Directed by Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske
Running Time: 1:15
Alice in Wonderland is a trippy film and arguably my least favorite Disney film, but the Blu-ray transfer is outstanding.
You know the story. A little girl named Alice follows a rabbit down a hole and ends up in a bizarre fantasy world where the Queen of Hearts wants to cut off her head. Alice has to do whatever she can to get back to her real life, but the creatures in this world aren't always the most helpful.
I could have sworn I saw Alice in Wonderland when I was younger, but re-watching it recently, I didn't remember a lot of it. There's this really long sequence where a Walrus and a Carpenter scoop up a bunch of oysters and ultimately eat them. None of that looked even remotely familiar and it was actually kind of disturbing. How many Disney films are there where you eat cute talking babies, even if they are oysters? But I suppose to plays to the entire nonsensical nature of the entire movie. There is no story and it's just basically a girl going through a strange drug trip. Yes, ultimately it ends up being a dream (I think) but what kind of dream is that for a little girl? What are they feeding her? Kids might enjoy the randomness and colorfulness of the film, but as an adult, I didn't really care for it. I'm not really sure why people like this, but there are certainly a lot that do.
The Blu-ray transfer of the film is incredible. The Blu-ray comes with both a Blu-ray and a DVD so I decided to pop them both in my Blu-ray player and the difference is astounding. DVDs usually look pretty good on Blu-ray players, but there really is no comparison. Animated films in general look better in Blu-ray, but these older films being transferred onto Blu-ray is amazing. And even though this movie is crazy, the colors simply pop off the screen. What's a little strange is that the movie is still in full screen instead of being transferred into widescreen. You get two options then when watching the film - one has simple black bars along the side (the default) but then there's DisneyView, which I put on without thinking about it. It took me a little while to realize what it was, but you get colorful side bars that mimix what's happening in the scene. It's definitely the best way to watch the movie.
The DVD has a handful of extras, most notably an interactive game called Virtual Wonderland Party which was almost as trippy as the movie. It's a live-action tea party with Alice, the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit and a bunch of kids where you can select different games/scenes to play. The kids are a little too happy, but the guy who plays the Mad Hatter was certainly entertaining. The Blu-ray disc of course has a ton of extras. The woman who did the voice of Alice, Kathryn Beaumont, hosts the entire experience with a little lead-in to every extra. Through the Keyhole allows you to watch the entire movie with Disney and Lewis Carroll experts leading you along the road with historical notes. Reference Footage - Alice and the Doorknob was interesting. The voice actors would act out each scene so the animators had a reference point. Here we get to see some long lost footage of Alice as she talked to the tiny door. We get to see the live-action and animation side-by-side so you get a really nice look at how close the animators got to the real actress. There are other extras, like a pencil test of Alice as she shrinks for the first time, Walt Disney as he introduces the movie for the first time, and a bunch of extras first seen on the DVD release. The biggest extra on the Blu-ray is a BD Live game called Painting the Roses Red Game. It's basically a version of Othello where you have to try and flip all the white roses to red. It took me a couple of tries to realize how the game was played, but it's not easy. There are a lot of levels to go through so you could be playing it for a while.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, Alice in Wonderland isn't for me, but I always love going behind the scenes of these older Disney films so getting it on Blu-ray is definitely worth it. And if you like the movie, hey, even better.