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  • Writer's pictureCollin Souter

Week # 18: "Alice In Wonderland"

(Originally published on 5/6/22)


Alice In Wonderland

Run time: 75 min.

Release Date: July 26, 1951.

Where/when I first saw it: Not sure i ever did all the way through

How I watched it today: Blu-ray, Sunday evening

I’m of two minds on this one: On one hand, it’s quite a trip to see the Disney artists taking a deep dive into nonsense after regaining their momentum with their previous, successful back-to-basics effort, “Cinderella,” a movie that fits perfectly square in the Disney mold. This film, even though it abandons the political allegories from Carroll’s work, manages to say “to hell with it” and dares to strike out again with a narrative that will surely lose some viewers.

So, there’s that. On the other hand, I guess I’ve never really been into the source material or any version of it to really care whether or not it retains all of Carroll’s intentions. That’s just me. Just not my thing. I’ve tried many, many versions–in TV and film– and it just never seems to engage me in a way that makes me want to learn more about Carroll’s work or reminds me of stories of my youth. So, take all of this for what it’s worth.

So, how much do I actually like “Alice In Wonderland”? Enough, I suppose, to recognize that it’s Disney taking a big leap and I admire it more than I enjoy it. The movie is alive with ideas that only Disney could provide for an animated version. The film never lets you get used to a concept or a setting for too long before shifting gears and taking you further down the rabbit hole and into something new. The artists seem to be enjoying themselves even if the audience’s patience might be tested if they're looking for straightforward storytelling. I have to admire the idea that Disney may have gone all out in not making a movie for everyone so soon after they regained cultural consciousness during this time.


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