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Alice in Wonderland (1933 film) facts for kids

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Alice in Wonderland
Alice In Wonderland 1933 Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Norman Z. McLeod
Produced by Louis D. Lighton (uncredited)
Screenplay by
Starring
Music by Dimitri Tiomkin
Cinematography
  • Bert Glennon
  • Henry Sharp
Editing by Ellsworth Hoagland (uncredited)
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) December 22, 1933 (1933-12-22)
Running time 77 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Alice in Wonderland is a 1933 American pre-Code fantasy film adapted from the novels by Lewis Carroll. The film was produced by Paramount Pictures, featuring an all-star cast. It is all live-action, except for the Walrus and The Carpenter sequence, which was animated by Harman-Ising Studio.

Stars featured include W. C. Fields as Humpty Dumpty, Edna May Oliver as the Red Queen, Cary Grant as the Mock Turtle (Grant's star was still on the ascent at the time), Gary Cooper as The White Knight, Edward Everett Horton as The Hatter, Charles Ruggles as The March Hare, and Baby LeRoy as The Joker. Charlotte Henry had her first leading role as Alice.

This adaptation was directed by Norman Z. McLeod from a screenplay by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and William Cameron Menzies, based on Lewis Carroll's books Alice in Wonderland (1865) and Alice Through the Looking-Glass (1871). It also drew heavily from Eva Le Gallienne and Florida Friebus's then-recent stage adaptation.

The film is occasionally broadcast on cable television channels such as Turner Classic Movies. When Paramount previewed the film in 1933, the original running time was 90 minutes. However, by the time it was shown to the press, it was truncated to 77 minutes (many reviews, including the savage one it received in Variety, made a point of how long it seemed at an hour-and-a-quarter). Despite the film being released at this shorter time, it is often mistakenly reported that Universal Pictures edited it when they bought the television rights in the late 1950s. Universal released the film on DVD on March 2, 2010, marking the film's first home video release.

Plot

Left alone with a governess one snowy afternoon (Alice's sister does not appear in this version since Alice is indoors in this version), a bored Alice idly starts to wonder what life is like on the other side of the drawing-room mirror. With a sudden surge of confidence, she climbs upon the mantelpiece to look. She discovers that she can pass through the looking glass and finds herself in a strange room where many things seem to be the exact reverse of what is in the drawing-room. Strangely, through all of this, the governess doesn't seem to notice what has happened.

Alice looks out the window and suddenly sees a White Rabbit. She follows it to a rabbit hole and falls in. Seeing nobody else there, she comes upon a table with a key to a locked door, and a bottle that bears the sign "Drink Me". In a situation exactly reversed from the book, she grows to enormous size after drinking the bottle's contents. Unable to pass into the room beyond the locked door, she begins to cry. A cake with a sign saying "Eat Me" appears. She eats the cake, shrinks to a tiny size, and is immediately swept along into a flood caused by her own tears.

Many more of her adventures follow, combining sections of Through the Looking Glass with the original Alice. In the end, Alice is awakened from her dream, not by the "pack of playing cards", but by a riotous celebration that goes completely haywire after she is crowned Queen.

Cast

In alphabetical order as

Uncredited

  • Billy Barty as White Pawn/The Pig-Baby
  • Billy Bevan as Two of Spades
  • Colin Campbell as Frog Gardener
  • Jack Duffy as Leg of Mutton
  • Meyer Grace as the Third Executioner
  • Ethel Griffies as Ms. Simpson
  • Charles McNaughton as Five of Spades
  • Patsy O'Byrne as Aunt
  • George Ovey as Plum Pudding
  • Will Stanton as Seven of Spades
  • Joe Torillo as Second Executioner
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