24. Alice’s Wonderland – Walt Disney

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SUMMARY: Young Alice visits a cartoon studio to see how cartoons are made. That night she dreams that she is in a cartoon world.

WHY IT’S HERE: Our first Walt Disney film on the list is very much here because of its historical importance rather than its actual content. That’s not to say Disney’s early Alice comedies were bad. Taking his cue from the Fleischer’s Out of the Inkwell shorts, in which the animated Koko entered a live action world, Disney decided to produce a series of shorts that flipped the premise, placing a live action little girl into a cartoon universe. The effect is not a patch on the Fleischer brothers’ exceptional work from this period but, despite the crude animation and thin if-existant-at-all plots, the Alice comedies speak of both Disney’s dedication to innovation and his passionate work ethic. Walt Disney directed, produced and animated the 57 Alice comedies himself, in times when he was not financially stable enough to employ a team. ‘Alice’s Wonderland’, the pilot film of the series, gives some idea of what to expect and, while it’s no masterpiece, it’s a must see for animation afficiandos to witness the humble beginnings of perhaps the most famous name in animation history, and to see just how far he came in so short a space of time.

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