With the help of a smooth talking tomcat, a family of Parisian felines set to inherit a fortune from their owner try to make it back home after a jealous butler kidnaps them and leaves them in the country.
Alice is a daydreaming young girl. She finds learning poems and listening to literature boring. She prefers stories with pictures and to live inside her imagination. One day, while enduring just such a poetry reading, she spots a large white rabbit...dressed in a jacket and carrying a large watch. He scurries off, saying he's late, for a very important date. She follows him through the forest. He then disappears down a rabbit hole. Alice follows, leading her to all manner of discoveries, characters and adventures.Written by
[reading from a history book]
"... leaders, and had been of late much accustomed to usurpation and conquest. Edwin and Morcar, the Earls of Mercia and Northumbria, declared for him: and even Stigand..." Alice.
[camera zooms out to show Alice sitting in a tree, playing with Dinah and making a chain of daisies]
Hmm? Oh, I'm listening.
"And even Stigand, the archbishop of Canterbury, agreed to meet with William and offer him the crown. William's conduct at first was moderate."
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...and certainly "Pinocchio" had a more popular and memorable song score, but for my money I'd pick "Alice In Wonderland" as one of Walt Disney's top achievements in animation. From Lewis Carroll's story, and filled with knock-out colors (pinks and blues and reds on inky blacks), this episodic tale would not have worked so well if the direction hadn't been so graceful, setting a light, jovial mood, and the songs so tongue-trippingly clever. Alice herself (voiced by Kathryn Beaumont) is lovely and funny, the supporting characters appropriately manic, and the quiet moments gently even out the craziness (as with the Tulgey Wood/"Very Good Advice" sequence). Disney certainly runs hot ("Pinocchio", "Bambi") and cold ("The Sword and the Stone"), but this fantastic journey into nonsense, from a practically-unfilmable book, is endlessly interesting from a visual standpoint. ***1/2 from ****
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