Alice in Wonderland (TV Movie 1985) Poster

(1985 TV Movie)

User Reviews

Review this title
79 Reviews
Sort by:
A treat worth its time.
requiem18963 January 2005
Some people loved this rendition of Lewis Carol's work, others completely hated it. It was by no means a stunning success. I could spend the next several lines explaining what went wrong and what went right, but I won't. This isn't that type of movie.

I recommend this for a very simple reason. The movie is full of great talent. Great performances? Not really. But great talent. The enjoyment of this movie is watching some of the true greats in playful roles. If you watch this expecting great acting performances and great cinematic moments with inspiring music then you are a fool. It was never meant to be anything more than a delightfully fun experience with great moments. (Sammy Davis Jr. as the Catapillar is a great example.)

I can't describe this any other way than to say that Harry Harris got some of the most recognizable faces of Hollywood to put on stupid costumes and act crazy. Even if you don't recognize many of the names on the cast list you should watch it anyways. Several faces will be familiar without your knowing their names.

My major criticism (and warning) many of the songs are very hokey. In some scenes its damn annoying. Most people who demonize this film attack the music first and hardest. Its up to you to sit through the musical numbers you don't like and enjoy the rest of the film. IF you accept this adaptation for what it is and watch it for the right reasons, I guarantee you will be pleased you spent the time.
20 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
I fell in love all over again
gypsycaine13 August 2001
When this was first run, I liked it, but now barely recalled details of it. I was a senior in HS, and it was mainly put on to amuse my brother (but my family knew of my own fascination with Alice, lol, so I guess to amuse me too!), who didn't really care. I knew that I recognized the girl who played Alice (who was Jenny in Oliver & Co--THAT'S where I knew her from, thanks IMDB!) at the time, but never could place her. The actors and actresses took their roles and made them their own. I believe that besides Alice, the White Knight is my favorite supporting role, however. I too had nightmares at age 17 (!) of the Jabberwocky but that didn't stop me from watching it. In the many years since the details faded, but that Jabberwocky stayed with me--until I could no longer recall which version I had seen it in. I've been seeking it. I did like the 1999 version, which sits in VHS beside the Disney version (can't tell I'm a fan in general?) which I also liked. Each had their own parts that drew me in. This one, despite the problem with accents, did the same.

Yes, it's a Hollywood'ed version, so they tend to ignore the setting when it comes to accents, but would you really want to hear Sammy Davis Jr with an English accent? I did find Sally Struthers as the obnoxious Tiger Lily rather humorous (especially after her "correspondence school" commercials, iirc that she had out during that time too! It seemed to fit some how. :)

All in all, a very good movie, and one that I shall look for in Ebay, Yahoo and Amazon for a copy. I am very grateful to the local library who carried part 2, and allowed me to renew my acquaintance with this gem once again.

