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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 17 October 2017
If you know this film, then you should also know that this in it's Blu-ray incarnation is a very good transfer. If you don't know the film, or Svankmeyer's animation, then you owe it to yourself to forget Disney and try something very different.
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on 23 June 2015
A truly wonderful and imaginative film, but definitely not for young children. The only human in the film is Alice, played remarkably well, and the imaginative breadth of the visuals is most impressive - think of mixture of the Quay Brothers, Peter Greenaway and Fellini, but more so.
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on 19 May 2016
i believe it was very good. present for grandson
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on 12 August 2005
Like some other reviewers, my parents taped this from late night telly for me to watch, back in the depths of childhood.
As for this film not being suitable to children, I say - pish!
Disurbing images, etc etc - it's only wierd to *rational* grown-ups, who've had a lifetime of conditioning in what consitutes *normal* film-making.
As a child, I loved this film, thought it was crazy, beautiful and amazing - it didn't give me nightmares, or make me afraid of milk or meat, because I didn't know it should be scary, no one told me.....
I say buy it for yourself, buy it for your kids, buy it for your grandparents, buy it for people you meet in the street and abandon twee disney forever!!!
Long may your socks dig holes and your jam bring forth drawing pins!!!!
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on 27 February 2017
Saw this years ago on tv and had to get the dvd when I spotted it on here, just to see if it still seemed as powerful. It doesn't. It's now very dated and mostly just plain silly. I didn't make it thru to the end and it's now in a charity shop.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 26 August 2011
Everybody knows the story of Alice in Wonderland -- a little girl falls down a rabbit hole, and finds a charmingly surreal otherworld filled with strange creatures.

You won't find much of that charm in Jan Svankmajer's adaptation, "Alice." It's hard to believe that this film was actually aimed at children -- it's a mixture of live-action and stop-motion, populated by grotesque little skull-headed things, toothy socks, and stuffed animals that bleed sawdust. And it's brilliantly creepy. It's the stuff of nightmares, but it's every bit as surreal as Lewis Carroll's book.

Alice (Kristýna Kohoutová) is hanging around in her attic when she sees a stuffed rabbit detach itself from its base, dress itself, and vanish into a drawer in the middle of a field. She follows it down a strange dumbwaiter-like elevator... and finds herself in a surreal world where tube socks have eyes and teeth, rats cook rice on her head, potions turn her a doll, and strange skull-headed creatures attack her. And she hasn't even GOTTEN to the playing-card-land yet.

Like the original book, "Alice" is a pretty simple story -- it's all about a little girl's dreams of a "Wonderland" based on the items that are just lying around her attic. Skulls, socks, jars of goop, stuffed animals, dollhouses, and so on. As a result, Svankmajer's "Wonderland" is a cluttered, claustrophobic, grimy place that feels like it's been neglected.

He also ditches "typical" filmmaking, relying on a mixture of live-action (Alice) and stop-motion (everything else), which makes everything except our heroine look nightmarishly jerky and macabre. There are also some truly bizarre adaptations of Carroll's creatures, including a "caterpillar" made out of dentures and a sock, and a murderous stuffed rabbit with clacking teeth and soulless glass eyes.

Nobody says a word except Alice There is no music, and no sounds except the clicks, cracks, scrapes and clatters of the various creatures Alice encounters. It's bizarre and unsettling, which is what Svankmajer probably was going for.

Kohoutová is also the only actor in the entire movie, and there is nothing cutesy or twee about her performance. Her Alice sometimes does some stupid things, but she acts like a real little girl who just happened to wander into a strange, unpredictable world. It's even more impressive because Kohoutová hardly ever speaks onscreen, except for that creepy close-up of her mouth that happens every time Alice narrates something.

"Alice" keeps the bones of Lewis Carroll's story, but fleshes them out in something rich and strange. Weird, freaky and delightfully unsettling.
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on 30 December 2008
This isn't a review, it's just to let you know.

