ReelTalk Movie Reviews  

New Reviews
Jurassic World Domini...
Jazz Fest: A New Orle...
Chip 'n Dale: Rescue ...
more movies...
New Features
Poet Laureate of the Movies
Happy Birthday, Mel Brooks
Score Season #71
more features...
ReelTalk Home Page
Contact Us
Advertise on ReelTalk

Listen to Movie Addict Headquarters on internet talk radio Add to iTunes

Buy a copy of Confessions of a Movie Addict

Main Page Movies Features Log In/Manage

Rate This Movie
 Above AverageAbove AverageAbove AverageAbove Average
 Below AverageBelow Average
Rated 3 stars
by 2153 people

ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Alice on DVD
by Betty Jo Tucker

Assorted bizarre characters from the whimsical mind of Lewis Carroll received the Walt Disney animation treatment in Alice in Wonderland, originally released in 1951. Although not among Disney's most beloved films, this full-length feature captures the nonsensical charm of The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking Glass (1872). "I meant nothing but nonsense," declared Rev. Charles Dodgson, a lecturer in mathematics at Oxford, who (using the Carroll pen name) wrote these classic children's books to entertain a real little girl named Alice Liddell.  

Nonsense? Maybe. But, in doing so, Carroll is responsible for creating a literary archetype with his "Alice" -- a "child of pure unclouded brow and dreaming eyes of wonder." This brave 7-year-old faces the weirdest situations and most grotesque characters with the aplomb of a Golda Meier or Eleanor Roosevelt. She's not afraid of a chain-smoking Caterpillar, a now-you-see-it-now-you-don't Cheshire Cat, a Queen who shouts "Off with their heads" more often than Sadam Hussein, or any other extraordinary creatures encountered in Wonderland. And she keeps her cool during the wackiest tea party and most ridiculous trial ever held in fictiondom. Alice is the ancestor of many young female characters like this, including Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz and Chihiro in Spirited Away

In the Disney film, Kathryn Beaumont voices an older Alice, but her lovely British accent comes across as just right for our intrepid heroine. Because of its eye-catching animation and amusing tunes like "The Un-birthday Song" as well as the additional voice talents of Jerry Colonna (March Hare), Sterling Halloway (Cheshire Cat), Richard Haydn (Caterpillar), Ed Wynn (Mad Hatter), Bill Thompson (White Rabbit) and Verna Felton (Queen of Hearts), this Alice in Wonderland is a treat to revisit on DVD.

I'm also impressed by the wonderful bonus features on the 2-Disc Masterpiece Edition. It's great fun to see Walt Disney's first television show (with guest stars Edgar Bergen, Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd) in which a Magic Mirror reveals the entire delightful "Happy Song" segment from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Other gems include: a newly discovered Cheshire Cat song titled "I'm Odd;" a Mickey Mouse animated short, Thru the Mirror; a couple of Sing-Alongs; a virtual Wonderland Party which allows viewers to play games, sing songs and dance along with their favorite characters; a 1925 silent episode from the Alice Comedies; a Walt Disney behind-the-scenes featurette called Operation Wonderland; clips from "The Fred Waring Show" where the film's songs made their debut; art galleries displaying the movie's colorful artwork; and a Wonderland Card Game.

This DVD Masterpiece Edition of Alice in Wonderland is a treasure chest of entertainment for the whole family.

(Released by Buena Vista Home Entertainment; rated "G" for general audiences -- bonus features not rated.)   

© 2024 - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Website designed by Dot Pitch Studios, LLC