19 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Fantastic production with the perfect cast!
Meredith P. (Etoile)1 March 1999
Yes, I saw this -- so did you! This is quite possibly the best version of Alice ever, and one of the rare versions that includes Through the Looking Glass. This film is so exquisitely done that I remember being both thrilled and terrified! (My mother had to tell me that the Jabberwocky was just a costume that was hung up in a closet before I could go to sleep...and then I was afraid of my closet!) The cast is ideal -- no one else could play the Caterpillar so well as Sammy Davis Jr., and only Red Buttons could be such a perfect White Rabbit! Of course, my copy was taped over (Mom's attempts to comfort me just weren't enough, I guess!), but I would love to see it again. Find it at your local video store if you can, or order it -- but if you plan to have your kids watch it, make sure they see it in the daytime, and NOT right before naptime or bedtime!
16 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A Classic for All Ages...
Matt Barry8 March 1999
I first saw this ALICE IN WONDERLAND version when I was very young, in 1985. This is, to me, the definitive version. I was impressed with everything about it. As with all the ALICE IN WONDERLAND versions, this used a special guest cast (and an impressive one, at that). However, unlike other versions, the script was tailored to suit the guest stars, although they were perfect in their parts. Even the 1933 version had each character actor in Hollywood doing his act for the camera under the guise of the main story. The 1999 version was the same deal-all the stars doing their acts for the camera, with no regards to the story! But in this version, the actors played their roles as they were supposed to be played. Anyhow, the point is-this version really has stuck with me over the years. In 1994, I caught a re-run on television. I was thrilled to see it again. And none of the magic was gone-even 10 years after its initial broadcast! If you're looking for a version of the story to see, or just want to re-visit a special childhood memory, see this wonderful film.
16 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass
poetris6 April 2005
By far, the very best adaptation of Lewis Carrol's Alice in Wonderland. I taped this movie when I was small, only for my brother to record over it with wrestling. Since then, I have searched long and hard to find this movie. I am shocked that so few people have seen this movie, many have never even heard of it. This is not only a surprise because of the phenomenal cast line up, but the artistic and complex visuals and costume design. This is definitely a must see for all Alice In Wonderland enthusiasts, children, or fans of children's movies. As in a previous comment about this movie, I also was able to find Through the Looking Glass (the second half of the movie) much easier (and, I daresay cheaper). I recently came upon the movie on DVD on ebay, which is a lot cheaper as you get both the first and second half, for about the price of the second half on VHS. Whether DVD or VHS, though, this multi-million dollar movie is sure to entertain the whole family with the fun story line, and awe with the beautiful sets.
15 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
a delight!
Mellissa T2 January 2005
I love this version of Alice in wonderland, because of the jaberwalkie. this movie has a dark sinister undertone running through, which Alice and wonderland should have. when I was young it always gave me weird feeling and I loved it because it scared me in a way most movies had never achieved before. It was "trippy" and fun and interesting all at the same time. The songs are o.k. but the story is divine! Carol Channing's character made me really weirded out. This is the way Alice was meant to be, confusing, a little scary and amusing rolled into one a must see a real winner! a+ if you want to treat yourself to something fun and special this version of Alice in wonderland is an instant crowd pleaser, I mean I could just go on and on but you should just watch it for yourselves.
15 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Bat, How I wonder where you're at...
tenthkingdom20 December 2003
Wonderfully amazing portrayal of Alice in Wonderland. The cast was superb and the story telling was excellent. Of course it doesn't hurt that the Mock Turtle is played by none other than Ringo Starr. The only copy of this film that I have owned until recently was a tapped off T.V. version that was jumpy and horribly, tapped. But I can guarantee you that it has been watched countless times none the less. This film is great for all ages and is good fun for the whole family. Children of all ages will delight in this fun-filled adventure, from the crying baby that turns into a pig to Sally Struthers playing a loud mouthed Flower, it can't get any better. The First half of the 3 hour plus film, is the best part, but the giant chess board and underlying story in the second half is just as delightful. This film is sure to become a classic of my generation.
8 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
One of my favorites growing up and still has a place in my video heart.
crxbrett29 November 2002
I was going through old Beta tapes from my childhood one day and was disappointed that I could not find this movie. I read other comments and some people said the same exact thing I did. My copy was either taped over or thrown out, a blessing in disguise. I was glad to see Warner has the rights and actually sells it on Amazon! I will admit that if you did not watch this movie when it first aired on CBS back in christmas of '85 that you might not like it nearly as much as I did and still do. I honestly still know the songs even though I have not seen it since probably the late eighties. I was 7 years old when this first aired and my mom taped it for me and my sister. I even remember there was an electrical storm that night in Los Angeles so my copy had interference from the lightning! Anyways, I would watch this tape all the time as a youngster. I think I watched it at least 25 times as a kid. I have not seen the 1999 version that aired on NBC, but I don't think that one would be quite as memorable as this one was. The cast were all well known celebrities, most of whom have either passed on or are no longer considered to be popular any longer. I give the story a 9. The visual design of the make up, costumes and sets gets a 10. The music gets an 8. And the acting and directing a 7. I give this movie an 8 overall. I am going to wait and see if Warner will release this on DVD. They did release another childhood favorite of mine last year, the Hobbit.
9 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Alice in Wonderland: The 1985 Made for TV Musical Spectacular
neonboy61921 August 2010
I LOVE the books Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and it's sequel Through the Looking Glass. I've read each one inside and out and have even studied The Annotated Alice which has notes in the margins so one could get a sense of the mayhem which isn't really mayhem once you understand where Lewis Carrol is coming from. For the die hard fan, one should check out the almost forgotten movie, Dreamchild. I say almost because, hey, I didn't forget it.

