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lupercal's Review of Alice's Wonderland

rated it: posted: Aug 29, 2006
Reviews: 517 | KF Animation Editor
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Bear in mind that when this film was produced, Walt Disney was only just old enough to get a driver's licence.

'Alice's Wonderland' was the first in a series of 50 or more 'Alice' films, though it was shot as a demo inititally, and wasn't the first to screen. Alice (Virginia Davis) is a 5 year-old girl fascinated by animation, who gets the tour of the Disney Studios (though the Disney Studios as such, didn't exist independantly for about another 6 months). Much horseplay ensues with the Disney animators showing her around while their drawing boards come to life and show animated scenes.

That night Alice dreams that she has been transported to the world of the cartoons she has just witnessed. Much of this material was shot in Virginia Davis's mother's house, such was the young Disney's budget. After the 'pilot' was shot, he would move to California with his brother Roy, and set up the Disney Studios proper.

What results from this film is some entertaining, archival but not particularly special animation combined with Alice as a live actor. What is more remarkable for any animation buff, is the impromptu footage of early Disney animators kidding around in their workplace.

As the Alice series progressed there would come to be less live action and more animation, but if you want to see a barely 21-year old Disney filmed in live-action with his young crew of animators and Alice, this is a must-have.

Perhaps more historic than instrinsically great, but fascinating nonetheless. The boxed set 'Disney Treasures' features an interview between Leonard Maltin and the amazingly sprightly Virginia Davis (Alice) who remembers Walt as an uncle, who all the kids loved, though he was barely out of childhood himself.

Historic, rivetting stuff in many ways. Perhaps it's strongest suite today is the genuine, absolutely real fascination with animation, which is attributed to Alice, but which you can tell is shared by Dinsey and his staff.

animated cartoon Alice's Wonderland © Laugh-O-Gram Films
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