Alice In Wonderland: 60th Anniversary Edition

Featured In Issue 154, February 2011

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Walt Disney Home Entertainment
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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A, B & C
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Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske & Wilfred Jackson
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Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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Alice In Wonderland is a story about a young girl who grows bored listening to her older sister read aloud from a history book about William I of England. While dozing off, she dreams about falling down a rabbit hole ("Wonderland") that is populated by a peculiar series of misadventures. The always-sensible Alice whirls through a world of contradictions, imagination, and surprises where she encounters amazing creatures—including a pocket-watch-toting White Rabbit, the imperious Queen of Hearts and her army of playing cards, a Cheshire Cat with a lingering smile in an unforgettable fantasy, and the off-kilter Madhatter—and tests her sensibility and courage. In the end it's all a dream and she is awakened by her sister's voice. As the two of them return home for tea time she realizes that perhaps logic and reason exist for a purpose. And in return, her sister realizes affectionately that Alice is still young but will grow up in time. An adaptation of Lewis Carrol's The Adventures Of Alice In Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass. (Gary Reber)

Special features include the Bonus View "Through The Keyhole: A Companion's Guide To Wonderland" (HD 76:16); Disney View, with new Disney art in the wings of the screen; the Painting The Roses game; the Walt Disney Color TV Introduction (1959), a never-before-seen color TV intro by Walt (HD 01:15); "Reference Footage: Alice And The Doorknob," with Kathryn Beaumont (the voice of Alice) providing an introduction to this newly discovered featurette (HD 01:33); Pencil Test: Alice Shrinks with Beaumont introducing a newly discovered pencil test of Alice shrinking (HD 0:54); Reflections Of Alice (SD 18:37); Operation Wonderland (HD 10:59); I'm Odd, the Cheshire Cat song (SD 03:56); the Mickey Mouse animated short Thru The Mirror (HD 08:49); One Hour In Wonderland (SD 59:26); An Alice Comedy: Alice's Wonderland (SD 08:06); original theatrical trailers; Walt Disney TV introductions from 1954 and 1964 (SD 02:30); The Fred Waring Show excerpt (SD 30:57); deleted materials: the deleted scene "Pig And Pepper," "From Wonderland To Neverland: The Evolution Of A Song," a deleted storyboard concept: "Alice Daydreams In The Park," and original song demos: "Beware The Jabberwock," "Everything Has A Useness," "So They Say," "Beautiful Soup," "Dream Caravan," and "If You'll Believe In Me;" an interactive art gallery; up-front previews; and BD-Live functionality.

The 1080p AVC picture is superb, with a freshness that is engaging throughout. This iconic classic has never looked better on home video. The frame-by-frame restoration is meticulous in terms of color fidelity and resolution. Colors are perfectly saturated, with vivid and rich hues that pop, for an extremely crisp and clean appearance. Black levels are deep and solid. The characters are distinctive and beautifully rendered, with vibrant color and expression. The animators' subtle stokes are perfectly reproduced in the hand-drawn frames. The overall imagery is pristine, which is remarkable, given that the material is 60 years old. This is a meticulous and gorgeous restoration that will impress the entire family. (Gary Reber)

The original theatrical soundtrack was recorded in the monaural RCA Recording Process. The re-mastered DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack, while modest in dimensionality and dynamics, is nevertheless a remarkable achievement. The frontal soundstage is effectively wide, and the surround presence enhances the sense of a large enveloping soundfield. Voices are perfectly intelligible and distinctive. Sound effects are energized with a forward presence that is impressive. The music score is lively and nicely presented, though, restricted in dynamic range and lacking in deep bass response. Still, occasionally the .1 LFE channel delivers effective weight and attack. This is a fun soundtrack and with great energy and music that is mesmerizing. (Gary Reber)