1985 saw the production of a big musical production of Alice in Wonderland, based off of both books, complete with acclaimed director Irwin Allen who was known for disaster movies. Poseidon Adventure being one of his most famous.

Along with a big name director came a big name cast that included Carol Channing, Imogene Coca, Ringo Starr, Sammy Davis Jr., Shelley Winters, John Stamos, Harvey Korman, and man this list could go on and on.

The TV Musical spanned two nights on CBS and was a HIT. Well, it was to me, heheh. I don't know the real stats.

Newcome Natalie Gregory played Alice and went on later to play Jenny in Disney's Oliver and Company. Like in that movie, she doesn't do her own singing here either.

Once in Wonderland, Alice meets the familiar faces and the casting goes from genius to insane.

A stand out would have to be Carol Channing as The White Queen who really makes this character her own. And she turns into a creepy lamb.

Shelley Winters in the small part of The Dodo Bird seems very wasted as they do nothing with her and she's a huge name. Come on, she's Shelley Winters, not someone with a small name. Even John Stamos had more screen time than her.

Martha Raye as The Duchess, Steve Lawrence as Tweedle Dumb and Eydie Gormé as Tweedle Dee look like they've been doing these parts of years now. It came so natural to them.

Pat Morita plays a horse.

Natalie Gregory really holds her own next to all these veterans.

The music is very energetic and some of the songs contain lyrics from Lewis Carrol's text.

That's one thing I LOVE about this production. A lot of Carrol's dialogue is contained which is what prompted me me to read the original books when I first saw this as a kid in the 80s. It was the first book I read. It's still my favorite.

If you want an old fashioned, fun, family musical, go check this out, and watch it like how Mark and I watch Bette Midler in Gypsy. Turn off all of the lights, sit in your living room as if you're in a theater and watch it and behave like how you would in a theater. Give yourself a 15 minute intermission even between acts. It's an experience let me to tell ya.

Go to My Movie Page:
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A REAL Children's Adaptation of a classic story with a cast you couldn't pack more fame into if you tried!
mollyccampbell-130 December 2013
First and foremost, let's get it out of the way - yes, the acting is cheesy, and yes the writing (both script and songs) are pretty simplistic and expository. I do not argue that whatsoever.

Having said that, I was two when this came out, but I guess my parents thought it would be something I would enjoy as I got older so they recorded it on the VCR for me. I watched this so many times that I wore out the tape. I was sad when Through the Looking Glass was no longer watchable, I was devastated when the first part became unusable. I forgot about it as I grew up and in the last few years, as I approached 30, I started looking around for it and found it on YouTube, of all places! I re-watched it and while doing so, took another look at the cast list.

I remember recognizing a few people when I was a kid, like Ringo and Sammy Davis Jr., but as an adult I was stunned when I realized that this movie is like a time capsule for not just some of the most famous actors and actresses over the prior fifty years, but also was a kind of introduction for many actors/actresses, as well! If you can put aside your need for a "good" adaptation (and come on, it's a kids story, kid's movie, and shouldn't be all glossed and glammed up with dialogue that is all but too clever and witty, settings overwhelmingly absurd and surreal like Tim Burton's newest adaptation (which I'm sorry, but I believe was an absolute mockery of Lewis Carroll's beautiful books).

