Alice in Wonderland

Welcome Back! Today, we are reviewing Alice in Wonderland, but not the Disney version (not yet anyways). This Alice in Wonderland is the French one. It was released on 1949. It was directed by Dallas Bower who was a British director. He directed The Path of Glory, Rope, The Second Mrs. Tanqueray, and Doorway to Suspicion.

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History:

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Alice in Wonderland was written by Edward Elisco (The Three Husbands, The Gay Senorita, Isle of Missing Men), Albert E. Lewin (Eight on the Lam, My Favorite Martian, Call Me Mister), and Henry Myers (Destry Rides Again, The Black Room, Millian Doller Legs).

Carol Marsh played Alice at 20 years old, when Alice is supposed to be 7 yrs. Old. The film was not allowed in Britain, because the Queen of Hearts was thought to be too similar to Queen Victoria.

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The film was not allowed in the United States, because of a legal dispute with Disney, which was making its own version of Alice in Wonderland at the same time. “Disney sued to prevent release of the British version in the U.S., and the case was extensively covered in Time magazine. The company that released the British version accused Disney of trying to exploit their film by releasing its version at virtually the same time.” (Wikipedia)

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Both of the films flopped, when they opened in 1951. Disney saw to it that his version was kept alive by showing an edited version of it on network television as part of the Disneyland TV series. The Disney version eventually reached classic status. This one did not. It was sold to television, but only to local stations where it was eclipsed by the 1933 Paramount version (which also flopped in movie theaters).

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“Carol Marsh is the only live actor in the main story. Marsh acted most of the Wonderland scenes all alone on an empty set, with the puppets added later.” (IMDB)

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“Carol Marsh insisted on doing some of the most difficult sequences herself, when a double would have been permissible. Falling down the rabbit hole to Wonderland entailed a hair-raising thirty-foot drop into a net. A famous French trapeze artist, Mile Roselie, showed her how to make the fall, but Carol completed the scene with bruised knees, scratched legs and six ruined pairs of stockings. Carol found the most difficult scene was the one where she slides down an enormous table leg. It was an almost perpendicular drop, and Carol admits she was very frightened while doing it.” (IMDB)

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Cast:

  • Carol Marsh as Alice; Horror of Dracula, A Christmas Carol, Helter Skelter
  • Stephen Murray as Lewis Carroll and voices the Knave of Hearts; The Nun’s Story, The Door in the Wall
  • Raymond Bussières as The Taylor; The King and the Mockingbird, Paris When It Sizzles, Casque d’Or
  • Most of the Wonderland characters are played by stop-motion animated puppets created by Lou Bunin (famous puppeteer). “All of the other live actors in the film are seen only in the live action scenes. However, they lend their voices to the Wonderland characters, and the staging of the scenes in England vs. the scenes in Wonderland is reminiscent of the Kansas scenes vs. the Oz scenes in The Wizard of Oz, in that several of the live-action characters seem to have counterparts (of sorts) in Wonderland.” (Wikipedia)
  • Pamela Brown as The Queen and the voice of The Queen of Hearts; Cleopatra, Lust for Life, Becket
  • Felix Aylmer as Dr. Liddell, father of Alice Liddell and voices the Cheshire Cat; The Princess and the Cobbler, Henry V, Anastasia (1956)

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Original Story:

Alice in Wonderland is based on Lewis Carol’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It was published in 1865. Lewis Carol is best known for Alice and its sequel. He also wrote The Hunting of the Snark, A Tangled Tale, Sylvie and Bruno, and more.

I have never read Alice in Wonderland, so I’m not sure how much it differs from the book.

Image result for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Setting:

United Kingdom/Wonderland

Characters:

  • Alice: A curious girl who travels Wonderland trying to make sense of a land that doesn’t make much sense.
  • White Rabbit: A stuffy Rabbit who has no time for nonsense or Alice.
  • Card Soldiers: They do the Queen’s bidding.
  • Cheshire Cat: A cat who grins, can turn invisible, likes to make trouble, and speaks in riddles.
  • Hatter: A Hatter who is quite mad and loves tea.
  • Queen of Hearts: The villain who has quite a temper and loves to cut off heads.
  • Minor Characters: Mouse, Dodo and Animals, Lizard, Caterpillar, Mother and Baby, Hare, Dormouse, Sea Animals, King of Hearts, and Turtle.

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Songs:

I can’t find anywhere what the actual names of the songs are. So, I’m just guessing the names.

