Alice's Adventure in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll is a popular book that has spanned through generations as a popular and well-loved story, it has inspired lots of film and TV shows now multiplied because the original work is now in the public domain. The story has been appropriated into different mediums; it's also one of the first stories that will drive a child's already hyperactive imagination into overdrive.
Perhaps arguably the most popular version of Alice in Wonderland is the 1951 Disney Classic.
Over the weekend, I got inspired to finally read the whole Alice's Adventure In Wonderland book, and see as many as possible adaptations. It's definitely hard to list all Alice In Wonderland-influenced works here, so I just compiled a list of some that are intriguing, crazy, and beautiful film and TV adaptations that kept me down the rabbit hole all weekend. Ehem, my room.
So without further ado, this is a list of Alice-inspired adaptations that you should definitely kill the time with.
“How puzzling all these changes are! I'm never sure what I'm going to be, from one minute to another.”
1. Alice (1988)
Written and directed by: Jan Švankmajer
It is an incredibly surreal take on the famous Alice's Adventure In Wonderland. Everything in the story even happened in almost the same way as they had been in the books. It doesn't have background music, and the visuals are really active. The mix of stop motion animation and live action is just wonderful that it didn't need to look realistic like most stop motion pictures would want us to see. It is beautiful the way it is, and makes you think that if toys (and other things...) could move they'd move exactly like they do in this film.
I quite enjoyed it, but for the life of me, I couldn't find the film with English subtitles so when I found the one with Indonesian subtitles, I just paused every time Alice or the little girl narrator had to talk in order to translate.
Here is a clip from the film.
She keeps weird collections in her room (in the attic?) and she has an affinity for throwing pebbles. After she wakes up from the dream on the floor, everything is still the way they had been before she followed the White Rabbit..
Except, the glass case where the Rabbit was stored is still broken, hence, the troublesome Rabbit will likely be in trouble once he returns.
I highly recommend watching this film. 5/5 stars.
2. Red Kingdom Rising (2012 at Portobello Film Festival)
Written and Directed By: Navin Dev
Genre: Horror fantasyRed Kingdom Rising is the first feature-length film for Navin Dev.
I'm not much of a horror fan, and the opening put me off. But then again, that's just me. The first half hour of the movie is okay, which were just some flashbacks of childhood scenarios, but after that, everything went berserk. It's wonderful, it's terrifying, disgusting and tragic. It shows the difficulties of dealing with childhood trauma and more so, how it can negatively affect us as we grow up-- and you can't move on with your life if you can't make peace with your past. It's wonderfully portrayed in this independent film, and I recommend it.
I give it a 4/5 stars.
3. Phoebe in Wonderland (2008, Sundance)Written and Directed by: Daniel BarnzGenre: Drama/ Family
This film is delightful, and I couldn't say much without ruining it for you, but you definitely have to watch it. Phoebe in Wonderland is one of those films which goes to show how fairytales can affect people in positive or negative ways. (In this film, it's positive). Also, this is Elle Fanning's first lead role in a feature film, and she's undeniably cute and funny in this. Reminds me of Dakota's own humble beginnings as a child actress, anyway, here's the trailer.
"What do we know about good-job Jenny?"
Phoebe had me at "she deserves a slow and painful death."
4. Malice in Wonderland (2009)
Directed by: Simon Fellows
Written by: Jasyon Rothwell
It's a modern take on Alice In Wonderland. Alice, played by Maggie Grace is a university student knocked over by a black cab driver in London, and wakes up with an amnesia. I found it rather confusing at first, but it's intriguing enough and fast-paced that will keep you wanting to watch more 'til the end. Also, the background music and songs are delightful. It's mirroring what kind of world we have today, and often even those adults we thought had it all figured out, well not is all what it seems.
"Circles. We all move in circles."
Before we go to number 5, here are my honorable mentions:
- Alice in Wonderland (2010) - my most favorite adaptation. I think it's enjoyable and magical, I suppose returning to Wonderland to be the champion against the Jabberwocky is a way of dealing with her imminent obligations as a young woman at that time. Being transported back to Wonderland did wonders for her decision-making, right?
- Alice (Syfy 2 part miniseries)-a brilliant miniseries, and you really have to check it out, if you haven't yet. More so, because Kathy Bates is the Red Queen.
- Dreamchild (1985)- it's a fictionalized account of Alice Liddell, and it's dramatic, and whimsical and it is beautiful; that's is all there is to say. Definitely a must-see.
5. Through The Looking-Glass (1998 TV Movie)
Directed by: John Henderson
Written by: Nick Vivian
This movie is fun, wonderful and charming at times. However, it's not my cup of tea. I still recommend it, though. And it's family-friendly too. I just watched it because I was intrigued to see Kate Beckinsale acting silly. I was just surprised, I knew her first Van Helsing and onwards. My reaction when I saw her name on the cast list:
Needless to say, it's kind of refreshing to see her in this kind of light.
So there you have it folks, my recommended Alice In Wonderland adaptations. What are your favorites? Give me some suggestions in the comments below!