Alice (1988)

DVD Cover (First Run Features)
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Connections: Alice In Wonderland

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Kristýna Kohoutová
Kristýna Kohoutová
Camilla Power
Camilla Power
Review by Christopher
Added: March 07, 2005
By far the most inventive take on Lewis Carroll's 1865 novel "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland." It's the same story as the book. Alice falls asleep next to her mother and finds herself chasing after a rabbit. Trying to keep up with the rabbit leads her to different adventures. But the actual film is far from anything that has been tried before with this particular story. Alice is the only real person acting, all of the animals are old nineteenth century stop motion animation dolls, toys, and other assorted things. The rabbit starts out as being stuffed and nailed into a glass case. He comes to life, rips the nails out with his teeth, dresses himself, then breaks the glass with his pair of scissors.

All of the animals that attacked her in the house when she was too big to get out were all skeletons. Instead of just having one large caterpillar, there was quite a few of different ones. Which weren't caterpillars, but socks instead. The room Alice entered that had them in it was filled with holes, the caterpillars would jump in and out of each hole for transportation. The Queen, King, and all of their men were actual playing cards. The jacks that were battling were cut out from their cards, as was the King and Queen. All of the other followers were just regular playing cards.

Mad Hatter and March Hare were suppose to be really wacky and wild, which wasn't quite the case here. Mad Hatter was an old toy that had a moving mouth with a large top hat that covered his eyes. March Hare was a stuffed wind-up doll that constantly needed to be wound-up. Mad Hatter would shout that he needs a clean cup, then he would calmly move to another chair as March Hare jumped into a wheel chair and quickly pushed himself over to a new chair. Then the gopher that popped out of the tea pot was a wolf that had been made into a carpet. He slithered around the table and licked out the remains of tea from each cup.

No Cheshire Cat or Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. Which was a bit of a let down since those were some of the best characters in other adaptations of the book. Another problem was that each time one of the characters would say something, it would be followed by a close up of Alice's lips saying "Said the Rabbit", but replace rabbit with whoever was speaking at the time. There wasn't much dialogue though, so the lips close up could have been a lot worse. The Queen and King, along with their servants being real cards was a clever idea, but it didn't come together all that well on the screen.

The stop motion animation that was used didn't really look that sharp, but they did the best anyone else could have using those certain methods. Only one actress in the entire film, which did a good job for being so young. Really not much different than all of the other films regarding the story and way they happen, but really different in the filming aspect. By far the best film about the book so far.

Final Conclusion: 8/10
Crispy #1: Crispy - added 03/10/2005, 03:49 AM
the Tweedles weren't part of Alice in Wonderland. Rather, the sequel "Through the Looking Glass"
Christopher #2: Christopher - added 03/11/2005, 02:49 AM
Thanks for the news flash, Tom Brokaw.
Tristan #3: Tristan - added 09/15/2007, 11:08 AM
Brilliant movie. It was creepy, unsettling, and very very weird.
I also recently read the book, so I found that out too. But they were in the Disney animated version, so if you want to get nitpicky, go after Disney.
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