Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
First released in Los Angeles, United States, November 20, 1972
Later released in London, England, December 4, 1972
This adaptation of the famous tale has Alice emerging from her reverie which brings a revitalization of life as she steps back into the real world. Alice daydreamed an underworld of talking animals and fantastic surroundings. The young Alice is quite taken, and the friendly critters would not do any harm. A series of adventures take place as Alice moves from one to another with sweet-natured abandon then awakens somehow refreshed and restored.
In the underworld Alice meets a lovely cast of characters who talk and play with exaggerated sense: Duckworth, White Rabbit, Mad Hatter, Mock Turtle, Dormouse, Mouse, Dodgson, Gryphon, King of Hearts, Caterpillar, Queen of Hearts, March Hare, Knave of Hearts, Bill the Lizard, and 5 of Spades – played by actors all donned up in Bafta winning costumes uniforms fit for the stage and colourful and bright.
The musical set-pieces are well-staged, songs are pleasant, and the presentation of the film is inventive and occasionally a knock-out in terms of production design and art direction. The courtroom scene at the end knowingly takes things too seriously, but which is much ado about nothing and amusingly over the top. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a jolly palette and I’m glad there is the possibility of Alice’s regeneration—which from a Christian perspective would involve a revitalization of life and not things that are no good for the soul.
From Director William Sterling from the Lewis Carrol fairy story.
Reviewed by Peter Veugelaers.