- For the titular character, see Alice.
- For the Disneyland attraction, see Alice in Wonderland (Disneyland attraction).
- For the 2010 live action film directed by Tim Burton, see Alice in Wonderland (2010 film)
- For the Music Theatre International show, see Disney's Alice in Wonderland Jr.
Alice in Wonderland is the thirteenth animated feature film produced by Walt Disney in the Disney animated feature canon. and originally premiered in London, England on July 26, 1951 by Walt Disney Pictures. Lewis Carroll's books Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass have been frequently adapted for film; this adaptation solved the problems of the setting by using animation. The film features the voices of Kathryn Beaumont as Alice (also voice of Wendy Darling in the later Disney feature film, Peter Pan) and Ed Wynn as the Mad Hatter. Made under the supervision of Walt Disney himself, this film and its animation are often regarded as some of the finest work in Disney studio history, despite the lackluster, even hostile, reviews it originally received, especially in the UK. This film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score (Scoring of a Musical Picture), but lost to another movie.
The film opens on a golden summer day in the park. Alice is listening to her sister read aloud from a history book, to which Alice vocally expresses her boredom. Wandering off without her sister noticing, Alice lays down on a riverbank wishing that she had a world of her own. Suddenly Alice sees a white rabbit wearing spectacles, a red waistcoat and carrying a large, golden pocket watch. He frantically exclaims how late he is, which sparks Alice's curiosity and causes her to follow him down a rabbit hole. As Alice crawls deep inside, the rabbit hole dips suddenly down, causing her to fall into it. Unable to do anything about the situation she was in, Alice slows down her fall. Amazed at what just happened, Alice continues to float down the rabbit hole wondering what would happen to her. Without anything else to do, Alice decides to admire the decorations and knick knacks adorning the walls of the rabbit hole. She lands upside down and follows the rabbit into a large hallway with a tiny door at the other end barely big enough for Alice's head. The Doorknob tells her that drinking from a bottle marked "Drink me" will help her (she is startled to find that the bottle and the table it's sitting on have appeared out of nowhere). Alice drinks the bottle's contents and starts shrinking until she becomes the right size, but the Doorknob reveals that he's locked. Frustrated, Alice is told by the Doorknob that a cookie marked "Eat me" will help her reach the key that's mysteriously appeared on the now giant glass table (the box of cookies also has materialized out of nowhere). This time when Alice starts eating the cookie, she suddenly grows so large that her head and legs are cramped in the hallway.
Alice begins to cry hysterically, her massive tears flooding the room. The Doorknob points out that the "Drink me" bottle still has some fluid inside, so Alice sips some the best she can at her height. Alice suddenly shrinks and becomes so small that she fits inside the bottle. Both she and the bottle travel through the doorknob's keyhole mouth and out to a sea made from Alice's tears. A group of animals, led by a dodo, engage in a caucus race (a race with no real ending or winner) in order to get dry. Alice spots the White Rabbit and follows him into a secluded glade in the middle of a thick forest. It is here that she meets Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, two fat brothers who take particular delight in reciting poems and songs. They perform a poem for Alice called "The Walrus and the Carpenter," which tells of the two titular characters luring some oysters to their lair and subsequently eating them all. Alice sneaks away as they attempt to recite another poem for her, and she comes upon the White Rabbit's house, with its owner inside.
Before Alice has a chance to ask him why he is so frantically late, he berates her, thinking her to be his housemaid, Mary Ann, and orders her to fetch his gloves from his bedroom. Inside, Alice decides to eat another cookie, resulting her into growing so large that she gets stuck inside the house, her arms and legs sticking out of the windows. The White Rabbit pleas for the help of the Dodo to get her out, thinking her to be some sort of ferocious monster. The Dodo summons a chimney sweep lizard named Bill to rip the house's chimney off. Bill's scampering down the chimney causes soot to rise and Alice to sneeze, shooting Bill up towards the sky. The Dodo then attempts to burn the house down using some of the White Rabbit's broken furniture, much to his dismay. Alice frantically looks for a solution to her dilemma, and finds one in the form of a carrot in the White Rabbit's garden. After eating, Alice shrinks down to three inches in size. The Rabbit runs off again, this time into a garden of flowers. Because of Alice's size, the flowers are as tall as trees to her. Initially they're eager to entertain her, but when she reveals that she's not a flower, they suspect that she may be a weed and throw her out in a panic.
