Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Curiouser and Curiouser

"Golden Afternoon" scene from Disney's Alice in Wonderland (1951)

Today we're celebrating Alice in Wonderland. I would have done so on the publication date earlier this month, July 4, but I was on vacation. So the 1951 Disney movie release date is the next best thing. ;-)

To be honest, my first exposure to Alice in Wonderland was through the Disney movie. It caught my imagination and I read the book shortly thereafter. As a child, I was never big on fairy tales like Snow White or Cinderella. But Alice isn't a fairy tale. It's literary nonsense, a weird fantasy adventure. I was enthralled by this bizarre world of insane characters and illogical happenings.

Even after all these years, I still have to list Alice's Adventures in Wonderland as one of my favorite books. It had a lasting influence in my love for the fantastic and personal aesthetic of the strange. Alice has shaped my own approach to fantasy writing to an even greater degree than such classics of the genre as the Lord of the Rings or the various adventures of Conan the Barbarian.

Alice's Adventure in Wonderland (1866), illustrated by John Tenniel

My enthusiasm for Alice extends to the various remakes, sequels, and parodies that have been made. Alice is even my favorite Disney theme park ride!

One of my favorite games is American McGee's Alice, which has a thrillingly macabre reimagining of Wonderland and its denizens. Although I'm not a huge platform action genre gamer, the fantastic artwork kept my interest. And the music was superbly evocative.

"Why, you're nothing but a pack of cards."

The sequel game, Alice: Madness Returns, is decent, but doesn't match the excellence of the first game. Game play was average and repetitive, but the artwork and creative vision was excellent. Fun stuff!!!

So, here are some vids. In the 2010 Disney movie, a companion musical collection was released called Almost Alice, featuring music inspired by Alice in Wonderland. There were some decent pieces in this collection, but my favorite was the Franz Ferdinand "Lobster Quadrille".

A classic Alice inspired song is White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane. Fun stuff!!!

Here's an internet mash-up vid. The lyrics are fairly offensive and vulgar, but I give it a pass because the edit is so extremely good. (YouTube has it age restricted, so don't click if you're a kid.)

Well, that enough for today. I could go on and on, but we'll leave that for another Alice Day. ;-)

Here's a link to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Wikipedia page.

Feed your head!!!

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