Assuming the filmmakers don’t meet with a Boojum, there will be a British stop-motion animation of Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark released in 2012. Our very own Andrew Sellon (LCSNA President emeritus) recorded some voice over work, including the role of the Judge!
The Hunting of the Snark is an animated feature about a group of strange individuals that embark on a voyage with the aim of capturing “The Snark,” regardless of the fact that none of them even know what it is, or how to catch it, the film is directed by Saranne Bensusan with several other confirmed crew members.
If you recall, Disney re-released their 1951 animated feature Alice in Wonderland on DVD last year in conjunction with their new Tim Burton version: a “2-Disc Special Un-Anniversary Edition“. This is still available, and contains the following special features:
oReflections on Alice: Walt Disney labored for almost twenty years to get his vision of Alice in Wonderland on the screen. In this featurette, learn about how a exceptional group of talented individuals conquered the difficulties of translating Lewis Carroll’s beloved tale into a classic animated movie
oDeleted scene: Pig And Pepper: In the twenty years it was in development at the Walt Disney Studios, Alice In Wonderland went through many changes. This rare glimpse at a scene that was once considered for a 1939 version of Alice In Wonderland is narrated by the directors of The Princess And The Frog, and offers their informed perspective on how scenes come and go during the development of an animated movie
oRemastered and restored with an all-new transfer
oVirtual Wonderland Party activities including riddles, silly song & dance, Teapot orchestra, Mad Hatter Says, and other games and stories
o”Thru the Mirror” animated short with Mickey Mouse
o”I’m Odd” never before heard song
o2 Sing along songs
o”One Hour in Wonderland” documentary (60 mins.)
o”An Alice Comedy: Alice’s Wonderland” featurette (8 mins.)
o”Operation Wonderland” featurette (11 mins.)
oExcerpt from “The Fred Warring Show” (30 mins.)
oDeleted Material Featurettes: “From Wonderland to Never Land,” “Song Demos,” Deleted Storyboard Concept: Alice Daydreams in the Park”
oOriginal Walt Disney TV introductions and trailers
Kathryn Beaumont with Walt Disney c. 1949
Now, on February 1st, Disney is issuing again their 1951 animated feature Alice in Wonderland, a “Two-Disc 60th Anniversary Blu-ray/DVD Combo“. We look forward to 2012′s Special 61st Re-Un-Anniversary Edition. In the Knight Letter 85 (now available!), we mentioned that Kathryn Beaumont, “voice of both Disney’s Alice and Wendy from Peter Pan, appeared at the Walt Disney Museum in San Francisco on May 22, 2010, to share her memories as a voice-over artist. The actress, who turned 72 [last] year, was recently heard in the video game ‘Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep’ as the voice of ‘Kairi’s Grandma.’ She will also be introducing the special feature ‘Through the Keyhole: A Companion’s Guide to Wonderland’ in the digital remastering of the 1951 film to be re-re-re-re-released in February 2011.” I do not know if this 2011 edition is significantly more remastered than the 2010 edition, but for shopping comparison, I’ll quote the full special features on the new one also:
o New BD Features
o Through the Keyhole: A Companion’s Guide to Wonderland – View the movie in this special mode and discover references to the original Lewis Carroll classic – introduced by the voice of Alice, Kathryn Beaumont.
o Disney View – Watch the movie in this expanded viewing experience with new Disney art in the wings of the screen
o Painting the Roses Red game – Help paint the roses red in the Queen’s garden. Careful, or someone could lose their head
o Walt Disney color TV introduction (1959) – A never-before-seen color TV intro by Walt
o Reference Footage: Alice and the Doorknob – Kathryn Beaumont provides an introduction to this newly discovered reference footage of Alice talking to the doorknob
o Pencil Test: Alice Shrinks – Kathryn Beaumont introduces a newly discovered pencil test of Alice shrinking
• PLUS, Classic DVD Features:
o Reflections on Alice
o Operation Wonderland (now in hi-def)
o “I’m Odd” newly discovered Cheshire Cat song and intro
o Thru the Mirror Mickey Mouse animated short (now in hi-def)
o One-hour in Wonderland
o An Alice Comedy: Alice’s Wonderland
o Original theatrical trailers (1951 & 1974)
So, lots of new stuff! But, for some reason, not all of the stuff from the 2010 release. If you want to read more about Beaumont’s appearance at the Disney Family Museum last year, there was an article about it on blog Disney Fan Insider here.
