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YMMV / Alice in Wonderland

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The 1951 Disney Classic:

  • Adaptation Displacement: Not as common as with other Disney films. People at least seem to be aware there is a book, but many assume the elements of the film are from the book. Many people don't distinguish between Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (or simply don't know that they're two separate books), and the film's mingling of the two exacerbates this. This is especially the case with the Queen of Hearts - whose Hair-Trigger Temper comes from the Duchess, but is assumed to be one of her key character traits. The Cheshire Cat likewise is thought of as a Troll or aloof thanks to this film making him an Adaptational Jerkass - whereas in the book he was one of Alice's only friends. It's sometimes forgotten that Alice was a bit younger in the books, around seven, but the Disney version appears to be portraying her as the same age as her actress Kathryn Beaumont (who was twelve).
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Were the Mad Hatter and March Hare "fixing" the Rabbit's watch as a cruel practical joke, or were they genuinely trying to help in their own backward way?
    • There are some parts of Kathryn Beaumont's performance that suggests Alice is really Not So Different from the residents of Wonderland. In fact, in the real world she seems to irritate her sister with her daydreaming. So in Wonderland it might be that Alice secretly likes being able to take the moral high ground and she slips up through moments like the unbirthday celebration.
    • Since the story's All Just a Dream, Alice's personality is a little different in Wonderland to the real world. In the real world she daydreams and longs for nonsense. In Wonderland she is the Only Sane Man. So perhaps the dream is Alice imagining herself as a sensible person Surrounded by Idiots as a way of processing how out of place she feels in the real world.
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  • Awesome Art: Every frame in Wonderland, from the rabbit hole down to the Queen's garden is a work of art in itself. For that, you can partly thank Mary Blair, who came up with the concept art for the film and set the tone. Take a look.
  • Awesome Music: The Cut Song for the Cheshire Cat, "I'm Odd", performed with gusto by Jim Cummings.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Brief, but strange even for this movie, during the ending chase, Alice suddenly finds herself in a second Caucus race, together with the queen (who seems oddly happy about it), the king, the cards, Tweedle-Dee and Twiddle-Dum and, most bizarrely, both the Walrus and the Carpenter (who were only characters in Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum's story) plus a group of oysters (ditto, plus the fact that they were supposed to have been eaten by the Walrus). The moment Alice gets out of the nonsensical race, the chase continues. The Walrus and the Carpenter also appear among the group of characters chasing Alice in the final shot before Alice wakes up.
  • Cant Unhear It:
    • Kathryn Beaumont as Alice. She's even voiced the character in the rides at Disneyland and reprised her role in Kingdom Hearts in her sixties.
    • Sterling Holloway as the Cheshire Cat.
  • Creepy Cute: The Cheshire Cat is quite deranged looking but still fairly cute.
  • Critical Backlash: Critics slammed this movie when it came out, attacking Walt for "Americanizing a great work of British literature." The man himself viewed it as a disappointment, comparing it to his first masterpiece and observing that viewers felt sympathy for Snow White's plight, but Alice didn't inspire any. In The '60s, though, it found its audience among stoners.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: When the Queen of Hearts first announces the card painters to be beheaded, it's quite intense... then she immediately gains a cheerful smiling expression on her face, and as the painters are dragged off to be executed, the other cards begin to sing an upbeat tune about how the painters are going to lose their heads, which ends up making the scene darkly hilarious.
  • Crossover Ship:
    • Alice tends to be shipped with Peter Pan, partly due to the fact that Alice and Wendy Darling have the same voice actress.
    • Alice also gets her share of shipping with Wendy herself.
    • She's occasionally also paired with Pinocchio.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • The Mad Hatter is only one of three characters in the un-birthday sequence, but is far more remembered than the March Hare or the Dormouse. At the parks he's usually with Alice.
