Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Down a Rabbit Hole and Up to Neverland

From the beginning, Walt Disney's studio has produced animated films based off fairy tales like Snow White, Pinocchio and Cinderella. Each one has heartwarming characters that make the audience fall in love with them. One film however was a living hell for Walt to make.

In 1991, Disney launched Alice in Wonderland. Walt considered the idea of using Alice during the making of Snow White, but didn't have the time. The real struggle with this project was that Walt had to make sure it followed Lewis Carol's story which meant he had no freedom like he had had in making the others.

The film did not do well in theaters eating away all the money he had earned form Cinderella. The problem with the film was that the characters seemed to be too robotic. The movie is a series of events where Alice meets nothing but madness and strife. This gave Walt no creative freedom which he really wanted to have.

For Snow White she had the Seven Dwarfs and the forest animals to comfort her. Cinderella had the birds and mice to give her company. But what did Alice get? Everywhere she went, no one bothered to help her. All the residents of Wonderland only cared about themselves and were always against Alice.

The only character in the movie who was willing to assist Alice was The Doorknob. When Alice wanted to find the White Rabbit or escape form the Queen of Hearts, the Doorknob was there to instruct her. Ironically, the Doorknob was never from the book, which may explain why he was more comforting than the rest of the characters!

Despite its criticism and failure, if it wasn't for Alice in Wonderland there may not have been a movie for Peter Pan.

Kathryn Beaumont was a young actress who played Alice and later did the voice of Wendy for Peter Pan. Amazingly, Alice and Wendy have a lot in common in that they have some of the same facial features and have the same personalities of being dreamers.

The opening song that Alice sings called "In my Own World" was originally going to be "The Second Star to the Right" that is now heard in the beginning of Peter Pan.

Alice in Wonderland lacks the heart which can be seen in the previous Disney films. But today, it is still considered to be an animated masterpiece cherished by Disney fans young and old.

All images above belong to:

Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan belong to the Walt Disney Company.

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