Wednesday 10 April 2013

Munir's Disney Retrospective -- Animated Classic #13: Alice in Wonderland (1951)

By Munir Abedrabbo.

Last Week's: Munir's Disney Retrospective -- Animated Classic #12: Cinderella (1950)

Adapted from one of Walt’s favourite stories (Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland), Alice didn't get the same warm reception Cinderella got a year earlier. Many critics (British especially) didn't like the film, calling it dull or saying it butchered a classic piece of British literature. Even Walt himself was dissatisfied with the final product and, for many years, Alice remained a black ship in the studio's canon. Years later, Alice is not only regarded as a much better film, but has earned its status as a classic. In retrospect, it's easy to appreciate the level of artistry that went into this film. The character animation is astounding and the colours are breathtaking. Moreover, the nonsensical story and sequences are charming and fun and the film moves at a brisk pace that never feels tiresome. The only fatal flaw is the ‘Tulgey Wood’ sequence where all of the film's high energy is drained in a dull moment that nearly kills the movie. Fortunately, after this the movie picks up again and delivers a satisfying conclusion. Alice may not be a masterpiece or a flawless classic, but it's still a fun adventure and a very solid offering from the studio. Rating: 4.5/5.

Next Week: Animated Classic #14 Review: Peter Pan (1953)

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