Alice’s Wonderland (1923)

ALICE’S WONDERLAND (1923)
Article 4026 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 9-7-2012
Directed by Walt Disney
Featuring Virginia Davis, Walt Disney, Hugh Harman
Country: USA
What it is: Animated cartoon

A young girl is enthralled by her visit to an animation studio. That night, she dreams she enters an animated land. All goes well until several lions get loose…

Despite the title, this has little to do with the Lewis Carroll books. Instead, it’s the first of the Disney “Alice in Cartoonland” series, in which a live girl interacts with animated characters. There’s really no plot, but the short can be cut into three sections – 1) the visit to the cartoon studio, 2) her welcome in Cartoonland, and 3) her chase by the lions. It’s really a series of setpieces showcasing the combination of live-action and animation. It’s fun for what it is, though a bit too long; the lion chase goes on too long, for one thing. I enjoyed it well enough, but I suspect it will go over a lot better if you’re a fan of animation with an interest in the history of the form.

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