This has been out for a year, but it’s the first time it came across our desk. The LCSNA member who forwarded it to us suspected that it was “execrable.” It’s a 2009 low budget documentary called Initiation of Alice in Wonderland: The Looking Glass of Lewis Carroll ($24.95) directed by Not Provided and starring Artist Not Provided. (Personally, I prefer their earlier work.) I would never judge harshly without seeing it, but luckily there are some Amazon.com customer reviews which have done that for me, with some disturbing facts about the movie’s mistakes:
“Worse than just a boring, repetitive ripoff off old biographies, this film ‘stars’ the director’s daughter mugging for the camera over and over. The director’s own bias towards the mystical warps Lewis Carroll into some chemical character. The most awful part here is the terribly Photoshopped picture of Lewis Carroll embracing and kissing Alice Liddell !? This is shown maybe 10 times throughout the film. If there is a Liddell or Dodgson estate extant, they should sue. ” -B. T Weddleton
“…it is filled with misinformation. For one example, every time the narrator discusses the family of Alice Liddell, a picture is shown of Carroll with the wife and children of George MacDonald, another Victorian author.” -Melody Green
Anyone else who has seen it, please leave your thoughts in the comments. And, since there’s no record of it on imdb or elsewhere, can anyone supply a name for the anonymous people responsible for this project?
Issue 48, Fall 2010, of Bitch Magazine, “The Make-Believe Issue,” includes “Alice in Adaptation-Land—How wanderer Alice became warrior Alice, and why.”
In the well-written article, Kristina Aikens makes the interesting point that the Carroll’s curious Alice is more of a feminist icon than Burton’s Alice that puts on armor, kills the Jabberwock, and seeks to colonize China.
Many Lewis Carroll lovers have been awaiting Marilyn Manson’spromised Dodgson movie with varying degrees of dread. The latest news, according to contactmusic.com, is that the studio has shelved the project:
Lily Cole & Marilyn Manson
Viewers were left shocked after disturbing clips from The Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll hit the internet, with the 22 year old [Lily Cole] appearing as Alice [Liddell] in a story about the Alice In Wonderland author.
Studio bosses have since decided to shut down the entire project, which was directed by goth rocker Marilyn Manson and also stars Tilda Swinton.
A source tells Britain’s Mail on Sunday, “The trailer caused such a backlash that a decision was made to close down the project. It’s unlikely it will ever see the light of day.”
According to the publication, the film is now officially on ‘indefinite production hold’.
Of course, sometimes studio suppression can increase interest (remember Terry Gilliam’s Brazil?), especially with a famous director and juicy controversy – but, at least for the time being…. phew?
When our cousins the Lewis Carroll Society of Brazil held their first “Alice Day” in May this year, one of the main events was the live performance of a new soundtrack to the silent Alice in Wonderland (1903). The music was composed by Paulo Beto and performed by the band Frame Circus on keyboards, cello, percussion and Theremin.
Thank you to Adriana Peliano for sending us news of the event. Adriana tends Alicenations, the blog of the Lewis Carroll Society of Brazil. The above video featured in her Alice Day blog post, along with another soundtrack by Frame Circus, and a video of Leon Theremin playing his own instrument.
Shelby Tashlin of Las Vegas walked to the counter clutching a boxed edition of “Alice in Wonderland” containing an etching and 12 lithographs by Salvador Dalí. Ms. Tashlin’s opening thrust: the Dali prints were limited in number. Mr. Harrison’s parry: “He’s pretty well known for fudging numbers.” Mr. Harrison spoke about etching versus lithography and allowed that Dalí and Lewis Carroll were a “wonderful combination.” Then it was time for business. Ms. Tashlin wanted $10,000. Mr. Harrison asked if she had taken a little blue pill, and offered $5,000.
She politely declined and walked away still clutching “Alice in Wonderland.” “I was hoping it would go the other way, but I’m not surprised,” she would tell a reporter later.
According to the Wikipedia, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland is now behind only two James Cameron films, the final Lord of the Rings movie, & another Disney Johnny Depp flick, as the highest grossing movie world-wide (of all time, partly adjusted for inflation.) They discuss the difficulties of calculating these figures meaningfully (inflation, ticket-price inflation, population and distribution, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.)
In comparison, in their “List of Highest Grossing Films in the U.S. and Canada: Not Adjusted for Inflation”, Alice in Wonderland is merely 20th, just above Forrest Gump. It is still the highest grossing film of 2010. Not bad for a movie sort-of based on a Victorian-era children’s book with no linear narrative. And also, a bit of an Alice-redemption for the Disney Corporation, whose 1951 version received sour reviews and box office disappointment.
Some light entertainment for your Sunday morning: Where would you put a life-size cut-out of Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen (yours for only $34.95 from AG)? I would like to think of her used to direct attention to a particularly important agenda item, or perhaps to direct traffic (to the left).
I have to admit I am featuring this item mainly because the idea of the company made me giggle: AG, “Home of Cardboard People” is “the world’s largest manufacturer of cardboard standups.” Where “our kind of people are cardboard people.”
But fans of Disney’s 1951 Alice in Wonderland may like to ask why it is possible to purchase a three-foot-tall cut out of Dumbo, but no Alice and no Cheshire Cat? Who exactly is the target audience? Does the Dumbo fan club really wield more eccentric purchasing power than the fans of Alice? Say it isn’t so!