Animation Evolution: Alice in Wonderland (1951)


Alice in Wonderland (1951)

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Fantasy, Family

Plot: A young girl named Alice finds herself lost in Wonderland. How will she ever get back?

IMDb: 7.4 of 102,000+


What I Didn’t Like:

The songs in this film are forgettable. Nothing to do with the voices, they are smooth and melodic, but I couldn’t care less about the lyrics. They weren’t catchy, they don’t need to be remembered.

I don’t like Alice as a protagonist all that much. Her voice gets on my nerves. She is also so dainty. I suppose that is the point (she isn’t exactly Wonder Woman). She is young and naive to a frustrating point. However, this protagonist does rebel against the society in which she lives in. She has an inquisitive nature that I consider a strength.  While Disney has ways to go to create more positive and independent female figures, this is a step in the right direction.

The direction of this film is messy and while I don’t reduce anything for not being true to Carroll’s version, some gentle guidance could have assisted the film in spots.Too often it meanders off course

Once you get to the main conflict, it gets resolved quite quickly. I suppose you could argue that the conflict is Alice vs society of Wonderland. Again, the portrayal of women in this movie isn’t great. You have the young naive adventurer and then you have the hostile brutish Red Queen.  According to Disney, if you are a woman, you are either a dainty princess lacking brains, brawn, or common sense (a sense of adventure, though) or you are a single, petty, and violent figure. There is no in between (and it doesn’t get better anytime soon).

What I Liked:

Wonderland is absolutely brilliant. The settings of the world are very imaginative, the characters colorful both is appearance and in personality. There is a touch of satire and social commentary between genders and class structure.

Yes, it is still a drug-induced fever dream of a film. Twisted imagery and suggestive language and actions to say the least. It’s one crazy animated scene after another of these fascinating creatures.

I must admit I love the Chesire Cat in this film. He always winds up being my favorite in any version, but his semi-philosophical rants, limericks, and lunacy are special.


Alice in Wonderland may struggle with direction and its main protagonist, but Wonderland is an incredible adventure to witness. Amazing secondary characters and quality animation make this film worthy of your time.


Would I Show it to My Theoretical Children?

Yes, but I’d warn them about the dangers of eating mushrooms or doing hits of acid at some future time.

The Ladder

Bambi (1942)

Pinocchio (1940)

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

Cinderella (1950)-

Alice in Wonderland (1951)

Dumbo (1941)




6 thoughts on “Animation Evolution: Alice in Wonderland (1951)

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