The point of this movie is to get across the lessons of Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass - growing up, facing one's fears, and having confidence! This does precisely that, and for that I give it a 9 out of 10.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Ah, to be Alice, slipping through the Looking Glass to be the Princess of our Imaginations...
Kimta12 March 1999
I wanted to be Alice. I wanted to wear cute little dresses and shiny black patent leather shoes. I wanted to dance with a caterpillar and float down a river of my own tears!!

This movie combines colors, music, imagery, and a lively cast to create the perfect children's movie. Every single cast member shone in their own light. Ann Jillian and Sammy Davis Jr. were my favorites!!

I can't imagine a film where the director spent more time focusing on the visual "smorgasbord" of colors and images!! The songs were easy to sing to, and Alice presented a lovely little girl who just wanted to be grown-up.

I hope that, someday, they replay this movie so that the children of the world can fall in love all over again with their imaginations. Anything they create today, anything they create TOMORROW will never even come close to the magic of this movie. This should be right up there with "The Wizard of Oz" in the children's movie section of your local video store.
5 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Not perfect but is still one of the better adaptations of Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass
TheLittleSongbird19 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Lewis Caroll's Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass are classic stories, oddball and fairly difficult to adapt but colourful and quite magical. As a child my favourite adaptations were this and the Disney film(the first one I saw), and re-watching this 2-part version again it still is a favourite. It's not perfect, not all the casting(a vast majority do) and songs(maligned but not that bad, more hit and miss) work, and while the faithfulness to the stories is very admirable and pays off very well often some scenes can drag as a result of being a little too faithful.

The sets are very colourful and designed lovingly, with a mix of eeriness when down the rabbit hole and sumptuous colour with the Flower Garden. If there was a choice between in the Alice in Wonderland half and the Through the Looking Glass half, marginal preferences would go to Through the Looking Glass, the visuals are more vivid and the characters a little kookier. Some of the more memorable performances of the whole adaptation are in Through the Looking Glass too, and the pacing is a little more secure. The costumes are rather weird- Cheshire Cat, Bill the Lizard, the Oysters and Dodo Bird were among the worst cases. But the ones for Alice, White Knight, Red Queen and Queen of Hearts are very appropriate and there is a soft spot for White Rabbit's too. The atmosphere is a great mix of eerie, oddball, funny, whimsical and colourful.

And the dialogue is clever, faithful in spirit to the story, some of it is literally lifted out of the pages of the book(s). You do wish that the Mock Turtle's melancholic poem was left intact though. In regard to the story, it is mostly very well-adapted though a bit draggy in spots. Of individual scenes, faring best are the Mad Hatter tea party, the train scene, the Old Father William musical number, the trial, Jam Tomorrow, Jam Yesterday, the touching We Are Dancing and Emotions numbers and of course the first appearance of the Jabberwocky(as a child that was terrifying, and even to a 21-year old it was scary). The ending is also a tear-jerker. Some scenes didn't fare so well, I don't remember a single thing about the scene with the Mouse, Dodo and Lory Bird, the Caterpillar scene would have fared better with the whole thing about the mushrooms(it did seem a little pointless), the Lion and the Unicron scene is awkwardly staged and Ernest Borgnine seemed ill at ease and the Walrus and the Carpenter number is fun but suffers from cheap costuming.

Which brings us onto the songs and casting. The background scoring and orchestrations are excellent and beautifully done, the Overtures over the opening credits show real promise and the creepiness and whimsy that pulsates the scoring throughout are used most effectively. The songs have been maligned, and in a way understandably. There are some good ones, though some suffer from being too brief or too samey. The best way to describe the songs are hit-and-miss. The hits were Old Father William(with choreography that seemed to be paying homage to Shirley Temple); There's No Way Home is a beautiful song and sung in a way that is a mix of vocally understated Frank Sinatra and Burl Ives; the very poignant We Ae Dancing with some of the best visuals of the adaptation; the intimidating Off With their Heads and the riotous Jam Tomorrow, Jam Yesterday. There are a few misses though, I Hate Dogs and Cats is probably the most forgettable song in all senses in the entire adaptation; There's Something to Say as well as being quite badly sung is no better; Laugh is rather dull despite Anthony Newley's singing; Lion and the Unicorn is a tad repetitive and Nonsense lacks irony, is not as poignant as Caroll's Mock Turtle poem in the book and is somewhat contradictory too.

