Star-studded adaptation of the Lewis Carroll fantasy. When she slips down a rabbit hole, young Alice (Tina Majorino) finds herself in the bizarre kingdom of Wonderland. After an encounter with the ever-grinning Cheshire Cat (Whoopi Goldberg), Alice accompanies the White Rabbit to the tea party of the Mad Hatter (Martin Short). Alice's body size is adversely affected after she partakes of some magic tea, but this is nothing compared to the trouble she gets into after a run-in with the vile Queen of Hearts (Miranda Richardson).
This is an impressive-looking version of Lewis Carroll's story originally produced for American television. Dreading a singing recital at her parents' lavish home, Alice falls into a strange world in pursuit of a large White Rabbit. The talented child actor Tina Majorino (Corrina, Corrina
) plays Alice with all the good graces but mostly wanders through the story unquestioningly. Carroll's tale of whimsical, illogical adventures is a field day for designers Roger Hall and Alan Tomkins, costumer Charles Knode, Jim Henson's Creature Shop and director Nick Willing (Photographing Fairies
). Influenced by Time Bandits
(the latter also designed by the Henson company), the film has a splendid array of effects, many dealing with multiple perspectives as Alice constantly changes sizes. The highlight is Whoopi Goldberg as the Cheshire Cat, a seamless mix of cat and comic. Martin Short as the Hatter and Mirandra Richardson as the Queen of Hearts
seem to be having the times of their lives. This is not the definitive version of Carroll's tale, and, like the popular Disney animated version, combines some elements of Carroll's sequel, Through the Looking Glass
. It is perhaps better viewing for the fan that has seen another version of the tale or read the book. --Doug Thomas, Amazon.com
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.