Alice in Wonderland
Moving on to the second of the Golden Age films Alice in Wonderland hit theatres on July 26, 1951. The movie was originally going to be a live action with animated support but, was considered a failure of the studio with its initial release but found success years later on television and VHS. It is based on the Lewis Carroll books Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass.
Alice in Wonderland is a well-represented Disney property with the Mad Hatter, White Rabbit, Queen of Hearts, Cheshire Cat, and Alice being common characters among Disney parks and shows. In Disneyworld you can have tea with the Mad Hatter or ride the teacups or see Alice in one of the many parades.
By this point Disney films are beautiful. The art and animation in this film is wonderful and stands up still today. There is a huge contrast in art styles also. The opening scene is light and optimistic while parts of Wonderland are dark and foreboding.
Just like the animation the music in Disney films by this point is well done and on point nearly 100% of the time. It creates the mood as well as drives the action. Unlike Dumbo and Bambi, the music takes a bit of a back seat and isn’t as noticeable as it was early on in the canon.
Unfortunately for Alice in Wonderland there is little story to be told. It is very much a bunch of nonsensical scenes that are smashed together with the theme of strange, trippy, dream sequences. A couple of them are so unattached to the story it starts to feel like another package film. It is unfortunate because the movie is so well done that its lack of anything to say leaves it feeling like more of a waste of time than a story.
Run Time – 75 Minutes
24th Academy Awards – 1 Nominations – 0 Wins
Best Scoring of a Musical Picture – Nominated
Disney Animated Canon so far in order of Quality
1. Dumbo 10-23-1941
2. Cinderella 2-15-1950
3. Pinocchio 2-7-1940
4. The Adventure of Ichabod and Mr. Toad 10-5-1949
5. Make Mine Music 4-20-1946
6. Fun and Fancy Free 9-27-1947
7. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 12-21-1937
8. Saludos Amigos 8-24-1942
9. Alice in Wonderland 7-26-1951
10. Melody Time 5-27-1948
11. Bambi 8-13-1942
12. Fantasia 11-13-1940
13. The Three Caballeros 12-21-1944