Alice in Wonderland (1951) Movie Review

By: Alex Phuong (Two Beers) –

Lewis Carroll created one of the most beloved heroines in children’s literature. His character “Alice” has delighted readers ever since the 19th century, and her enduring legacy continues today in both her published stories and cinematic adaptations of those famous adventures. Walt Disney wanted to create a live-action/animation hybrid in the 1930s, but then finally had the chance to adapt Lewis Carroll’s writing into an animated feature that was released in 1951. The final result is one of the most famous film versions of the equally famous books that made Alice a star in her own right.

A Toast

The animation is pretty spectacular because it brilliantly brings the fictional characters from Lewis Carroll’s imagination to life on-screen. It appears as if the animators at the Disney Studio were improving their creative talents after the release of films like Pinocchio (1940) and Cinderella (1950) since they had to animate the zany characters that made Lewis Carroll famous. There are definitely a lot of imaginative drawings displayed in this film that ranges from a smoking caterpillar to a grinning Cheshire Cat. Alice herself is also a well-drawn heroine as she descends into Wonderland after falling down the rabbit hole. The film is also full of amazing colors, and that iridescence makes the visual design of the film very appealing.

Beer Two

Even though the film looks like a magical Wonderland, the storytelling of Alice’s adventures in that magical place is a bit sloppy. That is because the film basically chronicles Alice’s encounters with one mad character after another. One minute she is talking to Tweedledee and Tweedledum, and the next minute she is celebrating her “unbirthday” with the Mad Hatter and the March Hare. The film also feels a bit rushed towards the end after Alice meets the infamous Queen of Hearts. A better screenplay and some more pacing could have made Alice’s adventures in Wonderland more enjoyable to watch in this animated classic.

Verdict

This Disney version of Lewis Carroll’s famous stories is probably just as famous as the original publications. Many people are still fascinated with Alice’s adventures even though they were written about more than a century ago (as of 2017). Disney also had a $1 billion dollar hit when they made the Tim Burton version of Alice in Wonderland in 2010. Both films were made by Disney, but there will always be a particular charm when it comes to the animated version that Walt Disney personally produced as he retold Alice’s famous adventures in Wonderland.

Alice in Wonderland (1951) Drinking Game

Take a Drink: every time Alice meets a colorful character

Take a Drink: every time the Cheshire Cat recites lines from the famous “Jabberwocky” poem (i.e. ‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves’, etc.)

Drink a Shot: every time the notorious Queen of Hearts exclaims, “Off with their heads!”

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