This just in from our Fearless Leader:
Nickelodeon’s animated preschool bilingual heroine Dora the Explorer becomes the latest to bop through a looking-glass. Originally aired as “Dora in Wonderland” in March (Season 7, Episode 16), it is now available on YouTube and DVD. It features Mel Brooks as the Mad Hatter and Alan Cumming as the White Rabbit.
For those who just can’t get enough High Definition Czech surrealist cinema with a Carrollian twist, this is definitely for you. Released back in April, the Jan Svankmajer Alice is now on Blu-Ray. Check out this New York Times article. Said the Rabbit.
A very nice stop motion piece based on “The Mad Gardener’s Song” from Sylvie & Bruno.
Animator Jennifer Linton want to make a film about Alice in contemporary Toronto using stop motion techniques. Her Indiegogo campaign has be a huge success having already reached its goal, but its not too late to get in on the perks and contribute to what looks like a beautiful modern retelling. Visit her Indiegogo page for all the details.
It should come as no surprise that the latest in Disney’s Johnny Depp-fueled Alice films is not based on Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass. The director speaks.
A mimsy minion reports that popular Canadian TV series Murdoch Mysteries offered an episode where a murder is committed at a Wonderland-themed party, and Murdoch himself is suspected.
To read IMDB’s description of the episode, click me.
You can buy the episode on Amazon Instant Video for $2.99.
Reminder: If you do shop on Amazon, remember that by using their Amazon Smile site, you can designate a worthy charity to receive a tiny portion of the proceeds for each purchase you make.
What better way to start the new year than with a classic 1930’s Alice-themed cartoon? Here is Betty Boop as Alice, in a “Blunderland” that only Max Fleischer could have dreamed up. If you haven’t seen this in a while, or if (gasp!) you’ve never seen it, sit back and enjoy! (If the video doesn’t display below, try reloading this page.)
Here is another missive from one of our most active minions:
“Carroll’s Isa Bowman and ’60s icon Petula Clark? In the same movie!? Yep, Vote for Huggett (1949) featured Isa (then 75), her sisters Nellie and Empsie Bowman, and former child star Petula Clark (17, singing “In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree”). Also in the cast were David Tomlinson (George Banks in Mary Poppins), popular screen beauty Diana Dors (18), and Anthony Newley. Based on the radio series Meet the Huggets (1953–61), the movie is now available in a 4-DVD set called The Huggetts Collection, from ITV.”
Isa Bowman of course was one of Lewis Carroll’s closest child friends after Alice, and wrote a book about her visits with him, Lewis Carroll As I Knew Him (and later published under another title, as well). She had a small role in the first authorized stage production of Alice in London, and played the role of Alice in the revival a few years later.
You can also find the set available from various vendors via Amazon.com. To see a list, click me.
PLEASE NOTE: If you are considering buying these DVDs, they are encoded for Region 2, so they will not play on standard U.S. DVD players.
If you attended our fall meeting in Los Angeles, you may have already seen a sample of this new tool in action: a company called Plotagon has created an Alice in Wonderland pack for their animated movie creation software. All you need to do is write your own story, add it to Plotagon’s software, and the Wonderland avatars then perform your script. The tool is currently in Beta (final testing) stage, and at the moment it’s completely free to download and use.
Please read their FAQs and Terms of Service carefully before you start. If you want to share your little featurettes, you would need to upload your finished project to Plotagon’s web site, and share a link from there. And while you retain rights to any original story you create, Plotagon retains rights to all aspects of their software, so you are creating projects with joint ownership. There is of course also the likelihood that Plotagon will charge for use of the software and/or hosting down the road. For now, however, we have been assured it’s free to download and use.
To learn more and download the software, click me.
If you check it out, let us know what you think!
Memory lane is strewn with many curious things, including Wonderland-themed musical numbers from various television shows. Here, in Episode 506 of The Muppet Show, a young and charming Brooke Shields (whose singing has improved significantly since this very early effort) plays the role of Alice in a musical number about her trip down the rabbit hole, appropriately titled “Falling.”
All sorts of odd Jim Henson creatures float by Alice as she falls. Doctor Teeth’s head is on the Cheshire Cat’s body, and he gets to sing the best lyrical zinger, one that pretty much sums up most Alice adaptations. Listen for it!
Thanks to one of our mimsy minions for sending along the link to this amusing vintage clip. (If the video doesn’t show below, try refreshing this page.)