Alice in Wonderland – 1951 Geronimi. Jackson, Luske
An admirably aspiring project for Disney in the early 1950’s. This adaptation of Lewis Carroll allowed for the animators to fill the void left in cinema: to and draw creative the unfilmable- imagine this film as a 1951 live-action).
The surrealism and anarchy (hello Marx Brothers) would go on to be embraced (like Carroll himself of course) by the drug culture of the 1960’s (chasing the white rabbit- Jefferson Airplane and their 1967 song). Kafta seems like another related text.
The is a 19th century novel- before the publishing of the book “The Wizard of Oz” for all the creative similarities (there’s a great frame of Alice entering a new colorful world in the short cut below the Cheshire Cat- above)—Alice goes from station to station in an arbitrary trip – used again in Apocalypse Now– traveling from one wildly imaginative supporting character to another.
The Cheshire cat smile/moonlight creating a spotlight on Alice in the woods visual is sublime.
Disney and his team lean into the remarkable talents of Ed Wynn as the Mad Hatter. They would tap him on the shoulder again for Mary Poppins (1964) and Babes in Toyland (1961).
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