    • The Cheshire Cat is another of the more remembered characters for his sheer weirdness (even by Wonderland's standards) and being a funny Troll. It's quite surprising since he only appears in four scenes.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Alice and the Mad Hatter, though they give him more of the appearance of his Disney World cosplay.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Alice in Wonderland is loved in Japan, thanks to the movie's bizarre nature and Alice's cuteness.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • There's a mushroom whose one side makes you grow bigger and the other side makes you shrink. Super and Poison Mushroom much? This was actually very much intentional, since the Mushrooms of the Mario series were in fact inspired by this movie, as per Word of God.
    • Kathryn Beaumont voices Wendy in Peter Pan after this film - where she again wants to run away to another world and have adventures. And when she gets there she finds herself the Only Sane Man yet again. In both films she also has a scene where a group of rude females splash water on her - flowers in Alice, mermaids in Peter Pan.
    • Verna Felton voices a character who prefers things to be red. In her next Disney film, she also plays a character who wears red and gets very particular about a dress being pink. And the two characters couldn't be more opposites; the Queen of Hearts is a villain with a Hair-Trigger Temper, Flora is a heroic fairy.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • People telling the Queen to shut her trap seems to be pretty popular.
    • Alice face palming during the trial was used by the Unshaved Mouse whenever he encountered stereotypes or problematic elements in the older Disney films.
    • "I relate to Alice so much. She just goes around randomly eating and drinking in the hopes it'll make her life better."
  • Moe: Alice is a very polite, curious little girl with an adorable appearance in a young English Rose sort of way.
  • Narm Charm: "In a World of My Own" falls a little short of being the typical Disney "I Want" Song, mostly because Kathryn Beaumont is not primarily a singer. However that almost adds to the charm of it.
  • One-Scene Wonder: The doorknob has very little screen time but is considered one of the more memorable characters. Doubly impressive since he doesn't exist in either of the books.
  • Periphery Demographic: The film is popular with autistic children - who relate to Alice feeling out of place in the world. The story itself is often used as an allegory for autism. And there is a fan theory (as seen on the WMG page) that each of the Wonderland residents represent a different aspect of the condition.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: At the time, the story of Alice was defined visually by the John Tenniell illustrations from the original book. Disney choosing to go for the modernist art style of Mary Blair was a shocking change, and was one of the many aspects which brought on the accusations of 'Americanization'. After decades of Alice adaptations that use surreal or bizarre imagery, this might be lost on modern viewers.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: Just listen to this rendition of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bat".
  • Ugly Cute:
    • The animals in the Tulgey Wood, especially all the strange looking birds. Who's a cute widdle living birdcage?
    • The Glasses Birds are pretty much Adorkable personified (as birds).
  • Vindicated by History:
    • The film opened to a lukewarm box office and mostly hostile reviews in 1951. Walt himself voiced Creator Backlash against the film and famously declared that it had failed because "Alice lacked heart" (it's somewhat unclear whether by "Alice" he meant the film or the character). In the decades since, it has become better regarded by both critics and general audiences and is now thought as something of a minor classic. In fact Alice was one of the first Disney films released to home video.
    • This version of Alice herself. Walt felt she "lacked heart" (although he could have been referring to the film itself) but these days, she's considered one of Disney's most popular heroines. Kathryn Beaumont herself is seen as one of the most spirited and entertaining Alices (especially in comparison to Disney's own live-action version). Alice is even sometimes included with the Disney Princesses due to her popularity.
  • What an Idiot!: While the Bird in the Tree mistaking Alice for a serpent made some sense in the book, as only Alice's neck grew longer and she could only see Alice's head and neck, this film, with Alice's entire body growing huge, makes her look like even more of an idiot.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Perhaps even more than the books. (And the film was famously popular with stoners and acid droppers during The '60s and The '70s.)
  • The Woobie:
    • Alice has her moments, especially in the "Very Good Advice" sequence. In many scenarios, she's happy to be involved and wants to enjoy Wonderland - but 90% of the characters treat her so horribly it's no wonder she just wants to go home.
    • The White Rabbit also qualifies, due to the fact that he's seemingly the only Wonderlander with the blessing of sanity and despite this (or indeed, because of this) constantly gets the short end of the stick.


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