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Today in History (1951): 'Alice in Wonderland' Premieres in the USA

It's been exactly 63 years since the American viewing public was introduced to the wonderfully eccentric characters of the children's classic, "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland!"

Photo via Movie Poster Shop

Surreal children’s classic “Alice in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll has had numerous adaptations ever since it was first published in 1865, the most famous of which was by Walt Disney Productions, released on this day in 1951. Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, and Hamilton Luske shared director duties in this Walt Disney -produced animation, the 13th in the “Walt Disney Animated Classics” series.

Disney was said to have toyed with the idea of making an adaptation of the beloved Carroll classic for many years before finally beginning work on “Alice” in 1946. It was a massive creative undertaking as he enlisted numerous screenwriters and animators, as well as songwriters to compose songs based on Carroll’s original verses. Kathryn Beaumont lent her voice to the character of Alice. Meanwhile, other iconic quirky characters that were brought to life in the animated flick included the Mad Hatter (voiced by Ed Wynn), White Rabbit (Bill Thmpson), Cheshire Cat (Sterling Holloway), the Queen of Hearts (Verna Felron), and Tweedledee and Tweedledum (J. Pat O’Malley).

But when the movie finally premiered in late July 1951, first in the United Kingdom and then in the US just a couple of days after, it was panned by literary critics and fans of Carroll for supposedly “Americanizing” the classic story. Reception was lukewarm, and so “Alice in Wonderland” never received a theatrical re-release until 1974. Believe it or not, the psychedelic culture at the time played a big part in the movie’s newfound success! There was a complete turnaround where its popularity was concerned, as from this period on both the critics and the public began to recognize the movie’s merits. Today, this version is touted not only as one of the greatest that Disney has ever produced but also the best adaptation of “Alice.”

The original trailer for “Alice in Wonderland” via YouTube

All information in this article were sourced from Wikipedia.

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Related articles: Alice in Wonderland in 8 Minutes! and Alice Liddell: The Inspiration Behind the Wonderland.

written by chooolss

3 comments

  1. herbert-4

    herbert-4

    Find Jan Svankmajer's "Alice" 1988... If Disney's "Alice in Wonderland" doesn't give your kids nightmares, Jan Svankmajer's "Alice" absolutely will...

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  2. pasadena85

    pasadena85

    I LOVE THIS FILM !
    @herbert-4: I don't know the Svankmajer's movie. but the Alice version with Johnny Depp I don't like !

    about 1 month ago · report as spam
  3. herbert-4

    herbert-4

    @pasadena85 Jan Svankmajer is the great, avant garde, surreal Czech director. It's not horror, but very intensely surreal, like the real Alice Liddell's schizophrenic imagery. The original name of the movie is "Neco z Alenky". It's a classic for Halloween watching, especially, but, if you have small children, don't let them see it, because they won't leave your bed until they're 40. Nightmares!! You will never look at your socks the same way again! Find on Net Flix. Also try American McGee's "Alice" computer game. It's also inspired by the real Alice Liddell.

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