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4.6 out of 5 stars
Alice In Wonderland
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
I just spent a couple of hours looking at this wonderful movie and the extra features. The aptly named Masterpiece Edition is worth every penny, and like The Matrix, should be included in any movie collection, whether you have a child to hide behind or not.
Beautifully adapted and animated from Lewis Carroll's highly imaginative, high-trippin' classic, the imagery and illustrated puns amaze and amuse, especially the little things like the rocking-horse fly, the bread-and-butter flies, the vultures, the pencil and hammer birds, the momeraths, and the bird in the tree (Queenie Leonard) yelling "Ser-peeeeeeeent !"
The animators drew each frame based on the portrayals by the actors voicing the parts, and the stand-outs are Kathryn Beaumont as Alice, Ed Wynn as the Mad Hatter, Verna Felton as the Queen of Hearts, Bill Thompson as the White Rabbit, and the very flexible and versatile J. Pat O'Malley as Tweedle Dum, Tweedle Dee, the Walrus AND the Carpenter, in one of the best scenes in the movie.
With fourteen songs, this is the most musical Disney around, but unfortunately, the songs are not very easy to sing along to, making me sound like William Hung every time I try to impress people with my thorough knowledge of the lyrics.
There are lots of interesting tidbits in the extras, such as the discarded Cheshire Cat song, and the fact that one of the songs was later re-worded for Peter Pan. There are other links between Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan, but you'll have to watch the extras to find out just what, cause I'm not telling.
For those who don't want to watch the previews at the beginning of the DVD, just press "Menu" and get plugged directly into Wonderland.
Amanda Richards, July 18, 2004
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86 of 93 people found the following review helpful
on 1 January 2006
This review is for the DVD and not the movie. The movie is delightful and wonderfully animated with some of the best Disney songs and characters.
This DVD is superior in every possible way to the first issue, which had bad audio/video and lacked in bonus materials. This edition’s picture quality and audio presentation are simply stunning, as if it was drawn in the age of the Little Mermaid and Aladdin. The extras are quite entertaining too but I felt that it lacked the comprehensive ‘behind the scenes’ that other recent ‘Special Editions’ of classics such as Sleeping Beauty and Bambi had.
I am a Disney DVD collector, and bought the US versions of the Platinum edition Lion King, Aladdin and the recent Cinderella as they all came in superb gift boxes with film cells and character sketches. I was delighted to replace my old Alice in Wonderland DVD with this special edition, only to discover that the US (again) got a better version of this release. Titled ‘the Masterpiece Edition’ it comes in 2 Disks and features 2 hours worth of extras including vintage 1950 ‘One Hour in Wonderland’ making-of feature hosted by Walt Disney.
I find it quite irritating that as a Disney fan I need to buy copies of the same edition of a movie from both continents just to enjoy the extras- why release Special Editions if they aren’t as special as ones released in other countries? Does this mean that in a few years we will get yet another ‘Special’ Alice in Wonderland DVD in the UK?
And this is the only reason I am giving this DVD a 3 star rating to direct fellow Disney fans and collectors attention to the existence of a superior edition of this film [even though it is in Region 1]. The movie itself gets 5 bright and shiny stars.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 February 2012
Alice in Wonderland has to be one of the better known Disney classics, particularly thanks to the updated spin-off starring Johnny Depp, but I think it's criminally underated! This is the story of a girl thrown into a cartoon world where the bizarre and the impossible collide. We jump straight down that rabbit hole with Alice and find our way into all sorts of trouble including The Mad Hatter's Tea Parties, a crazy cheshire cat who keeps popping up everywhere and that pesky rabbit we just can't keep up with.

As a child, so I'm clearly demonstrating my nostalgia for Disney right now, I really enjoyed this film. I particularly loved the cat and mouse game of chase between Alice and the rabbit, the colours are beautiful and the world of Wonderland is like no other. As an adult though, it is so bizarre. There are moments where you do question what the writers were up to whilst they were thinking this up but despite the touch of insanity, the unpredicatability of the film makes it unique in comparison to a few other Disney movies.

As with all Disney classics there are elements you just can't help but love. I notice new things everytime I watch this that I missed, or ignored, as a child. For that reason, I recommend this to anyone - old or young.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 23 July 2012
Having had the opportunity to watch ALL the DVD versions of one of absolutely fantastic animated classics from Disney and as a former (now retired) member of Disney Management staff, it is strikingly obvious that the charm and production of how we (of a certain age) remember so fondly the animation, and it is somehow lost that in the newer Disney releases, albeit digitally remastered, with the loss of widescreen vision, the over emphasis of sharp lines, etc.

Buy the Original Release if possible - you will not be disappointed.

