'Alice In Wonderland (Two-Disc 60th Anniversary)'
(Kathryn Beaumont, Ed Wynn, Richard Haydn, Sterling Holloway, Jerry Colonna, et al / Blu ray+DVD / G / (1951) 2011 / Walt Disney)
Overview: Experience the magic and majesty of Alice In Wonderland with the ultimate collector's dream. For the first time, Walt Disney's timeless classic bursts into brilliance in Blu-ray Hi Definition! Featuring Disney Enhanced Home Theater Mix, this remarkable digital restoration boasts pristine sound and unparalleled picture quality. Plus, fascinating bonus features including "Through The Keyhole: A Companion's Guide To Wonderland" and an exciting interactive game, "Painting The Roses Red", have been specifically designed for this landmark release.
Blu ray Verdict: One day while Alice (voiced by Kathryn Beaumont) is trying to pay attention to her lessons, she sees a White Rabbit (Bill Thompson) go by. This is no ordinary White Rabbit, however. He's looking at his pocket watch and worrying about being late. Curious, Alice follows him only to fall down a hole and land in Wonderland.
And what sort of place is Wonderland? It's a place where anything and everything can talk. Besides the animals, we've got a talking doorknob. Eating and drinking can make Alice grow and shrink. As she tries to follow the White Rabbit and find out where he is going, she meets Tweedledum and Tweedledee (J. Pat O'Malley), joins an Unbirthday Party with the Mad Hatter (Ed Wynn) and the March Hare (Jerry Colonna), has a couple run ins with the Cheshire Cat (Sterling Holloway), gets lost in a strange wood, and has plays crochet with the Queen of Hearts (Verna Felton). Will she ever get home?
It had been years since I'd seen this, so I had forgotten just how many songs there are in the movie. Just about every character sings one at some point. But there is a reason you don't remember most of them. They're just okay.
Really, this movie is just a series of adventures loosely held together by the White Rabbit. While that works for the books this movie is based on, it doesn't work quite as well here. I tend to get bored before we meet up with the Queen. Still, there are several funny scenes and several enjoyable songs.
Indeed, with everything that goes on in `Alice in Wonderland' I'm tempted to say there really is no moral, which is usually consistent with Walt Disney films. If there is a moral it's that we all need a little order in our lives, but even that could be a stretch. In fact, and as mentioned above, `Alice in Wonderland' is really nothing more than good fun.
It's entertaining to everyone, even myself, and it's sure to be a favorite amongst the little ones. It's the first cartoon I bought for my daughter and I hope as she gets older it becomes one of her favorites. I have yet to read the novels by Lewis Carroll but from what I hear this cartoon adaptation is a good comparison, which may explain for it's strangeness to a degree. This is actually based on two of his novels, `Alice in Wonderland' & `Through the Looking Glass'.
Honestly, I enjoyed it more then I remember enjoying it. The kids will particularly love this wacky tale. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
• New BD Features
o Through the Keyhole: A Companion's Guide to Wonderland - View the movie in this special mode and discover references to the original Lewis Carroll classic - introduced by the voice of Alice, Kathryn Beaumont
o Disney View - Watch the movie in this expanded viewing experience with new Disney art in the wings of the screen
o Painting the Roses Red game - Help paint the roses red in the Queen's garden. Careful, or someone could lose their head
o Walt Disney color TV introduction (1959) - A never-before-seen color TV intro by Walt
o Reference Footage: Alice and the Doorknob - Kathryn Beaumont provides an introduction to this newly discovered reference footage of Alice talking to the doorknob
o Pencil Test: Alice Shrinks - Kathryn Beaumont introduces a newly discovered pencil test of Alice shrinking
• PLUS, Classic DVD Features:
o Reflections on Alice
o Operation Wonderland (now in hi-def)
o "I'm Odd" newly discovered Cheshire Cat song and intro
o Thru the Mirror Mickey Mouse animated short (now in hi-def)
o One-hour in Wonderland
o An Alice Comedy: Alice's Wonderland
o Original theatrical trailers (1951 & 1974)