I have lived with this film all my life, and it's one of the few films that absolutely made my childhood. I loved it. Seeing a slab of meat squidge across the table and slither into a pot was not scary in the least back then, although looking at the film now I can understand why my nan always groaned when I said I wanted to watch it. I didn't think anything of the animal skulls or the fact that the white rabbit was stuffed. In fact we had a spoon exactly like the one the rabbit uses to eat his sawdust, and I remember using it whenever I ate porridge so I could pretend I was him.

This film is completely suitable for children. Remember that children have a far more open mind than any adult. In fact it's probably better for people to watch it as a child, because seeing it for the first time as a teenager makes you go "Uuurrrgh! No way!". I believe you can only fully appreciate it by loving it through your childhood.
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on 23 July 2011
A young girl sits next to her older sister in front of a creek, casually tossing stones into the bubbling waters out of boredom. Her sister quickly grows tired of this, and slaps her on the hand. She angrily stares dead on at the audience. This young lady is Alice. This is Lewis Carroll's beloved tale in the hands of Czechoslovakian animator, Jan Svankmajer - and you have never seen anything like it. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Alice in Wonderland, as you've never seen it before.

Once we are in Alice's room, it is immediately clear that she lives in an unconventional household. She is surrounded by sewing materials, porcelain dolls, mason jars full of preservatives, as well as stuffed creatures - leading us to believe that her father is probably a taxidermist, although we never see him. Alice lies down, perhaps to contemplate the events of her day, when something catches her off guard. The stuffed rabbit in the glass display begins to move. She watches in horror, as the rabbit pries its paws out of the wooden boards which it was previously nailed to. It dons a top hat and a pair of rusty scissors, and smashes its way out of the display, before running outside, leaving a trail of saw dust in it's path. Rather than hopping down a rabbit hole, this demented creature crawls into a desk drawer, which serves as the entrance to a dark cavern, which leads to an alternate dream world. Alice follows after him, and, after having a bit of trouble, wriggles inside the desk drawer. Once we are inside, we notice two things: most of this hallucination resembles Alice's immediate environment, and most importantly, we are definitely not in Wonderland. Many of the possessions from Alice's room make their way into this nightmare, from the porcelain dolls, to the preserved skulls and skeletons, right down to the sewing kits. They all play a part in Alice's descent into darkness for the next hour. Most of the familiar elements from Carroll's beloved stories are present, from the caterpillar, to the mad hatter and the March hare, to the inkwell and the tarts, which magically adjust Alice's height, according to her surroundings. It is all the same, yet entirely different. Added to that, it is never really clear whether Alice is dreaming or not. This sense of ambiguity is what drives the film. Gone are the whimsical overtones of the Walt Disney feature. This is Alice in Wonderland as it was meant to be - a tale of a dark and mysterious child, who is a victim of her own delusions.

This film was released in 1988 to critical acclaim, mainly in art-house circles. Many were impressed with Svankmajer's ability to take ordinary, everyday objects and animate them. Jan Svankmajer is a major artist in the surrealist movement, who has inspired many film directors, including Tim Burton, who would go on to direct his own version of the story years later. Compared to Burton's version, Jan Svankmajer's Alice ultimately follows the original text to a closer degree - although liberties are taken in abundance. Whereas Tim Burton's film was atypically aimed at family audiences, Jan Svankmajer takes the story back to its twisted roots.

The UK Blu-ray release of this film is fantastic. This transfer is beyond words. Watching this film on Blu-ray was like seeing it for the first time. The picture, sound, extras - EVERYTHING is wonderful. Blu-ray is region-free, DVD is PAL. It was a real joy to see one of my favorite films uncut, and in its original language. Thank God for BFI!
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on 29 May 2016
paid twice for two copies and cannot play any
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on 30 March 2011
If you've seen any of Jan Svankmajer's films before you will not be disappointed - if you haven't, prepare yourself for a deeply disturbing, grimly amusing and grotesque 'take' on 'Alice'. Without compromising the spirit of the original, Svankmajer has used 'stop-go' animation and live action, mixed with broken toys and ephemera to produce a film you won't easily forget and should not really be shown to children (a bit like the book, really). Who would have thought an old sock could be so unsettling?
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