Alice In WonderlandAlice In Wonderland (1951) Feature Length Theatrical Animated Film
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- Walt Disney Studios
- Animated Characters: Alice, White Rabbit, Dodo, Lorina - Older Sister of Alice, Doorknob, Mad Hatter, March Hare, Dormouse, Walrus, Carpenter, Tweedledum, Tweedledee, Caterpillar, Bird in the Tree, Cheshire Cat, Queen of Hearts, King of Hearts, The Rose, Card, Bill, Singing Flowers, White Rose, Card Painters.
- Awards: Academy Award Nominee, Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture, 1952.
- Originally Released in 1951.
- Production Number: 2069
- Running Time: 74 minutes.
Cartoon Production Information:
After the success of Snow White, Alice was next up on Walt's list. He officially registered the title with the Motion Picture Association of America. He hired Al Perkins and David S. Hall to develop the film. A story-reel was even complete in 1939, but Walt felt that Hall's drawings resembled Tenniel's drawings too closely, making them too difficult to animate. he felt the overall tone of Perkins' script was too grotesque and dark, and dropped the project.
The project popped back up again after World War II, with the studio hiring author Aldous Huxley to re-write the script. Mary Blair submitted some concept drawings that helped move the project away from Tenneil's sketchy illustrations by taking a modernist stance, using bold and vibrant colors and thick lines. This turned out to be the kick in the pants the production needed, and the script was re-worked to be more up-beat, and to focus more on comedy, music, and the whimsical side to Carroll's book.
On November 3, 1954, "Alice in Wonderland" was broadcast on the ABC television show "Disneyland," which debuted earlier that year. This marked the first appearance of an animated feature film on television.
This was the 13th film in the official Disney list of animated films.
In 1933, there was serious talk of developing a live action/animated feature starring Mary Pickford. Mickey Mouse, in the 1937 short Thru the Mirror, parodied Alice's adventures. Disney formally registered the title Alice in Wonderland with the Motion Picture Association of America in 1938. In a 1945 announcement, Ginger Rogers was attached to a new Disney version of the tale. After Song of the South, the juvenile star Luana Patten was considered as a live-action Alice in a cartoon Wonderland. Finally, Alice in Wonderland was announced as a fully animated feature in 1946.
In its initial release, Alice in Wonderland was embraced neither by Lewis Carroll purists nor the public at large. Even Walt Disney himself disliked Alice, citing the film's emotional remoteness- a lack of "heart." Another hindrance was the film's basis in a literary classic. Walt explained: "When you deal with such a popular classic you're laying yourself wide open to the critics." The film did not perform as well as expected critically or financially and was not released theatrically for more than twenty years.
Because Sir John Tenniel's illustrations for the Carroll books were so well-known, Walt Disney acquired the rights to them as the basis of the visual style for Alice in Wonderland. When the highly detailed illustrative style proved a hindrance to animation, the character designs were freely adapted for the animation form, though still making reference to the Tenniel drawings. The visual development of the characters required an unusual amount of preliminary evolution. Months of rough sketches preceded the final model sheets that would guide the animators.
Much like Cinderella (1950) before it, much of Alice in Wonderland's action was filmed with live actors, as an aid to structural development and a reference for movement.
The animation and action of Alice in Wonderland was much more "modem" and flashy than anything Disney had done. Although somewhat true to the absurd spirit of the original book, the frenetic pace and volume of visual puns and "gags" was heightened by the fact that the film had five sequence directors, resulting in what animator Ward Kimball called "a loud-mouthed vaudeville show... Alice suffered from too many cooks...each trying to top the other guy and make his sequence the biggest and craziest in the show."
The stylistic approach to Alice in Wonderland, particularly its settings, is indebted to the art of Mary Blair, who adapted the absurdity of Carroll's words into a sophisticated graphic style with an explicit internal logic. Truly ahead of its time, Alice in Wonderland has only recently come to be appreciated, particularly for its bold graphic style.
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