Alice In Wonderland is currently next to being a kids movie also known as a drug movie. Not only does the name Alice seems to refer to LSD, which was unintentional as LSD did not exist at the time the novel was written, but also does the contents of the movie seem to be segments from a trip. Other movies who share this connection are Yellow Submarine, parts of Willie Wonka and The Chocolate Factory and Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas. I’m sure there are a few missing but when familiar with these movies you get the point on the contents of Alice In Wonderland. A movie filled with one crazy trip after another, some of them even representing a bad trip.
Which brings me to the greatest weakness of a movie that is now considered a classic but failed to score upon its initial release: the movie does not really follow a script and when stripped of the eye candy all that remains is: Alice goes down a rabbit hole while following a rabbit and gets out after several confrontations with the inhabitants of Wonderland. This sad excuse for a plot makes the mere 70 minutes the movie lasts at some points feel like you’re watching a 3 hour movie. In the mean time we get treated to segments that seem to bear no real relationship with each other. Yes, we’re are essentially watching a road trip, but instead of comedic or dramatical segments the movie gives us trippy segments which try top top each other in weirdness. While all very imaginative and creative the segments fail to produce a moral or underlying thought resulting in mere shallowness.
The other weakness is that the movie feels dated. Released before there was something like pop music on the airwaves the movie uses classical music sung by an orchestra for most of its songs including the opening which makes the soundtrack rather dull. Alice and her sister really have that retro look that was already there in Snow White more than a decade earlier. Luckily the supporting characters, the inhabitants of Wonderland, do have a more loony and timeless look.
While a movie that goes from segment to segment and getting increasingly weird in the progress, the segments are colorful and creative. The movie is filled with memorable characters like the Queen, the Mad Hatter and the Chessire Cat. Alice herself is rather dull and on occasion rather annoying. Her so-called innocence makes her rather naive and her actions in some cases stupid.
Most people will consider this a kids movie but the movie is rather dark from time to time. The whole idea of a girl getting lost in a place like this, the weirdo characters, the eating of baby oysters and the mad Queen who constantly orders to decapitate people. I can remember that when I was really young I didn’t like movies that relied on darker and more emotional themes. Take Dumbo for instance; it has a happy end but before you get there he had a shitload of emotional punches thrown at him. I never liked that movie when I was young. I can see why young kids wouldn’t like this movie as well.
While rich on colorful characters and outlandish segments, Alice In Wonderland is a weird movie that is probably best to be watched when you’re high on something. It has no real plot or moral, just one trip after another.