American businessman Jack Woods rents a cottage on the enchanted Emerald Isle which is occupied by a family of leprechauns. Leprechaun Seamus Muldoon's son and son's friends crash the ... See full summary »
Alice follows a white rabbit down a rabbit-hole into a whimsical Wonderland, where she meets characters like the delightful Cheshire Cat, the clumsy White Knight, a rude caterpillar, and the hot-tempered Queen of Hearts and can grow ten feet tall or shrink to three inches. But will she ever be able to return home?Written by
Lewis Carroll is a difficult author to adapt satisfactorily to the screen. Worse yet, most versions try to add some sort of lesson to the story that was never there to begin with. This, too uses a version that simply doesn't work. Alice does not want to have to sing "Cheery Ripe" so the whole film becomes about the importance of performing for an audience. That fails to really hold the film together. Despite this, this is probably the best-looking version of the two books yet. It does neither what the Children's Theatre Company did in 1982, and try to exactly mimic Tenniel's illustrations, nor that of the Harry Harris production, in which the actors had to be recognizable so they wore simple costumes with pig ears or rabbit ears, etc. Here there is a mix of puppetry and mere suggestion. Many of the minor anthropomorphics simply bear resemblance to whatever animal they were supposed to be, such as there was the use (again) of an all-star cast. It frequently makes fun of the fact that many of the cast do not speak in an English accent, though the American actor playing Alice does. The film, however, has beautiful cinematography and visionary effects. The early sequence in the library seems like the Halmis are trying to out-Gulliver their adaptation of Book III of Gulliver's Travels. The extreme visuals begin with the giant metronome at the beginning and carry all sorts of wonderful metaphor. Odd jump cuts and strange reflections don't look like goofs, but contribute to weirdness. A storm like _The Neverending Story_'s Nothing forces her to move on in her dream world to escape. The sped-up photography for the White Rabbit seems a nod to _El Gatto con Botas_, and of course, it's tied together like MGM's version of _The Wizard of Oz_. Like all films of these books, it has good elements and poorly handled elements, and certainly there is no definitive version, but this is one of the more interesting ones.
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