Most of the acting is fine, but like with the songs some don't work. Shelley Winters, John Stamos and Donald O'Connor are wasted; Donna Mills is competent if unmemorable; Telly Salavas is too sympathetic for Cheshire Cat; Scott Biao performs with no real feeling or understanding of his few lines; Beau Bridges is a somewhat effeminate Unicorn; Ernest Borgnine looked uncomfortable as the Lion and Jonathan Winters is rather dull as Humpty Dumpty. Natalie Gregory however is a very endearing Alice, carrying the adaptation very well and charmingly and with spunk. The cast are like a Who's Who and it's really fun to spot. These were the performers that stood out. Sammy Davis Jnr plays Caterpillar with great personality and firmness and still is a great singer and dancer, the White Rabbit of Red Buttons is suitably jittery, Carol Channing is a riot as the White Queen, Robert Morley's King of Hearts is probably definitive, Lloyd Bridge's White Knight is chivalrous and meaningful, Jayne Meadows is a genuinely intimidating Queen of Hearts and Ann Jillian's Red Queen is performed with real gusto and menace(she also sings Emotions wonderfully).

And we also have Ringo Starr's melancholic Mock Turtle, Jack Warden's Wise Owl, Karl Malden's stuffy Walrus, Harvey Korman's imposing White King, Anthony Newley's very funny Mad Hatter, Arte Johnson's nervous Doormouse and Roddy McDowell's twitchy March Hare. In fact, while some like Patrick Duffy, Sally Struthers and Pat Morita are merely cameo appearances, the acting is good enough. Tweedledum and Tweedledee are great fun too, and isn't that Jabberwocky scary or what? Overall, along with Disney's it is one of the best adaptations of the book and is the most faithful to the book(s), Nick Willing's 1999 adaptation is faithful too. 8/10 Bethany Cox
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Great Film for the ages-Wish todays actors could act all perform together like this
donizoladz5 August 2012
This is a great film-I watched the film as a child, and I actually played it for my kids tonight, they loved the songs, and I fell in love with the movie all over again! As I watched I thought about being a child and remembered all the actors that performed during the movie with a VERY small number of them STILL ALIVE.

It is very hard for me to watch much TV, with reality shows, and not much family shows that I grew up on. I loved the cast, my husband even forgot about all the stars that filmed the movie, and was excited to see it.

It would be great if today there could be an all-star cast for a TV movie just like this, but I doubt egos could coexist long enough for fans to have that chance. Great movie, great memories!
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Overall infinitely better than new Johnny Depp version!
Will5 April 2010
Since the new beefed-up 3D Hollywood spectacle came out I had to go back and REMIND myself and others about this excellent made-for-TV version from 1985!

This version was a charming yet extravagant 4-hour tale told in 2 parts, 2-hr prime-time slots. The 1980s 'Alice' featured the ENTIRE Alice storyline - 'Wonderland' and 'Through the Looking Glass'(with the Jabberwocky). I emphasize this point because the 'alice' saga told in it's entirety is, as far as I'm concerned, the only way to tell the story. Far more enjoyable and entertaining! The cast consisted of a veritable Whos-Who of 80's actors, including jeff and beau Bridges and Sammy Davis Jr. (!).

