Back of the Box: After her stuffed rabbit opens a portal inside her dresser, Alice (Kristýna Kohoutová) crosses over into a world of puppets and dead animals in Czech director Jan Svankmajer’s bizarre adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s children’s book, considered a classic of surreal cinema. Svankmajer gives the Caterpillar, the Mad Hatter and the Cheshire Cat equally warped makeovers via stop-motion animation and stark cinematography.

This film has got to be, hands down the oddest thing I’ve seen in a long while… and I love it!

I remember seeing films like this when I was in elementary school. Odd retellings of  classic stories with weird stop-motion puppets.

The film seems to be told by Alice because every voice from every character is hers, and there is an uncomfortable close up of her mouth as she says “said the white rabbit” and other such phrases.

The entire film looks like it takes place in an old antique shop, and all the puppets look like they where found at Obscura Antiques.

Most of the puppets are mix-n-matched taxidermied animals (or at least their skeletons) and they look awesome, and very creative.

Alice after a “Drink Me” – with creature
The Caterpillar
The Caterpillar

 

It also seems the changes made where conducive of the budget of the film. The White Rabbit’s hole is inside of a desk drawer (there’s a running gag of the knobs falling off) and most of “Wonderland” looks like it takes place in a rundown apartment building.

The story is presented as if it might be a dream with the White Rabbit escaping his taxidermy display, and the film ends with Alice “waking up” to discover the glass case is still broken and the rabbit is still gone. She goes over to the secret compartment he got his little clothes from and pulls out the pair of scissors, then remarks “He’s late as usual. I think i’ll cut his head off.”

 

I would have to say this is a very imaginative and at times nonsensical version of the story. I would highly recommend this film for kids… Yes, it might creep out some kids but to the others it will capture their imaginations and might even inspire them.

I don’t have kids so I would take my own recommendation with a grain of salt.

However, watch it and judge it for yourself.

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