Adventures In Wonderland
the most lavish and most
faithful adaptation of
fantasy novel, Alices
Adventures In Wonderland
is a double BAFTA-
winning musical comedy
with an all-star British
FIFTEEN YEAR OLD FIONA FULLERTON stars as Alice in the remarkable musical
comedy, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, written
for the screen and Directed by William Sterling. Filmed at Shepperton Studios
in 1972 to mark the centenary of the finished Alice novels which
are among the most enduring classic stories of all time this British
spectacular brings Sir John Tenniel's renowned illustrations enchantingly
Alice's Adventures In Wonderland has a magical score by James Bond composer
John Barry complementing the BAFTA-winning cinema-tography by Geoffrey Unsworth
BSc (2001: A Space Odyssey) and the film is presented on DVD in its original
aspect ratio of 2:35:1 Todd-AO 35 Scope.
On a beautiful midsummer's day in early July, sisters Lorina (Victoria Shallard),
Edith (Pippa Vickers) and Alice Liddell are taken out for a river picnic by
Charles Dodgson (Michael Jayston) and his friend Duckworth (Hywel Bennett).
Alice cannot be bothered to make a daisy chain with her sister and Dodgson (who
is better known as author Lewis Carroll) starts to tell her a story "…when
suddenly, a white rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her…"
Alice jumps up to follow the rabbit but falls down a deep, deep hole until she
lands safely on a bed of leaves this is Wonderland, a surreal landscape
of colour with dramatic skies and giant daisies with blue grass; a beautiful
fantasy land where giant playing cards seem to have a life of their own. And
a large white rabbit (Michael Crawford) wears a tweed jacket with a pocket watch!
Faced with a corridor lined with doors and a key, Alice finds a tiny door and
opens it to see a beautiful garden. But she cannot enter she is too large.
When she finds some liquid in a flask labelled 'drink me', Alice decides: "No,
I'll look first and see whether it's marked Poison..." Sensible girl!
When she shrinks (her clothes, happily, shrink with her!), she realises she
has left the key on the table. But in the world of Wonderland there is always
another choice. And a morsel labelled 'eat me' proves to
make her grow. She weeps a river of tears in her frustration and when she shrinks
again she risks drowning in them. She speaks to a passing mouse (Davy Kaye)
as you do who tells her: "Tears are very precious and not to be
spread about." Quite.
So begins Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, with it's highly-amusing
moments Alice grows while she is in the White Rabbit's house and gets
stuck and there's a fair share of now-familiar jokes: "How do you find out the
weight of a whale? Take him to the nearest whale-weigh station!"
Alice talks to a caterpillar (Ralph Richardson) and meets a fascinating Tweedledum
and Tweedledee (Freddie and Frank Cox) before going
on to the house of The Duchess (Peter Bull) who has a baby that turns into a
pig, a truly obnoxious cook (Patsy Rowlands) and a Cheshire Cat (Roy Kinnear).
Mad Hatter (Robert Helpmann) and The March Hare (Peter Sellers) dunk the Dormouse
at a tea party and along a fantastic shoreline The Gryphon (Spike Milligan)
takes Alice to meet The Mock Turtle (Michael Hordern), who was taught in the
sea by an old turtle "We called him tortoise because he taught us." And
who can forget the dance? Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, won't you
join the dance?
Alice meets a variety of other animals all with something to say
including the Dodo (William Ellis); Eagle (Ray Edwards); Monkey (Stanley Bates);
Magpie (June Kidd) and the Frog (Michael Reardon). Extra lyrics are by Don Black.
Throw in the marvellous Queen of Hearts (Flora Robson) with a fixation about
heads removing them! and the absent-minded King of Hearts (Dennis
Price) and this concoction of rum characters is the perfect recipe for fun.
Also making appearances in this creditable, light-hearted film are: Dennis Waterman
as the 2 of Spades; Ray Brooks as the 5 of Spades; Richard Warwick as the 7
of Spades and Rodney Bewes as the hapless Knave of Hearts.
Josef Shaftel Production, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland was released
by Oracle Home Entertainment fully restored and digitally re-mastered
in correct Scope Aspect Ratio. Distributed by Eureka Entertainment on 17 March
(2008), it costs £7.99.