Alice gets over her annoyance at their rudeness quickly when she sees a blue caterpillar blowing smoke rings in the air. Each ring takes the form of a letter or symbol that the Caterpillar is saying. Despite her best efforts to ask him how to grow tall again, the Caterpillar continually interrupts her, commanding her to recite various bizarre poems. He grows angry at her displeasure of being the same height as him, and turns into a butterfly in a rage, though not before giving her cryptic advice about the mushroom she is sitting on. Alice breaks off two pieces from either side of the mushroom. She takes a bite of the first piece which causes her to grow so tall that her head sticks out of the trees and alarms a nesting mother bird that thinks she is a serpent. She then takes a bite of the second piece and shrinks back down to three inches high. With a small lick of the first piece, Alice finally grows back to her normal size and decides to put both mushroom pieces into her pockets.
Wandering through the woods, she meets the Cheshire Cat, an eerily grinning feline that can disappear and reappear at will. Alice tries her best to ask him where the White Rabbit has gone to, but her attempts are futile as he speaks vaguely and in riddles. He finally points her in the direction of the March Hare's house. It is here that Alice sees a long tea table set up outside with the March Hare himself accompanied by a Mad Hatter and a Dormouse. She finds out that they are celebrating their unbirthdays, which is a day of the year when it is not one's birthday. Alice is briefly included in the celebrations before they manically dash about the tea table, offering Alice tea but never actually giving her any. When the White Rabbit shows up, the Hatter and Hare attempt to fix his pocket watch, but end up destroying it in the process. After they've literally thrown him out of the tea table, Alice tries to run after him but finds that he has disappeared again. Soon Alice gives up trying to track the White Rabbit down, and decides to spend her time trying to get back home. She finds herself more and more lost in a forest called Tulgey Wood, which is filled with bizarre creatures that either snap at Alice or pay no attention to her at all. She breaks down crying, and finds the Cheshire Cat again. He opens a door in a tree that leads to a seemingly neverending hedge maze, telling Alice that the Queen of Hearts could possibly help her.
She meets some giant playing cards who are painting white roses red since the Queen only prefers red and will behead them if she discovers their mistake. Alice tries to help them, but the White Rabbit appears and heralds the arrival of the Queen, her significantly shorter husband, and her massive pack of cards army. The Queen has a ferocious temper and is prone to having anyone beheaded at a moment's notice, to which she applies to the card painters who unsuccessfully painted the white roses. Randomly switching between bipolar moods, she invites Alice to play a game of croquet with her, using flamingos as mallets, hedgehogs as balls, and card soldiers as goals. The Queen actively cheats during the game, and beheads anyone who dares stand in the way of her victory. The Cheshire Cat appears and attaches the beak of the Queen's flamingo mallet to the bottom of her dress, resulting in her toppling over and revealing her underwear. The Cat disappears in time to make it look like Alice was the prankster, but before the Queen can order her execution, the King suggests they have a trial.
The Dormouse, the March Hare, and the Mad Hatter all come forth as witnesses that add nothing whatsoever to the trial at hand. When the subject of unbirthdays arise, everyone in the courtroom celebrates the Queen's. Thanks to some more mischief by the Cheshire Cat, pandemonium ensues. Alice suddenly remembers that the mushrooms were still in her pocket and shoves both pieces into her mouth, growing to gigantic proportions. At this size, Alice scolds the Queen for her rash behavior, but then starts shrinking back to her normal size all too soon.
The Queen orders for her guards to execute Alice, which results in a frantic chase through Wonderland. Various characters Alice met on her journey appear and inexplicably join the Queen and her guards in their pursuit. Coming back to the Doorknob, Alice is told by him that he's still locked, and that she's already on the other side. Looking through the keyhole, Alice sees herself asleep in the park. She urgently bangs on the door as the mob draws closer, until she gradually awakens to the sound of her sister's voice. The two of them return home for teatime while Alice muses on the idea that all of her adventures in Wonderland had been but a dream.
