Starring: Kathryn Beaumont, Ed Wynn, Richard Haydn
Director: Clyde Geronimi
Running Time: 75 mins
Alice In Wonderland is an American film about a young girl who falls into a magical hole in the ground after following a rabbit wearing a waistcoat, and then finds herself shrinking to a height of three inches which allows her to enter the bizarre world of Wonderland.
Now, this is an absolutely classic story, and there’s no disputing the magic and wonder of the fantasy here. What’s more is that Walt Disney puts his iconic touch onto this story to create a colourful and vibrant spectacle which draws you in from the start. However, the reason that I was not such a fan of this film was due to its incredibly slow pacing, uninteresting songs, and very flat characters.
However, let’s start with the positives, the main one of which is the fact that there is just no other way to imagine the fantasy of Wonderland than the image that this film creates. Although Tim Burton’s 2010 re-imagining takes its character from the darker, weirder parts of the setting and the story, this film manages to create not only an image of a bizarre, almost psychedelic place, but also a wonderful, magical atmosphere that you just don’t see in any other adaptation.
Of course, Disney’s classic animation lends itself perfectly to that, however the fact that this film, more so than any other of the Disney classics, has such a colourful and pleasant look to it means that it’s almost possible not to be dazzled by the spectacle of Wonderland.
Despite that pleasant and fun atmosphere that you get from the visuals, the structure of the story is not so good. Mainly, it struggles from severely slow pacing, which often makes it a struggle to be so entertained by the whole story as the colourful imagery would have you believe. Basically, although this is a very short film, at just over an hour long, it still feels like it goes on for a hell of a long time, especially the initial venturing out into Wonderland.
Finally, the thing that I was most disappointed by in this film was the songs. Disney’s got a great track record when it comes to catchy classic ditties, however this film, with its relatively very slow and often interrupted songs, just didn’t have that musical touch for me that would have made it a perfect Disney classic, and that’s why it gets a 6.9 from me.