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Alice in Wonderland


Alice in Wonderland (Clyde Geronomi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, 1951)
(mafo MoFo Top 100 Film)


Walt Disney hated this awesome version of the Lewis Carroll novel. He couldn't find anybody to root for and he found the lack of a strong story to be a huge roadblock. All I can say is I'm thankful that he didn't force the animation and writing team to change the incredibly surreal and uproarious content of this, my vote for the greatest traditional animated film ever made. I don't really want to go into how fast-paced and insane this film is, but it's a non-stop assault on the pomposity of logic and staid Victorian England which is also still able to include digs at many modern foibles which humans have in our current day and age, among them being rude and in far too much of a hurry to even say good day. It's also a potent political satire when we get to the Red Queen and how all things must be her way. There are so many wonderfully-drawn and beautifully-voiced characters that it's unfair to single some out, but I have to mention the Cheshire Cat (Sterling Holloway), the Caterpillar (Richard Haydn), the Mad Hatter (Ed Wynn) and the March Hare (Jerry Colonna). The crazy songs are frosting on the cake and a perfect aural counterpoint to the mind-blowing visuals. Some of this movie, especially the incredible opening scene, seems to be almost shot in 3-D.