A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this 1972 adaptation of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Aventures in Wonderland is not as frightening as some interpretations -- if simply because this Alice has a mind of her own. Alice saves a baby after the Duchess bounces it so hard that it cries terribly. Of course there's a lot of "Off with her head!" talk from the queen, but no heads roll.
What's the story?
Alice (Fiona Fullerton) and her sisters are in a boat being rowed by some gentlemen friends of the family. One of whom is Mr. Carroll, who begins to tell a story at picnic time. Alice soon finds herself falling down a rabbit hole, where she wonders how she will greet the inhabitants of the land in which she lands. Before she has time to think, strange things begin to happen. She finds herself in a hallway where a rabbit has left his gloves and fan. Upon attempting to follow him, she notices that she is too large to fit into a tiny door that leads to a garden. She notices a bottle containing a liquid that says "Drink Me," and she does. And so her adventure begins. As in the book, Alice meets many curious creatures on her adventures: the Caterpillar, the Cheshire Cat, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, the Queen of Hearts are all here.
Is it any good?
Once you get past the very boring opening titles, there are amazing sights to behold. Alice looks just as she should, as do the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts, and the Mock Turtle. Amazingly, the sets and costumes and special effects create a fantastic world without the benefit of computer generated images. When Alice grows tall, she really looks tall, and when she is small, she seems tiny. The acting is also very fine: fans of Peter Sellers and Dudley Moore will delight in seeing these comic geniuses play their roles with aplomb. And though there are film quality and sound issues in this 1972 adaptation, the movie sticks to the actual book with more acuity than other versions.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how much media has changed since the 1970s. The sets in this movie are handmade with no computer animation. How do you think that changed the movie's look?
Do you find this version of Lewis Carroll's story frightening? What makes a story or a movie scary? What makes it unpredictable? What is the difference?
What kinds of characters would populate your Wonderland? What kind of an adventure would you like to have there?
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