Friday, 24 December 2010

Alice in Wonderland Mosaic: Part 16

I'm afraid that now, we have reached the end of my postings for Alice in Wonderland. But, since this is the final film; let's make the most of it...

Now, Alice is in deep trouble towards the Queen of Hearts, after being framed by the Cheshire Cat. After Alice insulted the Queen, and then it was the final straw - she was ordered to be exterminated once and for all; and show no mercy. The King of Hearts does nothing about it, and follows along with the Queen of Hearts, and the army of Cards come over and try to capture her.

The layouts for the chase sequence is wonderful, and also Alice is running back from where she came before, back through the maze; and the cards have to be careful going through the hedge maze, while there's so many cards going through. The Queen, The King and the cards aren't the only group of amateurs going after Alice so she will be in time for her execution. They are supported by numerous characters that appeared in the film earlier, like the Mad Hatter, March Hare,, White Rabbit, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, The Caucus racers,  The Walrus and the Carpenter, and the little oysters, but all these characters were animated by Judge Whitaker and Cliff Nordberg, with Alice running away by Harvey Toombs and Don Lusk; and long shot scenes with cards, and anonymous characters by Whitaker and Nordberg as well. We see a lot more of George Rowley doing effects, and I must say that the final scene of the Wonderland sequence with the group charging at Alice and then it all turns into whirls, and they was a very impressive achievement. I think it inspired future directors today to use that system a lot, and Alice certainly was one of the earliest films to use that technique, but they just don't get credit for it.

Don Lusk (again) does a few long-shots, and action scenes; while Harvey Toombs does the reaction shots, and Eric Larson animates the final scenes of Alice in her real world. So Alice was really animated by Don Lusk, Harvey Toombs and Eric Larson, with long-shots and shared scenes with the anonymous characters by Judge Whitaker and Cliff Nordberg. 

I must say that the music for the chase scenes are very exciting and wonderful, another point for the Academy Award nomination. It's exciting, and follows the scenes, well-timed and certainly no bad jumps to the music at all!

Probably the only character that was helpful to Alice is the Doorknob, and he doesn't seem to be against her, and helps Alice a lot, and this is what happened from the very beginning of the story, Alice was asleep the whole time, and the Queen and gang are still charging after Alice, and Alice in the dream  is begging for the sleeping Alice to wake up. In the chase scenes, the group was left to do duties: capture her, and execute her. While, Alice's duties was to run away from them and get back home.

Alice was worried that she would possibly be killed in Wonderland, or killed in her dream, but I don't think she was worried about being killed in her dream though, probably scared of the fact about being killed in a dream. Bits of the shot where the Queen is charging after her and going to kill her, might relate to a very-recent film that came out this year called Inception starring Leonardo DiCaprio. They said in the film, that some people when they are die in the dreams, they won't wake up in real life. It's a strange film and confusing to follow, but it might link to Alice in Wonderland.

As Alice has woke up after that long, complicating dream and when her sister's voice echoes "Alice!", and asks her to recite her History lesson (about William the Conqueror, as mentioned at the start of the film). Alice has not quite recovered from her dream, and when Alice's sister said "recite your lesson", the word made Alice remind that little poem that the Caterpillar asked her to "recite", and she probably thought that Alice's sister was the Caterpillar. Already confuses, Alice's sister already takes Alice as a lunatic, but then doesn't bother to ask Alice what on earth she's blabbing out. Alice's sister says no more, and then they walk back home so they will have their dinner. And that's the end of the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland.


Alice in Wonderland when it first came out, wasn't really a financial success or a critical success, it met rather lukewarm towards critics and audiences, and literature critics criticized the film for "Americanizing" the film. Disney, however, was disappointed of how Alice met afterwards, he had spent years and years of making Alice in Wonderland into a film - and this was how the critics, the box-office and audience re-payed him. Although, he did admit that he wasn't personally keen on the film, and felt that he had to produce it. Although, eventually some years afterwards, Alice in Wonderland had found itself an audience, and was finally re-released for the first time in the cinemas.

Although, I do like Alice a lot, I think it's a fine Disney feature, that I don't have a problem with at all! The animation is decent and some of the finest that the Studio's ever done. Although, the film does face a lot of story problems, though because some sequences rambled a lot and paced the story a little. But, I think it's  more philosophical than any other Disney feature ever made on par with The Sword in the Stone. At the time it was made, it was the only Disney feature to have voice-actors and actresses to get credited with the character they provided until The Jungle Book, and also the only Disney feature at the time to have end credits right until The Black Cauldron which came out some 44 years later.

I have to say, I had fun making these mosaics, and I still want to go directly to the next film; and I will do in a few days. What I enjoyed about making this Alice mosaic getting to view the film a lot better. I've now watched the entire film, and when I'm print-screening a frame of a scene in each sequence, I got to look a lot closely at how the animator handled the character, and at how differently it was handled. It's been a fun ride folks, and I'm not going to take a break from mosaics! There's still plenty more. That's Alice done, I've completed my first "feature" mosaic, my first was Pecos Bill but that counts as a short, though. Now, anyone can go back and look at all the 121 pages of my Alice mosaics, as well as Hans Perk's posting of the drafts.

I'd like to say a big thank you to the Disney Studios who brought this film up and made the film possible. Also, I owe a big thanks to Hans Perk to posted the complete studio draft to the film exactly three years earlier, without him it wouldn't be possible for me to make these beauty mosaics. Oh, I will also like to thank Mark Mayerson for inspiring me to make these mosaics, and I've started them myself. I'd also like to thank everyone who took time to comment. Also, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Now, that's Alice finished. Next up....Fantasia!


Eric Noble said...

Very good! Harvey Toombs does excellent reaction scenes in my opinion, when she's shouting at herself to wake up.

Your comparison to Inception is interesting. It's getting me thinking about the nature of dreams. This film has a dreamlike structure. She enters her dream right in the middle of it all, and as it builds to a climax, her dream starts to fall apart (the big chase scene) and afterwards everything is a haze, but you still recollect the images from it. I think this film is vastly underrated. It doesn't have a conventional story structure. Maybe Walt and others didn't see it like that.

Steven Hartley said...

Yes, although I just thought it was that way.

Anyway, I like to thank you for using your spare time to comment on my mosaics - and I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Eric Noble said...

Merry Christmas to you as well!

Dave said...

Alice in Wonderland and Inception are more or less the same story, on a structural level. See

Steven Hartley said...

Ah, thanks.

Well, the film "Inception" did confuse me a little, and the dreams part did remind me a bit of Alice in Wonderland.

Thanks for the link.

Torgo25 said...

Great job on the mosaics! Alice in Wonderland is one of my favorite Disney films.

I tried navigating A. Film L.A., but for some reason I can't view posts from earlier days in each month. It doesn't seem to have a feature for viewing previous posts in each month. I was hoping to view the drafts for the rabbit hole sequence and the doorknob scene (which I assume were posted in November).

Steven Hartley said...

Ah, good question you answered that - Go on and see the list of drafts he posted and find "Alice in Wonderland" draft and you click that, and scroll down to the earliest sequence on the label, and click "Links to this post", and you will find some previous postings for the film draft, and hopefully it will help you.

I may not have explained this clearly, but I hope it helped you!