Alice dozes in a garden, awakened by a dithering white rabbit in waistcoat with pocket watch. She follows him down a hole and finds herself in a hall of many doors. A key opens a small door... See full summary »
Alice dozes in a garden, awakened by a dithering white rabbit in waistcoat with pocket watch. She follows him down a hole and finds herself in a hall of many doors. A key opens a small door: eventually, she's through into a garden where a dog awaits. Later, in the rabbit's home, her size is again a problem. She tries to help a nanny with a howling baby, then a Cheshire cat directs her to a tea party where the Mad Hatter and March Hare dunk a dormouse. Expelled from the party, Alice happens on a royal processional: all the cards in the deck precede the Queen of Hearts, who welcomes then turns on Alice and calls on the royal executioner. Alice must run for her life. Written by
Like that other 1903 "adaptation" Uncle Tom's Cabin, this very short movie is a succession of illustrations brought to life before a static camera. The Great Train Robbery of this same year was a great cinematic step forward in its use of film as story-telling. Nevertheless, Alice is a gem that has survived the ravages of time miraculously if rather battered. It is very primitive, but that also lends it a great charm, particularly the procession of the cards and their chase of Alice, with its host of little children dressed up as cards and having great fun on a sunny day in the park. For those who are not Alice lovers, this may barely register, but aficionados may happily have it on a permanent loop filling one whole side of a plasma screen wall (in a few years time that is). It is a strong candidate crying out for restoration, even though a number of frames will remain missing, particularly of the dog, who would later gain fame in Rescued by Rover! Have a happy Wonderland!
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