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It all began with a girl. And a cat.
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The Alice Comedies was a series of short cartoons made by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks during The Silent Age of Animation. It was the successor to their failed Newman Laugh O Grams series, and a precursor to 'their 'Oswald the Lucky Rabbit'' series. The cartoons feature Alice, a live action girl, interacting with an animated world. Near the beginning, the shorts would start with something happening to Alice in the real world after which she falls asleep or gets knocked out. She then enters an animated dream world where she interacts with Julius the Cat and a host of other Funny Animals. Hi-jinx Ensue. Later installments dropped the real world Framing Device and took place entirely in the cartoon world.

The cartoons themselves had little in the way of plot or continuity, and were mainly just for showing off the animation.

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Compare Max and Dave Fleischer's' Out of the Inkwell, another live action/animation blending cartoon that was the inspiration for this series.


     Filmography 

1923

1924

1925

1926

1927

  • Alice the Golf Bug January 10, 1927, lost cartoon
  • Alice Foils the Pirates January 24, 1927 (Lost cartoon)
  • Alice at the Carnival February 10, 1927 (Lost cartoon)
  • Alice at the Rodeo February 21, 1927
  • Alice the Collegiate March 7, 1927 (Lost cartoon)
  • Alice in the Alps March 21, 1927 (Lost cartoon)
  • Alice's Auto Race April 4, 1927 (Lost cartoon)
  • Alice's Circus Daze April 18, 1927
  • Alice's Knaughty Knight May 2, 1927 (Lost cartoon)
  • Alice's Three Bad Eggs May 16, 1927 (Lost cartoon)
  • Alice's Picnic May 30, 1927
  • Alice's Channel Swim June 13, 1927 (Lost cartoon)
  • Alice in the Klondike June 27, 1927 (Lost cartoon)
  • Alice's Medicine Show July 11, 1927 (Lost cartoon)
  • Alice the Whaler July 25, 1927
  • Alice the Beach Nut August 8, 1927 (Lost cartoon)
  • Alice in the Big League August 22, 1927

This series provides examples of:

  • Breakout Character: Pete made his debut in this series about two years after it began, and continued to make appearances in Classic Disney Shorts afterwards.
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  • Cats Are Mean: Julius is an aversion, which may disprove the oft-repeated rumor that Walt Disney inherently disliked cats. Pegleg Pete first appears in this series, but won't officially become a cat until Mickey Mouse comes along (here, he's portrayed as a nondescript bearlike creature).
  • Captain Ersatz: Julius is nothing more than Felix moonlighting in a Disney cartoon. Pat Sullivan wanted him in.
    • Or rather, Charlies Mintz wanted Julius in, which pissed off Pat Sullivan enough to cancel his distribution contract with Mintz.
  • Cliffhanger: The version of Alice's Wonderland included with the DVD and Blu-Ray editions of Alice in Wonderland ends with Alice falling into a hole, since the people compiling the bonus features utilized a print that lacked the ending.
  • Creator Cameo: Walt himself appears in the first short.
  • Detachment Combat: Julius' tail can detach and change itself into any tool he might need.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Meta-example; given these were some of the earliest cartoons he made, the Alice Comedies are quite different in tone and execution from the later shorts and films Disney would become recognized for.
  • Framing Device: The world is a dream world Alice sees when unconscious.
  • New Job as the Plot Demands: Near the end of the series, Alice would have a new job every episode; from soldier to whaler to farmer.
  • Public Domain Animation: The first year of the shorts have only recently entered into Public Domain, while the later ones have not yet.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: Inverted in this case—Walt took inspiration from Max Fleischer's "Out of the Inkwell" comedies, but whereas that series was a cartoon character entering our world, Walt took a live action girl and threw her into a cartoon world!
  • Scooby-Dooby Doors: Done with rocks in Alice in the Wooly West.
  • Smurfette Principle: Alice is pretty much the only female character in the entire series. Most others are either decidedly male or Ambiguous Gender (but most likely male).
  • Token Minority: In the real world, one of the friends in Alice's gang is black. To add to this, he's a member of their KKK club (KKK stands for Sekret Klues of the Kook Klakz).

 
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Cartoon Studio

Little Alice visits the studio where they make cartoons.

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