Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Alice in Wonderland vs. Alice

After viewing both movies Alice in Wonderland the Disney version directed by Geromi, Jackson & Luske and comparing it to Svankmajer’s Alice, I found that both movies were meant for different type of viewers. The Disney movie released in 1951 was clearly meant for the children as we see the cute little furry rabbit that catches Alice’s attention and draws her away from her sister’s side. As we enter into wonderland we are taken into a world with magic, where a small drink out of a bottle will makes Alice smaller and a small bite of cake makes her grow tremendously. As we discover more of the world we encounter more characters with their interesting personalities. One particular character is the Mad Hatter who we meet as Alice follows the path into the very memorable tea party. As we are taken into this tea party we automatically hear the musical tea cups and the singing of the Mad Hatter and the Mad Hare with their suits on and the Mad Hatter’s infamous hat. The Mad Hatter’s personality prompts Alice to sit and join them for tea, but unfortunately with Alice not being of their world she is suddenly annoyed at the constant changing seats not allowing her drink a cup of tea. Throughout the movie we are encountered with comical characters that are meant to draw in the children. For one we have the Chester Cat who follows Alice throughout the movie and who guides her throughout her adventures in wonderland. In watching the movie as an adult one gets the experience of being a child again and being amazed at talking animals and musical pots.
While the Disney version showed a cartoon like view of Alice’s adventures that keyed into the child side of us, Svankmajer’s Alice showed a different way of the original novel by Carroll. In this movie we don’t see the cartoon like as we saw in the Disney version, but we are encountered with a young Alice in the flesh. We encounter a different type of movie scenes as we go from the Alice in the flesh and to the doll version when we encounter different parts of the movie especially in those where she is suppose to be smaller. We really don’t get an idea as to when Alice crosses over to wonderland. We do see the beginning of the movie as she is intrigued by this stuffed dead rabbit that comes to life. Svankmajer used stuffed animals and puppets for his wonderland characters. The journey down to wonderland is very different from the Disney version, as we see her going down the tunnel we can see jars of what seems like animal parts and things that are rotten. Upon watching the movie I thought of it as a little repulsive. The idea of a stuffed dead white rabbit having to constantly eat sawdust to refill itself seemed a little weird and it didn’t seem normal to see a rabbi sowing himself back up.
Although these two movies had particular different ways of interpreting the novel Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, they did find different ways to represent the novel for different audiences. The Disney version played well with the children who love to see talking animals and are entertained by musical tea pots. On the other hand the movie Alice had a different interpretation that showed a different side to the novel with the use of stuffed animals and puppets and dolls.

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