It is a GREAT Story, timeless and for all ages.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on 27 February 2006
I hardly remember seeing Alice in Wonderland from childhood, I only bought this DVD on the strength of the disney brand name and because it was on sale (ahem!).
It quickly became my favourite disney film, rising above Aladdin and Pocahontas. Quite a feat for a film with little storyline, told episodically with a rather unlikeable main character. Alice is rude and obnoxious but infinitely more interesting than most Disney leads, (good girls and drippy princes). The songs are great, especially the deleted one which you can see on this special edition, "Beyond The Laughing Sky".
Why Walt Disney felt this was Disney's weak link and disowned it is beyond me, I love it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 April 2011
This is a beautiful piece of 1950s style animation. There are some sequences reminiscent of the classic "Fantasia". Lots of famous names in the voice casting -- watch for Ed Wynn especially as the Mad Hatter!

This was televised as episode #2 of Walt Disney's television series, but it's great to be able to own the complete version in full colour.

Extras include a visit to the studio during the making of the movie, hosted by Walt Disney himself.
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on 13 October 2013
This is a most amazing film, full of colour and vision, and filled with delightful characters.
I love the psychedelic effect, which is probably a bit ahead of its time being a precursor to the 60's style.
Alice is brought to life, in an amazing way for an animated character, and she is quite appealing.
The scene opens with Alice (read by Kathryn Beaumont) lying on branch of a tree with her cat Dinah, being read a dull history lesson, by her stuffy older sister.

She begins to think about how her world would be like...before being distracted by a White Rabbit, who is late for a very important date...
The effects large and small are remarkable and no small detail is left out.
I love the way Dinah waves at her with her little paw when Alice is falling down the hole.
The hazy world of the hookah smoking Caterpillar, the crazy antics of the disappearing and reappearing Cheshire Cat, and the total whimsy of the Mad Hatter and March Hare ,are all captured exactly the way, I think, Lewis Carroll intended it to be.

Alice interacts with just the right balance to all of these characters and creatures.

You can watch this again and again, and unlike some of the other Disney movies, you always pick up something new each time.

And there are indeed lessons to be learned from this movie.
For one thing alice always persevers to get out of this Crazyland. She shows a lot of intitative in trying to do so , and never gives up.

And we can all learn from the words of the Cheshire Cat.
When Alice asks him where she should go , he replies "That depends on where you want to get to"
We all need to first decide where we want to get to , before we decide which road to take.
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One day while Alice (voiced by Kathryn Beaumont) is trying to pay attention to her lessons, she sees a White Rabbit (Bill Thompson) go by. This is no ordinary White Rabbit, however. He's looking at his pocket watch and worrying about being late. Curious, Alice follows him only to fall down a hole and land in Wonderland.

And what sort of place is Wonderland? It's a place where anything and everything can talk. Besides the animals, we've got a talking doorknob. Eating and drinking can make Alice grow and shrink. As she tries to follow the White Rabbit and find out where he is going, she meets Tweedledum and Tweedledee (J. Pat O'Malley), joins an Unbirthday Party with the Mad Hatter (Ed Wynn) and the March Hare (Jerry Colonna), has a couple run ins with the Cheshire Cat (Sterling Holloway), gets lost in a strange wood, and has plays crochet with the Queen of Hearts (Verna Felton). Will she ever get home?

It had been years since I'd seen this, so I had forgotten just how many songs there are in the movie. Just about every character sings one at some point. But there is a reason you don't remember most of them. They're just okay.

Really, this movie is just a series of adventures loosely held together by the White Rabbit. While that works for the books this movie is based on, it doesn't work quite as well here. I tend to get bored before we meet up with the Queen. Still, there are several funny scenes and several enjoyable songs.

Honestly, I enjoyed it more then I remember enjoying it. The kids will particularly love this wacky tale.
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on 22 June 2015
If all you want is a Disney cartoon then you won't be that disappointed. Not the best Disney cartoon but just as entertaining as any other. However if you want the classic Lewis Carol Fantasy brought to life then you will be more than disappointed you'll be horrified with the liberties and butchery they have perpetrated on his masterpiece of surrealism. The dream like quality, with it's underlying foreboding that almost but never really does cross over to nightmare, is gone to be replaced with loony tunes style slapstick. The poems that are kaleidoscopes of language reduced to clappy-happy ditties. The characters have been rounded and rotund beyond recognition and some pulled from 'Through the Looking Glass'. The whole feel of the original is lost and replaced with an American idea of Child friendly, lowest common dominator, pulp entertainment. As purely that it gets three stars; as an interpretation of the Classic Story it doesn't rate anything. But if you are looking for a true interpretation then sadly you're wasting your time it hasn't been made. There as been many attempts but no one as yet succeeded, they all have to tweak it and rewrite it and mess with it and this is no worse than any other.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 28 January 2002
this is the disney classic brought to you in the new medium tidied up print for DVD. great songs and had my 3 year old daughter enthralled. Bonus material includes a Mickey Mouse cartoon Thru the looking glass, tarilers, a documentary on 'the making off' from 1951 and an art gallery
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