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Customer Review

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining and good-looking TV film for the family!, October 5, 2000
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This review is from: Alice in Wonderland (DVD)
In 1999, NBC broadcast a new version of Alice in Wonderland, created by the same folks who produced Gulliver's Travels, Merlin, and Noah's Ark. This star-studded version had Tina Majorino (from Waterworld) as a winsome Alice, and other stars like Whoopi Goldberg as the Cheshire Cat, Miranda Richardson (Crying Game) as a rather high-pitched, shrill Queen of Hearts, and Martin Short as a very amusing Mad Hatter. There are plenty of other stars, of course, but these are the ones you will notice the most. This particular production is a loose adaptation, really. It incorporates portions of both Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. And it adds a new twist - Alice runs after the White Rabbit not out of curiosity from boredom but rather to escape from having to sing a song in front of many strangers at her parents' party. Her adventures in Wonderland as thus partially about how she summons the courage to overcome this stage-fright, and when she does, she returns to the real world. In the meantime, we see the usual interesting episodes in Wonderland - the Mad Tea Cup party, the croquet match, Twiddledee and Twiddledum, the trial of tarts, the Duchess and her baby pig and cheshire cat, etc. There are even a few songs scattered here and there in the film - the songs, for the most part, are nothing special but they do not distract much from the movie (some folks may also remember a 4-hour TV miniseries on the Alice books, filled with songs, from the 1980s; this was also star-studded and probably more faithful to the books but the songs were annoying).
The best thing about this new Alice film are the special effects. They are amazing and create a most bizarre, surreal, and colorful version of Wonderland. This makes the film great fun to look at. Also, Tina Majorino does a great job as Alice, and we really grow to really like her and sympathize for her as the film progresses. Martin Short, as I mentioned, is pretty funny, too. This is definitely a film the whole family can enjoy, and there is nothing offensive in the film at all. If you liked this film when you first saw it on TV, purchase it! I did! Currently, it sells for less than 10 dollars on some internet sites! Quite a bargain.
Finally, just a few words on the DVD itself. The colors are superb and the picture quality is clear and outstanding. Sound quality is quite good - it won't give the subwoofers any workout, but nonetheless, it sounds very good for a TV broadcast. Extras on the disc include the usual suspects - film production notes, cast notes, trailer, close captioning (instead of subtitles). There is also a small section showing the original illustrations of the Alice books, and lastly, a small section about the inspiration for the Alice books (quite informative for those who do not know about the real-life inspiration for Alice).
So, all in all, the DVD is worth the purchase and makes for many fun re-watching sessions for the kids. A good family recommendation!
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Location: Kensington, Maryland USA

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