Classic tale of a girl named Alice (Natalie Gregory) who follows a white rabbit down a hole into Wonderland, where she can change sizes by eating and drinking and animals talk. After escaping the disturbing Queen of Hearts (Jayne Meadows), she finds that she has ended up on the other side of the looking glass in Looking Glass Land and that there is a mind-created Jabberwocky (Tom McLoughlin) after her. With the advice of a wise owl and royal chess pieces on her mind, she ventures home, vowing to grow up in this two-part movie which remains most faithful to the original stories written by Lewis Carroll.
Two MGM stages, across from each other on the studio's main access road, were used for filming the production's sets. These are the same two stages used for The Wizard of Oz (1939). The right (road-side) stage, (where the yellow brick road leads into the field of poppies) - front stage load-in housed the miniature shrinking room; Alice's study with the mirror looking glass fireplace; Sammy Davis Jr.'s giant mushroom set; the Red Queen of Hearts garden; the back-half rear part of the stage was for the castle dining room set with the sixty foot long table. On the (left) other side of the MGM access road is the larger of the two stages (which was the yellow brick road leading into the Oz town square). For Alice, the middle of the stage was a giant landscaped forest, with trails, foot paths that lead to a bridge over a stream, an open forest dell, where the Tweedle Twins, Humpty Dumpty, and the White Knight were staged. The right side of the forest set was used to build various sets for filming, struck, to replace with other sets as required. In this area, the kitchen interior, the rabbit's tea party in front of a cottage, the checkerboard field, the train, the tunnel, the miniature train set, all were positioned in this area. On the opposite stage end was built the small miniature hare's house; the chess board; the room with the baseboard hole which Alice nibbles, shrinks, climbs through the mouse hole, tumbles and falls into a river-swimming in water, with various actors and actresses in bird costumes; effects plate filming. Two actual locations were filmed out of the studio. A Tudor-style house backyard was filmed in Pasadena. The oyster scene was filmed north of Malibu beach because Producer Irwin Allen wanted a real ocean with real sand and rocks for his cast to frolic. At great expense, carpenters and laborers had to cut out of the rocks an embedded thirty foot long ship's keel from a 1900 shipwreck, just to clear the rocks for the actors and actresses to stumble around. Shelley Winters, star of The Poseidon Adventure (1972), demanded Irwin Allen give her a "line" instead of bird croaking sounds! "I'm an Oscar winner, you have to give me words to speak! Remember the Poseidon! You are still trying to drown me!" Construction had to build a special potty chair with the rear center cut out for Shelly to tuck the costume's bird tail when she sat off-camera, waiting for her scene's filming. See more »
In the Looking Glass Land half, Alice and the Red Queen walk onto a chessboard with a house on the left and a castle in the distance. Later on, they run through the woods and into another wide-open land of another chessboard. In between shots shows both chessboards which are very different from each other. See more »
On the video edition of this miniseries, the first tape closes with a statement from Lewis Carroll's book and closing credits. Then when you slide the second part in, there is opening credits for that. When this miniseries is aired on television, the final statement from the book, the ending credits of part one and the opening credits of part two are all cut. See more »
A REAL Children's Adaptation of a classic story with a cast you couldn't pack more fame into if you tried!
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.
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