In 1949, puppeteer Lou Bunin created a feature length stop-motion animation film adaptation of Alice in Wonderland starring Carol Marsh as a live-action Alice. A lawsuit from Walt Disney prevented it from being widely released in the U.S., so that it would not compete with Disney‘s forthcoming 1951 animated version. For full details, read the Time Magazine article from July 16th, 1951.
Walt Disney‘s 1951 animated Alice In Wonderland also incorporates elements from Through The Looking Glass, including The Jabberwocky and The Walrus & The Carpenter. Kathryn Beaumont was the voice of Alice.
1966 was an amazing year for Wonderland with the release of four Alice inspired films. United Productions of America (creators of Mr. Magoo) released a 52-minute animated feature called Alice of Wonderland in Paris, in which Alice, now a celebrity due to her Wonderland adventures, dreams of visiting Paris. A talking mouse named Francois uses a magical mushroom to shrink Alice & together they explore Paris as Francois narrates a series of Parisian themed short stories. The cartoon has little connection to the original stories other than a brief mention of Lewis Carroll‘s book & the magic mushroom. The characters were voiced by actors Carl Reiner, Allen Swift, Howard Morris, and Norma MacMillan who played Alice.
Hanna Barabera‘s Alice in Wonderland, or What’s a Nice Kid Like You Doing in a Place Like This? also aired as a TV special in 1966. It featured the vocal talents of Sammy Davis Jr. as the Cheshire Cat, Zsa Zsa Gabor as the Queen of Hearts, Mel Blanc as the Caterpillar, Harvey Korman as the Mad Hatter, and starred Doris Drew as Alice.
A live action BBC made-for-TV movie directed by Jonathan Miller aired on December 28th, 1966 as “The Wednesday Play” Alice in Wonderland & starred Peter Sellers (King of Hearts), Sir John Geilgud (Mock Turtle), Michael Redgrave (Caterpillar), and Anne-Marie Mallik (Alice). Music for the film was written by Ravi Shankar & the Caucus Race scene features an uncredited performance by a very young Eric Idle (Monty Python).
A musical rendition entitled Alice Through The Looking Glass also aired on NBC television in 1966. The full-color feature boasted a star studded cast featuring Judi Rolin (Irish Whiskey Rebellion) as Alice, Ricardo Montalban (Fantasy Island) as the White King, Agnes Moorehead (Bewitched) as The Red Queen, Tom & Dick Smothers (The Smothers Brothers Show) as Tweedledee and Tweedledum, Jack Palance (Ripley’s Believe It or Not!) as the Jabberwock, and Jimmy Durante (It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World) as Humpty Dumpty.
Another musical version emerged in 1972. Written and directed by William Sterling, Alice’s Adventure’s In Wonderland starred Fiona Fullerton as Alice, Peter Sellers as the March Hare, Dudley Moore as the Dormouse, Michael Crawford as the White Rabbit, and Michael Jayston as Lewis Carroll/Charles Dodgson.
The first pornographic version, Alice in Wonderland: An X-Rated Musical Fantasy, was released in 1976 (it had to happen eventually) combining Lewis Carroll‘s characters with elaborate song and dance numbers, offbeat comedy, and sexual content.
Terry Gilliam‘s Jabberwocky was released in 1977. It featured several of the comedic geniusses behind Monty Python’s Flying Circus including Gilliam, who also directed, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin who stars as the reluctant hero who, through a series of clumsy, slapstick misfortunes, is forced to hunt down a terrible dragon, the Jabberwock, after the death of his father.
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