  • White Rabbit Song- The song the White Rabbit sings to the Card Soldiers. It is difficult to make out the words he is saying.
  • Curiouser- The song Alice sings to the Mouse.
  • Dodo and Animals- The song the Dodo and other animals sing.
  • Caterpillar Song- The song Alice and the Caterpillar sing. It’s in opera style.
  • Creepy Fish Song- The song the creepy fish sing to give the invitation.
  • Lullaby- The song some Mother sings to a baby.
  • Twinkle Little Bat- The song the Hatter sings at the Tea Party.
  • Sad Song- The song the Turtle sings while they are in jail.
  • The Tart Song- The song the King sings of Alice’s crimes.

Before the Movie:

I have never seen the movie, but looking at the trailer, the movie seems really weird.

Plot:

So, you could probably just skip the first 13 minutes, because it seems pretty pointless. Alice chases the rabbit, falls down the hole, gets trapped, and is locked in a room. Alice finds a small key to unlock the small door. Then, it suddenly skips to the White Rabbit and the card soldiers who accidently paint the Queen’s roses red. They beg the White Rabbit not to tell the Queen, and then he sings an awful song. Alice drinks a potion and becomes small enough to fit through the door. Then she becomes big and cries, which results in her getting small again. She cries so much, that it turns into an “ocean” where she meets a mouse, and sings a song. Then we meet the Dodo and another song begins. Alice goes into the White Rabbit’s house, but is too big. The Lizard tries to get her out, but fails. She becomes small and is chased by a dog. Then she ends up in a forest where she meets the Caterpillar. They sing a duet. Then some creepy looking fish start singing a song and they deliver an invitation from the Queen to the Frog. Alice delivers the letter to the Mother singing to her baby, where she also meets the Cheshire Cat. Then the Mother sneezes and her house blows up, only leaving Alice and the Cheshire Cat. The Baby ends up in the sky and comes falling down, where Alice catches her. The Baby then turns into a real live pig. Alice sends it on its way. Alice meets the Hatter and the Hare, and has a tea party. The Dodo and animals chase Alice who ends up lost. She begs the Cheshire Cat to give her a straight answer and tell her where to go. Then dancing sea animals appear. Alice finally meets the Queen. They play croquet. Alice is accused of stealing tarts. The Queen wants to cut off her head, but the King states to have a trial first. She is found guilty. The cards attack her, but she is big again and bats them away. Then she suddenly wakes up, and found it all to be a dream. She runs off. The End

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Positive:

Alice has a beautiful voice and she is a good actress.

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Negative:

The characters are super creepy looking. It’s also weird that they have an adult Alice. If I had watched this as a child, I would be absolutely terrified. The voice actors also sound weird. They don’t really match the characters. The first part of the movie is pointless and boring. Most of the music is awful. The animation isn’t very good. There are parts where it doesn’t “flow.” The ending is also very sudden and abrupt. The movie is just creepy, weird, and very boring.

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Overall Opinion:

This has to be the worst animated movie I’ve ever seen so far and I’ve seen a lot of animated movies. Alice in Wonderland is an incredibly weird movie. It is kind of scary. I wouldn’t recommend it to children, because they’d most likely be terrified of it. I’m an adult and I found the movie to be very creepy. The puppets are disturbing. Alice is meant to be a child, but in this movie she is an adult. It is a very strange choice. But, Alice’s actress was the only good thing about the movie. She is an amazing actress and singer. Most of the songs are really bad. The animation isn’t very good. There are parts where it doesn’t “come together.” It would sort of skip parts and it didn’t really work in the movie’s favor, especially the ending. The movie is also extremely boring. I was counting down the entire time for the movie to be over. I hate this movie and I do not recommend it at all. Overall, I rate it as an F-.

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Favorite Character:

My favorite character is Alice. The other characters are creepy and unlikable which leaves me with Alice. The actress who plays her is very good and has a great voice. The actual character though isn’t very interesting.

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Favorite Song:

I don’t really like the music, but I guess if I had to choose a song. It would be Alice’s song “Curiouser.” The only reason I like it is, because I like Alice’s voice. The song itself isn’t very good though.

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Favorite Scene:

I like the part where Alice and the Caterpillar sing a duet together. I like when Alice dances.

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What did you think of the movie? What was your favorite scene?

Next, up would’ve been Aventuras de Esparadrapo, but I can’t find it. There isn’t even a Wikipedia page for it either. It was released in 1949 in Spain. It was stop-motion and it was directed by Angel de Echenique.

The next movie is I Fratelli Dinamite or The Dynamite Brothers. It was released in 1949 in Italy. It was directed by Nino Pagot.

(I do not own pictures, videos, etc. My information came from Wikipedia and IMDB).

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