As far as TV movies go, the production was very good. The ensemble cast, the costumes, the landscaping, everyone involved does an excellent job bringing to life EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER from Lewis Carrol's all time classic. IMO, the 80s version simply has more heart, more charm, whimsy, wit, and danger that the new-er version simply lacks. You could spend $15 for all the bloated CGI and 3D FX and over-the -top acting from Johnny Depp -OR- you can grab this from Netflix or Redbox (?) and introduce the young ones (and reacquaint yourself) to this superbly delightful, nostalgic treat! :-)
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
a wonderful adaptation of a classic
eljaykay121929 December 2008
I saw this movie years ago with my then 5 year old and we loved it. I thought Natalie Gregory was wonderful as Alice. Usually Alice is played by girls who appear to be about 16 years old. Alice is supposed to be 7 and Natalie Gregory was 9 when this was filmed. The movie is in two parts with the second called "Alice Through the Looking Glass"

The supporting cast includes many old time actors such as Carol Channing, Steve Allen, Jayne Meadows, Ann Jillian, Martha Raye, Imogene Coca and more. It was a delight just to see them again. They were all marvelous in their roles, especially Ann Jillian as the Red Queen. I've always liked her in anything she's done.

The movie did veer from the book in several areas but most movies do. Most of the songs were good but one or two kind of dragged. However it really did not take away from the enjoyment of the movie. I loved the costumes.