- Kathryn Beaumont as Alice
- Ed Wynn as Mad Hatter
- Jerry Colonna as March Hare
- Richard Haydn as Caterpillar
- Sterling Holloway as Cheshire Cat
- Verna Felton as Queen of Hearts
- J. Pat O'Malley as Tweedledum and Tweedledee/The Walrus and the Carpenter/Mother Oyster
- Bill Thompson as White Rabbit/Pat the Dodo
- Heather Angel as Mathilda (Alice's sister)
- Joseph Kearns as Doorknob
- Larry Grey as Bill the Lizard/Card Painter
- Queenie Leonard as A Bird in a Tree/Snooty Flower
- Dink Trout as King of Hearts
- Doris Lloyd as The Rose
- Jimmy MacDonald as The Dormouse
- The Mellomen (Thurl Ravenscroft, Bill Lee, Max Smith, and Bob Hamlin) as Card Painters
- Don Barclay as Other Cards
- Pinto Colvig as Flamingos (uncredited)
- Norma Zimmer as White Rose (uncredited)
- Marni Nixon as Singing Flower (uncredited)
- Lucille Bliss as Sunflower and Tunip
- Mel Blanc as Dinah/Wonderland creatures (uncredited)
Compared to the book
Characters not in the film
- The Duck and the lory
- The Puppy
- The Duchess, the Cook, the Baby and the Footmen (Frog & Fish)(seen in Deleted Scene "Pig and Pepper" on 2010 DVD)
- The Gryphon and the Mock Turtle(Was almost put in but deleted. However, did appear in Disney produced Jello commercials based around Alice in 1957)
- The Knight
- The Lion and the Unicorn
- The Knave of Hearts
- The Executioner(Seen in the Disneyland Ride)
- The White Queen
- Humpty Dumpty
- Jabberwocky (1951)
In the book
- When Alice falls down the rabbit hole in the book, there is no mentioning of her dress acting like a parachute.
- When Alice goes through the small door, the door does not talk, and Alice does not fall into the bottle.
- Having a Caucus Race to get dry, and Alice gives prizes, but the Dodo gives Alice her own items back to her as a prize.
- Tweedledum and Tweedledee's poem, The Walrus and the Carpenter, is slightly different. It is taken from Through the Looking-Glass.
- The Caterpillar requests Old Father William, not How Doth the Little Crocodile.
- The Tiger-Lily, the Rose and the Daisies were taken from Through the Looking-Glass.
- The pigeon is frightened because Alice’s neck stretches incredibly long, like a serpent's.
- The Hatter is called 'the Hatter', NOT 'the Mad Hatter'.
- The idea/topic of unbirthdays is not in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland but instead in Through the Looking-Glass. The Mad Hatter and the March Hare's never-ending tea party was originally a result of the Mad Hatter's falling out with Time, and it always being six o'clock, time for tea.
- The White Rabbit does not attend the tea party.
- It is the Hatter's watch that is broken, not the White Rabbits's. It is broken because the March Hare has put butter in it with the bread knife.
- Alice goes from the tea party to the Queen's garden, she does not get lost in Tulgey Wood. This scene is borrowed from ideas found in the poem Jabberwocky which is in Through the Looking Glass.
- The gardeners are the two, five and seven of spades, but in the film they are the ace, two and three of clubs. In the book, spades are gardeners and clubs are soldiers.
- Alice hides the gardeners so that they will not be beheaded, but in the film this does not happen.
- The Gryphon tells Alice that executions ordered by the Queen are rarely carried out. There is no mention of this in the movie, where the Queen is portrayed as much more of a tyrant than Carroll intended her to be.
- The Queen orders the execution of the Cheshire Cat (which fails as he only presents his head, and the executioner comments that he cannot behead a head without a body).
- The Queen of Heart's trial is about the Knave of Hearts of stealing her tarts, and Alice takes on the role of a witness.
- At the end of the trial after Alice grows larger she doesn't get smaller again and there is no nightmarish chase scene towards the end, before Alice wakes up.
