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
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.
The DVD bonuses are hit and miss, really. The "Virtual" Tea Party is pretty bland. I imagine children will enjoy it, but if you're an older Disney collector, like myself, you'll be annoyed they wasted space on this, as there are many more features on the 2-disc American "Masterpiece Edition" which could have been put on the UK release instead. One great feature is about lost songs. Alice In Wonderland had literally hundreds of songs written for it, but obviously throughout its coming together, many got lost, axed and not used. They have re-recorded a song entitled "I'm Odd", originally meant to be sung by the Cheshire Cat. It's a fantastic song, and is set to old storyboards and cheshire cat designs.
Kathryn Beaumont, the voice behind Alice, introduces this section, and also tells an interesting story about the connections between Wonderland and Neverland (Peter Pan) - but I won't spoil it for you.
It has the standard gallery, a Mickey Mouse short which sees him go into his own version of Wonderland (sort of), but "Operation Wonderland" is the best feature by a mile. It was a promotional featurette used to promote the making of Alice In Wonderland back in the 50s, and is both insightful and interesting.
Adventures In Wonderland is a rather annoying game which becomes tedius, especially as, with every wrong answer you make, there is no variation in what the voice actors say. Again, this feature is more for children.
One thing missing is voice commentary.Read more ›
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