Overall this is a fun movie to watch and a wonderful adaptation of the classic story. I highly recommend it.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Crazy Good Time Fun
crazedvampyress9 April 2003
I remember having this on tape as a child, recorded right off the tv when it originally aired. It was one of the most fascinating things I had ever seen. The all-star cast, originality and fun of the entire thing is portrayed by all. There are scenes included from the book that you dont see in any other version of the movie. It truly is a movie to remember.
4 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Nothing wonderful about this fatigued television production...
moonspinner5530 December 2006
Irwin Allen presents "Alice in Wonderland"--and it's another disaster movie, although not as intended. With gloomy songs by Steve Allen and a redundant teleplay by Paul Zindel, this "Alice" is about as far removed from Lewis Carroll's fantasy as one can imagine. Zindel reduces Alice's adventures down to elemental deductions (the viewer is told exactly what is happening when we can see for ourselves), and Carroll was anything but elementary. In the lead role, young Natalie Gregory chatters away to herself, berating her own behavior, but playing the role constantly on the verge of tears (and always with a disgusted look on her face); she finds all the magically nonsensical characters shockingly rude, suddenly doing an about-face when she spots the Mad Tea Party and exclaims, "Oh goody!" Alice follows the White Rabbit down a thunder-and-lightning enhanced cavern two minutes into the production, and three minutes later is already whining about wanting to go home. Irwin Allen happily filled the many eccentric roles with most of his Hollywood pals, but the cronyism doesn't pay off: everyone looks terribly aged and fatigued. They also appear to have been over-rehearsed, and nobody's actions are spontaneous or exciting. Even Alice's cat Dinah looks non-plussed. The whole production, probably expensive for its time (and for TV), is like canned magic, with a set designer who went crazy with the shrubbery and the stepping stones. Most likely, Irwin Allen meant this to be a treat, but the star-cameos come off like vaudeville turns and Natalie Gregory is childish without being child-like. What happened to all the wonderment?
5 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Alice in Dunderland
Poseidon-323 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Producer Allen was either the most amiable man in Hollywood or else paid the best salaries or else had major blackmail material on half the town in order to enable him to amass the incredible all-star casts that he put together in the 70's and early 80's. Here, taking a break from the fully exhausted disaster genre for which he was famous, he made this two-part telefilm based on the books of Lewis Carroll. Gregory plays a petulant little girl who dreams her way into the wacky and confounding world known as Wonderland, first through a rabbit hole and later through a mirror. While there, all the time striving to get home, she comes upon all manner of creature and a variety of royalty (based on cards and chess pieces) who make life difficult and/or confusing for her. Part one is the more familiar tale (immortalized on film many other times, but perhaps most notably in an animated Disney version) while part two has more characters and is darker in tone (thanks mostly to a dragon called The Jabberwock which, while creaky and obviously phony to sophisticated older viewers, may be quite terrifying to youngsters!) Though all mini-series of the era featured huge casts of name actors, Allen really outdid himself here with a roster of performers who range from legendary to popular to unjustly notable. Sadly, the nature of the material and the set up of this project meant that the majority of them would not be given a great deal to do. Winters, for example, barely appears at all and has no lines to speak of. O'Connor is basically the same, which is a heinous waste of talent. Meadows, however, whose husband (Steve) Allen wrote the songs for this, has a far more substantial role. While it's fun to play "Spot the Star" and see them all decked out in their often outrageous clothing and make-up, most of the time the film falls flat and the guest stars don't really shine so much as show up. Standouts in the production include Jillian and Channing who, fortunately, have very significant roles in the second half and who perform with gusto. Newley seems quite right for his blustery and veddy British character as well. It's nice to see Davis still going at it as well. Bridges injects some heart into his role. It doesn't get much campier than Lawrence and Gorme as Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee! Apart from the script simply devoting more time to some really unmemorable songs (as compared to the unforgettable ditties "I'm Late" and "The Unbirthday Song" from the animated version) than to the acting scenes, the primary liability is Gregory. The entire project hinges on having just the right person as Alice and this little girl is agonizing. She's a pretty decent singer and quite a capable little dancer, but her acting is atrocious and her whiny, sing-song speaking voice is like daggers to the ear. Besides this, she's charmless when she should be ingratiating and she's snotty when she ought to be sympathetic. She's just not a likable persona in this role. The script sets her up for failure by having her constantly recap to herself everything that is transpiring and this gets old very fast. The costumes for this production are fairly extravagant, as is the make-up, but the sets are almost all Astroturf and silk flowers with a fake sky backdrop. Incidentally, this film reunites at least five cast-mates from "The Poseidon Adventure" and three from "Beyond the Poseidon Adventure", though most of them do not interact with one another. It's colorful and worth a look, especially for star-gazers, but a lot of it is tiresome and uninspired.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Off with her head!
Ashley21 November 2003
And I thought I was the only one who had seen this movie! I cannot believe all of the outstanding, positive reviews for this film. I thought surely I was the only person who had seen this version of "Alice in Wonderland" and I am so happy to find out that I am wrong! I wasn't even born when it came out (I was born in '86) so I'm assuming my mother taped it when it repeated on the Disney Channel. I cannot believe the ridiculous amount of stars in this movie! Everyone from big stars at the time (Patrick Duffy was starring on "Dallas"... well, actually '85 was the dream season when Bobby was "dead"... but you get the idea), television legends like Sid Caesar, Broadway babies like Carol Channing, and Hollywood stars like Donald O'Connor! I have so many memories of this movie... most of which frighten me to this day. Come on, the baby turns into a pig, Carol Channing turns into a lamb (while singing some song about bread and butter and jam or something), and Sally Struthers as Tiger Lily (at the time, I did not know her from "All in the Family" but as ECPI woman... isn't that what it was? You know, "You can get your associates degree in auto-repair, book-keeping..."). But the memory that lingered the most was my girl Jayne Meadows who continually ran around singing, "Off with their head!" I was so afraid of that woman for the longest time. At any rate... while the movie may not be first-rate, it certainly is the best non-animated adaptation and the stars are endless and in fine form! You know you're a child of the eighties if you've seen this one. Your kids are guaranteed to love the songs and costumes... but don't be surprised if they have a nightmare or two.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
This is one of those movies you don't forget.
amandahope198218 September 2005
I was 3 years-old when this movie came out on TV. My parents taped it for me and I used to watch it ALL THE TIME. My mother still tells stories of how I used to act out the whole movie (dialogue, songs, dances, and EVERY movement) including rolling around on our bathroom floor as if I was tumbling down the rabbit hole. I lost the VHS about 13 years ago and JUST found the DVD set on last week, ordered it, and received it yesterday (consequently also finding the VHS copy at my mom's). I watched it last night and could remember EVERYthing as if I was 3 years-old again. It's amazing to watch again 20 years later and catch those little nuances/jokes that you didn't quite understand as a little girl (the Mad Hatter's tea party is genius)- plus, I know a lot more of the actors now. I loved Ringo Starr as the Mock Turtle before I became a Beatles fan, SDJ as the Caterpillar before I knew who the Rat Pack was, and John Stamos as the messenger before Full House aired. My favorite character though is still the White Knight (Lloyd Bridges). The "We Are Dancing" still makes me teary and I love it when he comes to Alice's rescue at her dinner party. (Still looking for that kind of "knight in shining armor". :) I think it should re-aired on TV so kids today can see it and enjoy. It's really a marvelous work - even with the giant Jabberwocky puppet that scared me so badly as a little girl. There's been nothing of its caliber since.