Songs in Film
- "Alice in Wonderland (song)" - The Jud Conlon Chorus
- "In a World of My Own" (Alice's Theme) - Alice
- "I'm Late" - The White Rabbit
- "Sailor's Hornpipe" - The Dodo
- "The Caucus Race" - The Dodo and Animals
- "How Do You Do and Shake Hands" - Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum
- "The Walrus and the Carpenter (Song)" - Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum
- "Old Father William" - Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum
- "Smoke the Blighter Out" - The White Rabbit
- "All in the Golden Afternoon" - The Flowers and Alice
- "AEIOU" - The Caterpillar
- "Twas Brillig" - The Cheshire Cat
- "The Unbirthday Song" - The Mad Hatter, The March Hare, and Alice
- "Very Good Advice" - Alice
- "Painting the Roses Red" - The Playing Cards and Alice
- "Who's Been Painting My Roses Red?" - The Queen of Hearts and The Playing Cards
- "The Unbirthday Song (Reprise)" - The Mad Hatter, The March Hare, The Queen of Hearts, and The Playing Cards
- "The Caucus Race" (Reprise)" - The Entire Cast Minus Alice
- "Alice in Wonderland" (Reprise)" - The Jud Conlon Chorus
Songs written for film but not used
- "Beyond the Laughing Sky" - Alice (replaced by "In a World of My Own"; this melody was later used for "The Second Star to the Right" in Peter Pan)
- "Dream Caravan" - The Caterpillar (replaced by "A-E-I-O-U")
- "I'm Odd" - The Cheshire Cat (replaced by "Twas Brillig")
- "Beware the Jabberwock" - Chorus, referring to deleted character
- "So They Say" - Alice
- "If You'll Believe in Me" - The Lion and The Unicorn (deleted characters)
- "Beautiful Soup" - The Mock Turtle and The Gryphon (deleted characters) set to the tune of the Blue Danube.
- "Everything Has A Useness" - Meant for the Caterpillar, in which he explains to Alice that everything has a purpose—in this case, the use of the mushroom.
- "Curiosity" - Unknown purpose
- "Humpty Dumpty"
- "Speak Roughly To Your Little Boy" - From the original book, meant for the 1939 pitch with grotesque character designs.
- "Will You Join The Dance"
Home video releases
- Main article: Alice in Wonderland (video)
- In the opening credits, Lewis Carroll's name is incorrectly spelled "Carrol".
- When the head flower says "Sound your A, Lilly", a B-flat is actually sounded.
- This Disney animated feature was the first one in which the voice talent is credited on-screen with the characters they each play. This would not occur again until The Jungle Book.
- In "The Walrus and the Carpenter" sequence, the "R" in the word "March" on the mother oyster's calendar flashes. This alludes to the old adage about only eating oysters in a month with an R in its name. That is because the months without an R are the summer months (May through August), when oysters would not keep due to the heat in the days before refrigeration.
- The fish watching the Walrus that lures the oysters away look exactly the same as the fish (albeit recolored) that watch Pinocchio search for Monstro the whale in Pinocchio 1940.
- This film features more individual songs than any other Disney film. Fourteen original songs are included in the seventy-five minute run time.
- When the White Rabbit introduces the King of Hearts (after introducing the Queen of Hearts), a high-pitched voice can be heard cheering "Hooray!". Many people believe that Mickey Mouse is the one who is cheering.
- The blue bird seen in the beginning of the film is really from Bambi.
- When the Caterpillar says "Keep your temper" he is painted wrong; he is supposed to be blue with a light blue belly but at that moment he has a blue belly and a light blue left side.
- To this day, as one of the most beloved films of all time (despite being one of the most underrated and overlooked of Disney animated features), many of the characters have been represented at Disney theme parks, such as the title character, the White Rabbit, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, the Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts. Mr. Walrus is a very rare meetable character.
- The White Rabbits pocket watch's numbers change from regular to roman numbers just before the Mad Hatter takes it and tries to "fix" it.
- After the March Hare strikes the White Rabbit's pocket watch with a hammer, the picture becomes black and white rather than color for a few seconds. It is not known if this is intentional or not. A theory is that a part of the masters was lost and was replaced quietly with the black and white section, however as it fades to black and white gradually it may be a deliberate effect.
- The fanfare that played right after the song, "Painting the Roses Red", was the same as from Dumbo when it was played right after Timothy Mouse said "Dumbo the Great!".
- The flamingo from the Carnival of the Animals segment of Fantasia 2000 resembles the flamingos used by the Queen of Hearts.
- The book appears in the beginning of Pinocchio.
- The comic and graphic novel Wonderland is a sequel to the movie.
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