Fun Fact:
"In 1971 [Disney's] Alice in Wonderland was the top renting 12mm in every college town across the country, playing to capacity crowds in heavy smoke-filled fraternity houses, university theaters, discos and private homes, where it sometimes ran over and over again for an entire weekend.” - Will Brooker


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1951 film posterAlice in Wonderland (1951)

"Instead of trying to produce an animated "staged reading" of Carroll's books, Disney chose to focus on their whimsy and fantasy, using Carroll's prose as a beginning, not as an end unto itself." - Wikipedia


Although Walt Disney had been planning to make a feature film adaptation of Alice in Wonderland since the mid-1920’s, the project did not actually take shape until the late 1940s.  Disney’s version includes references to much of the content of Adventures in Wonderland as well as some elements from Through the Looking Glass. The mood of the film primarily is that of a whimsical musical comedy; Will Brooker in his book, Alice’s Adventures: Lewis Carroll in Popular Culture, notes that “much of the comedy of the film is inspired by the twentieth-century American tradition—Ed Wynn and Jerry Colonna’s Hatter and Hare evoke radio comedy badinage, the Cheshire Cat is ‘like Harpo with a voice’ “ (207).  Even so, many critics have also noted the more pronounced surreal and dark elements of this film, attributing this to Salvador Dali’s work on the film. This version of Alice is probably the best known and loved of all the adaptations, and has played a “significant role in shaping the popular conception of Alice’s iconography”  (Brooker 205).  In fact, many people born in the second half of the twentieth century only know Alice from watching this film and are actually surprised by what they find in Carroll’s novel. Below you can see clips of three scenes in the movie, the Caterpillar, the Mad Tea Party, and the Cheshire Cat, as well as the story board plan of the deleted scene, Alice in the Duchess' Kitchen.


Alice and the Caterpillar


Alice and the Cheshire Cat


A Mad Tea Party



Directed by: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske

by Walt Disney

Written by:
Winston Hibler, Ted Sears. Bill Peet, Erdman Penner, Joe Rinaldi, Milt Banta, William Cottrell, Dick Kelsey, Joe Grant, Dick Huemer, Del Connell, Tom Oreb, John Walbridge

Kathryn Beaumont, Ed Wynn, Richard Haydn, Sterling Holloway, Jerry Colonna, Verna Felton, J. Pat O'Malley, Bill Thompson, Heather Angel, Joseph Kearns, Larry Grey, Queenie Leonard, Dink Trout, Doris Lloyd, James MacDonald, The Mellomen, Don Barclay

Music by
: Oliver Wallace

Release date:
July 28, 1951 (United States)

Running time:
75 minutes

United States


Lenny's Alice in Wonderland Site
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