Alice in Wonderland (1949)
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I watched this because I thought it was the famous Disney version. HA...it's not! This is one of the worst films I have seen in my life.
This rendition of the story begins in England where they setup the story to come by introducing the inspirations for each of the characters in Wonderland through real people Alice and Lewis Carroll may have been acquainted with. This choice takes away some of the magic in trying to point out a kind of natural association for inspiration, but does not hurt it too much as one forgets about it the deeper into the story they go. While many parts are pretty close to literal adaptation there are several parts that were clearly artistic liberty in trying to come up with scenes, scenarios and musical numbers to keep with the spirit if not in the book itself. For being released in 1949 it is strangely more gruesome in its aesthetic than I would have expected for a children's movie in that time period. Not that it is in any way horrifying, but the style and animation technique with the clay figures gives it a slightly odd yet likable quality. Most of the music I found unimpressive. The live action acting was often poor. Marsh as Alice did ok though she looked a bit old. The voice acting was pretty decent and the animation was better than I would have expected for that time period. The overall film and sound quality though was still expectedly poor. NOTE: This is the 8th out of 21 known adaptations of the Lewis Carroll story I've seen. See blog for more details.
[font=Palatino Linotype][size=3]The "lost" Alice in Wonderland of Lou Bunin was the first version of my favorite story I ever saw, and is the best. Far superior to the Disney version, not just in my opinion, but in the opinion of many fans and film cognoscenti alike. It's a shame that Disney was able to so successfully suppress it at the time, but fortunately it has refused to go quietly into the night. My main rave for the film is that it sticks to the Wonderland story and doesn't mix in any of the characters from Looking-Glass, as Disney's and many other versions are wont to do. Indeed, it would have been interesting to see what Bunin would have done with Looking-Glass.[/size][/font] [font=Palatino Linotype][size=3]Forget all the others (with the possible exception of Jan Svankmajer's wonderfully bizarre version) and find Lou Bunin's Alice.[/size][/font]
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