Arts Entertainments

Alice in Wonderland (1951) Bluray Review

I think that Disney’s 1951 version of Alice in Wonderland is not only my favorite adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice stories, but probably my favorite cartoon from the “Golden Age” of animated feature color films of the world. study that began with Snow White in 1937; Although it could easily have been different for more than a decade before and before the creation of Mickey Mouse, Walt Disney and his founding partner Ub Iwerks produced their first short film Alice’s Wonderland (1923) that started a live-action series and an animated series. -reelers known simply as the “Alice Comedies”.

The success of the “Alice Comedies” allowed Disney to move from Kansas City to Hollywood and before they ended in 1927 it had already begun developing a feature film version that would be archived and returned several times before emerging as the studio’s thirteenth film. in the animated movie. Classics series. What struck me the most when I saw it for the first time as a child was how much more stylized it was than the usual bucolic Disney fair, such as Pinocchio or Bambi, and this more abstract, almost cubist style, conceived by the artist in the background. Mary Blair, intrigued and attracted me.

While there were surreal moments in previous Disney films like Fantasia and the hallucinogenic sequence Elephants on Parade in Dumbo, the visual chaos never remained like when Alice falls down the rabbit hole and enters the messy world of Lewis Carroll, who was inspired , in turn, in the avant-garde Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood of Victorian England, known for its fondness for mind-altering recreational drugs such as laudanum and absinthe; though as the son of a clergyman and professor of mathematics at Oxford University, the chaste Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) would never dream of indulging.

As with all of its Blu-ray releases, this Disney 60th Anniversary Edition, despite the age of the original material, is demo quality. I’d always thought Alice in Wonderland looked pretty sharp on DVD, but the color saturation, vibrancy, and clarity of 1080p / AVC MPEG-4 encoding is impressive. The film is presented in its original 1.33: 1 aspect ratio with the option to replace the black side bars with a very subtle piece of art that I must admit I prefer. The 5.1 DTS HD-MA mix is ​​well balanced maintaining clear dialogue while enhancing sound effects, songs, and incidental music with spatial surround sound that helps to immerse modern viewers.

This single disc contains all of the features included in the DVD release, most of which have been upgraded to HD, including the wonderful Mickey Mouse short Thru the Mirror inspired by Through the Looking-Glass, and what Alice found there, as well as the original silent short film. Alice’s Wonderland and a large amount of material removed. However, the best HD exclusive is Through the Keyhole: A Companion’s Guide to Wonderland, which expands the concept of picture-in-picture into a holistic “making of” that runs concurrently with the original film, providing a wealth of information on background on the production and the life and times of Charles Dodgson and Alice Liddell, the girl who was the inspiration for the stories of Wonderland.

Disney has never missed a trick to highlight its previous catalog, but the quality of these high-definition releases continues to amaze me and it’s hard to imagine that what we’re seeing now won’t stay as the definitive versions of these timeless classics, I am. eagerly awaiting Peter Pan’s next installment.

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