← Back to Reviews

Alice in Wonderland

MovieMeditation presents...
total movie count ........... current day count
179 .......................... 186


May 22nd

—— 1951 ——

—— animation ——

I’m fairly certain this counts as my first ever wander through wonderland,
though I do remember having the Disney-versioned book read aloud when I was a kid

Even though the book had fitting stills from the film, it is far from the same, and the total runtime clocking in at seventy-five minutes couldn’t be pressed into the pages of the book in its entirety either. I have seen Burton’s version, which doesn’t really resemble the classic tale in the best way possible, and then I remember something about a short story based on the original book as well. So it is safe to say that I’m as crazily confused as The Mad Hatter, when it comes to finding heads and tails in this whirlwind of wonderlands, that my expectations felt just as bewildered as Alice herself walking through the unknown of a faraway fantasyland…

Unfortunately, I wasn’t really as impressed with this film as I hoped to be. I definitely know just how beloved this catalogue classic from Disney has become over the years, probably even since its release, but the style of the film was simply a beat I couldn’t dance to. Of course I know it is supposed to be purposely off-beat oddity, but I didn’t feel like it was the kind I enjoyed watching. It was weird just for the sake of it, while the animators seemed to have been given full freedom to create chaos, which comes of as very incoherent and outbalanced in a few places. Once again, it is obviously meant to be a crazy world and I must admit the the animation itself is sometimes absolutely stunning and constantly creative. But it isn’t every set piece and every character that feels followed through. I really enjoyed the flower scene for example, while the twins annoyed the living hell out of me.

In the end this is a beautifully done animated film, with great revolutionary animation from Disney, but the world of wonderland can be a little too exhausting and exasperating to be lost in for too long. I kind of wished the film itself had the tempo of the waistcoat-wearing white rabbit, who is always rapidly running late, instead of the slothful hookah-smoking caterpillar, who is conversing in constant confusion and stretching out stuff longer than needed be. Obviously, this is only to create a clear contrast, since I like both of those characters in the film. Despite the film being a little too much of the good stuff and feeling a little too colorful for a story painting the same picture over and over again, I really do respect the film a lot, and I will probably revisit wonderland at some point again. Who knows, maybe I will end up liking it more a second time, as it was the case with my recent watch of Disney’s ‘101 Dalmatians’.