Disney Movies: Alice in Wonderland

So here we go again – getting deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole of Disney’s 50s gems, so to speak. Number dix:


alice in wonderland

Just a background: Alice in Wonderland was released in 1951 one year after Cinderella and based off the famous book The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, where a young girl by the name of Alice finds herself falling through a rabbit hole and stumbling into the trippiest trip of her entire life. There is literally no sense or organizational manner to Wonderland. Which of course, makes it all the harder to critique. But! Here we go either way —


The hard thing about this part of the judging is that when in any sort of universe has the story of Alice in Wonderland ever been consistent? I mean, the only consistency we really see is with Alice growing and getting small again when she eats things, along with the complete circle at the beginning and end of which she is introduced in one place and then back there at the end. As far as the movie goes, however, things run as consistently as they can, despite the story’s lack thereof. We see every character that was seemingly “important” at the beginning come back at the end and little Alice even learns her lesson, we think.


Here, we see that Alice has the most “development” so to speak, but she confused me a tad at the same time. She was supposed to be a little girl, but she was quite well-spoken, aware, and logical for a little girl, British or not, and this made her appear quite mature. Which I’m sure was the point. However, then we would have random moments when she would burst into tears of no real accord, like when she has gotten large again in the small room. Of course, if we had had more indication that Alice was an overall mature girl, then these moments of utter logic in the face of very strange things would make more sense, however, we see that she is painted as, apparently, the opposite of this. She is supposed to be quite an immature and almost silly child who doesn’t pay attention or listen. But in Wonderland, she seemed above and beyond all that, and though she retained her curious child’s edge, she very much abandoned the other two things and was extremely attentive to detail and listened whenever she was in trouble. This shows that, despite it all, Alice actually grew up while away in her dream world, yet came back to her rightful age and maturity level when she wakes up again. It is a strange combination of both development and purposeful lack thereof.


I’ll admit, when Alice opened her mouth to sing with the flowers, I had to cover my ears. Her voice was much too high to be pleasant! But the flowers seemed to agree with that after a time. However, the animation style has already matured since Cinderella. We see careful and detailed attention put on Alice, which is also nice because she is a girl, and see some familiar bits of animation put into the strangeness and oddity of Wonderland (similarities to Fantasia, I mean). The music, for the most part, was pretty good as well – a lot of the songs were clever and new and funny. The best scene for animation and music creativity was surely the Mad Hatter’s un-birthday tea party scene, where we see Alice’s childhood impatience shine through, as well as the true insanity of Wonderland.


Even so, this Mad Hatter scene, as well as the Queen of Heart’s scene, are the most well-done pieces of the film. The very beginning is a tad dull and too repetitive to really re-watch or pay attention to when you are older. When she has just landed in Wonderland and is resizing herself all over the place, it gets a bit old. However, once we get past that and hit the forest with the Cheshire cat and the Mad Hatter tea party, we really see more of Alice’s personality stand out and the personality of Wonderland as a whole. Again, we cannot truly critique the plot of the movie, considering it is based off the original story, which truly has no purpose, meaning, or true plot to it. But again! This postmodernness, though something I deeply dislike, is something that was done on purpose and for the sake of entertainment alone. And, by the late beginning and middle of the movie, we are quite entertained indeed.




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