Alice in Wonderland (1951)

Ever gotten high? No? Well, neither have I but I imagine if I did then it would probably be something like this…Or Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas…Anywho, this is Alice in Wonderland.

The film centres around Alice, a young girl who falls into a strange and unusual world when she follows a white rabbit in a waistcoat, where she looks for a way to escape, whilst exploring the wonderland that she has found. On the way she meets such strange and unusual character as the march hare, the mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts and the Cheshire cat.

This film is just surreal. The images, the plot, the character, the dialogue, it’s like Salvador Dali and Willy Wonka’s conciousness were combined and then force-fed cocaine (ohhh we’ll get to the drugs later, don’t worry). I’m gonna bring some order into reviewing this though, so here we go. Firstly the animation is nice, nothing spectacular but the story elements and the downright weirdness of the material leaves a lot of room for creative opportunities, most of which are taken. The characters are great, I mean just awesome. They are either memorable or just freaking awesome. You’ve got so many and it would be difficult not to go through more of them. The White Rabbit is one of the most memorable, the Cheshire Cat is so freaking likable. He’s surreal and insane and I for one love that. The Mad Hatter is great, the March Hare is great, the caterpillar with the bong…little suspect but still great, the dodo is great, the Queen of Hearts is just brilliant, one of those annoying, bitchy Queens who has this childish, bratty mind and I love it. The character of Alice stands out for me and I’ll tell you why. At school my friend Alice Haley and I are reading Alice in Wonderland and frankly, Alice pisses us off. She never shuts up, she just interrupts everybody with questions and I guess she’s supposed to come off as inquisitive but it backfires. The film is different. This is a really likable protagonist. She goes through all this weird ass stuff and yet there’s little to no reaction in her, she has this inquisitive yet nonchalant reaction to everything and I really like that. Nothing phases her which is far more interesting than f it were just 75 minutes of a 14-year-old screaming when flowers sing at her… Don’t get me wrong, she acknowledges just how fucked up everything is, but she doesn’t linger on it. I think she embraces the madness and that makes her a very likable protagonist. The plot doesn’t take long to get going at all. In fact it’s pretty much immediate. We have a songs about how Alice wishes for some new world and then we have the Whit Rabbit and everything starts from there. I’m torn as to whether I would’ve liked Alice to have had more development, that way her lack of any major shock to Wonderland could be accounted for, but thinking about it, I don’t think you need it. I think it works just as well without it. The songs are nice, when they feature, the characters are good, I like it’s surreal nature. Not much else to say really. Ohh other than, seriously, what the hell was with that caterpillar smoking the bong? Also Tiwddledee and Twiddledum scare me…

 Good film, VERY surreal with a nice use of decent animation. Alice is a better character in the film than she is in the books.



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