why?
The movie covered so many details of the stories that most other Alice versions do not, such as the White Queen turning into a sheep and Alice buying an egg.
I hear you say, well this is indeed part of the story in Through the Looking Glass, and I appreciated quirky bits of the books being included in the Film.

Very disturbing Duchess
Mad Hatter tea party. No Room! No Room!

Again, disturbing Humpty Dumpty. He's very rude indeed!

While I love that so much was kept in the film, I did feel that everything was in a rush, 'quick-read the line, next scene!', and so on, however maybe this is partly because the costumes and masks did not allow for any facial expressions. Another thing that annoys me is the constant swapping between Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, I know the Classic Walt Disney Cartoon does it as well, but I just love that version so much that I barely notice. This version seems just a little jumpy and I do notice. Perhaps the reason why I get annoyed is that Alice enters 'Wonderland' through the Looking Glass! Unforgivable!

Cool, but where did the rabbit hole go?
Okay, so I have been quite critical I admit. Overall, I still think it is a good film that you should watch it! I actually feel that Walt Disney was influenced by this version as there are some very similar scenes.
I'll leave you with the cool and a little dark at times animation of the Walrus and the Carpenter, enjoy! xo

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Disney's Classic Alice in Wonderland

Hi All, I have the pleasure of talking about my number one favourite Disney movie. I have loved this film since i was little and still watch it to this day.
Alice in Wonderland is a 1951 American animated feature produced by Walt Disney and based primarily on Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland with a few additional elements from Through the Looking-Glass.
Made under the supervision of Walt Disney himself, this film and its animation are often regarded as some of the finest work in Disney studio history, despite the lackluster, even hostile, reviews it originally received, especially in the United Kingdom. But we all know that they were wrong.

DVD cover - Gold Collection

DVD cover - Masterpieces Collection
a very recent update to the cover

The mad but lovable Hatter.
I think he has a tea addiction.

The party continues, Alice will soon realise that
she is in the company of some very kooky characters.

Quick! Paint the roses red
before the Queen of Hearts realises.

The very demanding but lovable white rabbit.

Don't step on the MomeRaths!!

The one and only Cheshire Cat, Alice's guardian angel!?

Alice shows off her singing skills to the flowers.
But the flowers don't seem to think she is up to their
very high standards.

This film is adorned with an array of sweet and silly songs, some of my favourites include...

One of the very first songs "In a world of my own" As Alice sings in the garden, with Dinah by her side, while her sister continues to read.

"The Unbirthday Song" Performed by the Mad Hatter and March Hare at their tea party, when they realise that it is also Alice's 'Unbirthday'.

And who can go past "Painting the Roses Red" Such a silly and mischievous song,
as Alice and some Playing Cards correct their mistakenly planted white roses.

I know that Animated films these days have amazing graphics and all these fancy effects, but I also feel that classically illustrated animations such as Alice in Wonderland are in a world of their own and it makes me a little sad to realise that we will never have these sorts of films again.

So I will now leave you with my favourite part of Disney's Alice in Wonderland...
The Walrus and the Carpenter. 

and of course a BIG thanks to the wonderfully talented Walt Disney and Lewis Carroll for giving the world this masterpiece.