Alice in Wonderland (1966)

  • Review Date: March 3, 2010
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Release Year: 1966
  • Running Time: 71 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Classic BBC Alice story too artsy to interest most kids.
  • Review Date: March 3, 2010
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Release Year: 1966
  • Running Time: 71 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Self-discovery, self-reliance, and belief in oneself are big here as a girl navigates a strange adult world.

Positive role models

Alice is an independent girl, who feels very comfortable roaming in a strange land among strange people. When she is faced with a difficult situation, she makes definitive choices and doesn't doubt herself. Everyone around her, in contrast, behaves in a bizarre fashion. However, the Caterpillar does offer some good advice about being honest.

Violence

The queen screeches "Off with his head!" with convincing clarity. The executioner's blade looms dully in a couple of shots, but no execution occurs.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Alice is offered "more wine" at the Madhatter's teaparty, though she was never offered any in the first place, "so how could I have more?" she asks.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this black-and-white interpretation of Lewis Carroll's tale is an experiment in surrealism. Since none of the characters are in costume, it's difficult to tell the difference between the Rabbit and the Caterpillar, for example. This movie plays out more as a commentary on British middle-class moires than as a fantastic journey.  It's geared more towards adults than kids.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

When this Alice (Anne-Marie Mallik) falls into a dream, she sees a man running and follows him to a tunnel. Finding herself in a grand hallway with many windows and doors, she settles near a table with a key and a bottle labeled "Drink Me." She does so and shrinks considerably, then she consumes a tart with the words, "Eat Me" and grows again. She doesn't speak about this strange world, but whispers "Who am I?" Soon, Alice is in a group of adults lecturing on very "boring" subjects and who decide to run a "caucus race." The race ends in a pile of bodies and the sounds of pigs squealing. She then finds herself in a library of a man building a model. He asks her very pointedly: "Who are you?" Alice exclaims that she is changing so quickly that she can't keep track of who she is. After attending a "very boring" tea party at the Duchess' house, Alice comes to the Queen's procession, where bystanders are at risk of losing their heads. The King (Peter Sellers) presides over the chaotic court and Alice wakes to find herself in a meadow. All these scenes are set to the sitar stylings of Ravi Shankar.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Fans of surreal films in the style of Bergman and Fellini will be pleased with this version of ALICE IN WONDERLAND. Viewers looking for a costumed fantasy where Alice is more concerned with "Where am I?" than "Who am I?" will be disappointed. Great British actors, like John Gielgud, Peter Sellers, and Sir Michael Redgrave try to guide Alice on her journey of self-discovery, but Alice herself is aloof, gloomy, and detached. She rarely looks at the characters when she speaks, and is often thinking in whispers about how truly stupid everyone is and how "boring" everything is. Though this movie is a fascinating interpretation -- and a nice example of 1960s experimentation -- young viewers are apt to be as bored with this story as Alice is.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the Alice in this version of Lewis Carrol's story. She's more withdrawn and detached than other versions of the tale. Why do you think she's portrayed this way?

  • Compare this version of the story with others. Which interpretation do you prefer? Why? Why do you think this story has been intepreted in so many ways?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 28, 1966
DVD release date:March 2, 2010
Cast:Ann-Marie Mallik, John Gielgud, Peter Sellers
Director:Jonathan Miller
Studio:BBC
Genre:Fantasy
Run time:71 minutes
MPAA rating:NR
MPAA explanation:Not Rated

This review of Alice in Wonderland (1966) was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written byMovieLover4Lyfe October 7, 2010
AGE
13
QUALITY
 
Like CS says this is a very artsy version of Alice in Wonderland, but I think it's still enjoyable enough for children to watch.
Teen, 14 years old Written byjingleIsabel March 4, 2011
AGE
14
QUALITY
 
I love English a lot!It's my favorite!
What other families should know
Great messages
Kid, 7 years old February 27, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Now, just give your review a title

i havent seen it lol and im not planning on seeing it cuz im 7.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Poll

What are the different ways that you access Common Sense Media ratings and information? (Check all that apply)

Essential Apps Guide