DIRECTOR: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske
FEATURING: Voices of Kathryn Beaumont, Ed Wynn, Sterling Holloway, Verna Felton, J. Pat O’Malley, Bill Thompson
PLOT: A young girl named Alice follows a talking white hare down his rabbit hole and into a world of talking animals, smoking insects, walking playing cards, and other nonsense creatures.
WHY IT MIGHT MAKE THE LIST: Because of the source material. Disney animator Eric Goldberg explains Alice‘s appeal: “I think the book ‘Alice in Wonderland’ is popular because it’s completely absurd… The book, in its kind of weirdness, persists because people like weird.” The question becomes, does Disneyfication destroy the story’s weirdness?
COMMENTS: Though it doesn’t reach the level of the classic-era Disney animated masterpieces Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) or Pinocchio (1940), Alice in Wonderland is certainly in the next tier—notwithstanding the fact that it didn’t fare well on its initial release. The animation, obviously, is glowing and superlative, and the anything-can-happen-here surrealism of the story gave the Disney artists the license to let their imaginations run wild without being fettered even by cartoon realism. As might be expected, the result is worlds away from the staid, quaintly absurd black and white line drawings of Sir John Tenniel (the standard vision of Alice and Wonderland up until that time). The rabbit hole, with its grandfather clocks and rocking chairs floating at different rates, doesn’t follow the rules of gravity; the flexibility of the playing card royal guards allows the animators to arrange them into pickets or to spontaneously form roller coasters to take Alice for a ride. Scarcity of spectacle is not an issue in Wonderland. As an adaptation, this Alice is surprisingly smooth. Episodes from the book have been shuffled around and mixed with characters and events from “Through the Looking Glass,” an example that future Alices would follow (since no one wants to leave out Tweedledee and Tweedledum). Even digressions like the “The Walrus and the Carpenter” interlude, which plays like a self-standing Looney Continue reading LIST CANDIDATE: ALICE IN WONDERLAND (1951)