Thursday, April 28, 2011

Alice In Wonderland

I've been somewhat obsessed with the Alice stories my entire life and, as a result, will watch pretty much any adaptation of them I can get my hands on.
This is not always necessarily a good thing.
Take, for instance, this 1950 adaptation that has some good elements (the girl who plays Alice is far too old but does a good job nonetheless) some pointless elements (the movie starts with Lewis Carroll wanting to get rid of the giant, loud bell at Oxford; that story goes nowhere) and, of course, some abject freaking terror.
All of the people and creatures Alice meets in Wonderland are played by stopmotion puppets that could give anybody nightmares. The White Rabbit is evil for no particular reason (no fooling; the main plot of the movie is him framing Alice with malice aforethought for stealing the Queen's tarts) and I think the scene where the Dutchess sings Speak Roughly To Your Little Boy is one of the creepiest things I've ever seen (her face looks like it's falling off, the baby truly is ugly and after every verse a wave of something that looks suspiciously like blood (it's supposed to be red pepper but I'm not buying it) washes over the screen).
None of the musical numbers are any good, either. They're very of their time, but in a completely forgettable way.
Most of the movie is forgettable, really, although I think for the time the special effects were quite good and I really liked the way they animated the scene where Alice first arrives in the room full of doors.

End of line.

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