INFO. TIDBIT: Anthony Newley (the Mad Hatter) was a songwriter for the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with Gene Wilder.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Alice In Wonderland-1985 TV Movie
ShawnActor31 August 2005
This movie was one of the best I've ever watched! I was 6 years old when this 2 part movie series was broadcast on CBS in 1985. I was 6 years old at that time and I enjoyed this movie immensely. I recorded it on tape when it aired. I loved everything in it. I loved all of the beautiful costumes all of the actors and actresses wore, as well as all of the special effects, and the music.

And 20 years later, I still have it, but unfortunately, over the years, about 3 parts in the movie got ruined due to the VCR's eating the tape, as I'm sure you've all had happen to you before with some of your favorite movies. It was a real bummer for me. But most of my tape is still in very good condition. I'll list the parts that got caught in the VCR.

(1. A little bit of the scene where Alice falls into her lake of tears and meets some of the animals, like the mouse, the dodo bird, etc.

(2.A bit of the scene where the White Knight escorts Alice towards the 8th square.

(3. A bit of where Alice was bidding the Knight goodbye just before she reached the 8th square.

Other than that, my movie is still in good condition and even to this day, I still watch it from time to time. As for the 1999 version of "Alice in Wonderland", I never watched it. I guess because in my opinion, nothing beats the original movie. It is definitely a movie you must have if it comes out on DVD. I know I'll be getting it if it ever comes out on DVD.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Best movie I've ever seen!
harmony_bear200026 December 2000
In the last 3 weeks I've hired this wonderful movie out and watched it fully or in part everyday but 2. My favourite character would have to be the red queen followed closely by the queen of hearts. Ann Jillian is wonderful in her part of the Red Queen and Jayne Meadows is perfect in her role as the queen of hearts! Basically I love this film and would recommend it! It isn't confused as some other films are because it has the two parts, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking glass. The story is very well put together and if the all star cast (Sammy Davis Jr, Lloyd Bridges, Beau Bridges, Carol Channing, etc) doesn't draw you in, the wonderful songs hopefully will! I'm off to watch this classic again now... How very queer...
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A great experience
Kurt-307 June 1999
I first watched this with my children the original time it aired and was very impressed with the entire production. Although it may not be laden down with the special effects we have come to expect from a fantasy, the story and acting are inferior to none. The casting director has done a spectacular job in fitting a star filled cast into roles that none only suit them but allow them to show us exactly why we enjoy watching them. I strongly recommend this video to anyone with children or who is still in touch with the child in us all.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Alice in Wonderland
ComedyFan201022 April 2012
This is an 80's TV adaptation of both Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. A story symbolizing the growing up of Alice. I didn't watch this movie as a kid, so I don't have any fond memories. I just watched it as an adult because the cast made me curious (or should I say curiouser and curiouser?)

And the cast is definitely impressive. I was especially excited to see Ringo Star as the Mock Turtle. The acting isn't exceptional, but I would think that this is because of the fact that it is a children's movie and they tend to exaggerate acting in those. Natalie Gregory wasn't bad as Alice. For a child performer not very annoying.

Special effects are not the best, and in many cases pretty laughable, but one shouldn't forget that it is a TV movie that came out in 1985. Other than that, the decoration is very beautiful and it is all very colourful.

It feels a bit too long. Too many songs, sometimes it feels like it drags on and there isn't enough action happening. I feel that great book could have been adapted to be more exciting.

All in all it isn't a bad movie. I believe a child would like it even more than I did, and the good part is that as an adult one can enjoy watching it withe them, at least for the first time.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews