Tag Archives: Alice in Wonderland 1951

Alice in Wonderland “All in the Golden Afternoon” (1951)

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After escaping the Dodo and his friends (who wanted to burn Alice alive in the White Rabbit’s house because they thought she was a monster), Alice continues to try and find said White Rabbit (the reason she tumbled into Wonderland in the first place) only to stumble into a large garden of talking flowers! I have to say this is one of my favorite sequences because the flowers are so beautifully animated, each with a distinct personality.

 

The flowers seem to be led by the Red Rose, who is initially very kind to Alice. All of the flowers want to sing to Alice about how wonderful they are, but no one can agree on which flower they should sing about. The Red Rose decrees that they will all sing “All in a Golden Afternoon” because “that’s the song about all of us.” And so the flowers sing together with the Red Rose serving as the conductor (with Alice listening in wonder):

Little bread-and-butterflies kiss the tulips
And the sun is like a toy balloon
There are get up in the morning glories
In the golden afternoon
 
There are dizzy daffodils on the hillside
Strings of violets are all in tune
Tiger lilies love the dandy lions
In the golden afternoon
(The golden afternoon)

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There are dog and caterpillars and the copper centipede
Where the lazy daisies love the very peaceful life
They lead…
 
You can learn a lot of things from the flowers
For especially in the month of June
There’s a wealth of happiness and romance
All in the golden afternoon
 
All in the golden afternoon
The golden afternoon…

(Alice chimes in) 

You can learn a lot of things from the flowers
For especially in the month of June
There’s a wealth of happiness and romance
All- (voice cracks)
(All together): All in the golden afternoon!

“All in the Golden Afternoon” is a beautiful song and a reasonably sane interlude after the ridiculousness of the Dodo (though it won’t be long before we’re thrown into the insanity of the Un-Birthday Party, but I digress…). Alice loves the song, but the good time doesn’t last: the flowers are very curious to know just what kind of flower Alice is. When the naturally befuddled girl can’t give a clear answer, the flowers come to the only natural conclusion: Alice must be a weed and weeds aren’t welcome in the garden, so out she goes!

 

I always thought it rather silly that the flowers would think Alice was a flower too (considering she doesn’t look anything like a flower), but then again, this IS Wonderland we’re talking about, most of the inhabitants aren’t known for their common sense (just wait until we get to the Queen of Hearts).
What do you think of All in the Golden Afternoon? Let me know your thoughts on this song in the comments below 🙂
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Alice in Wonderland “In a World of My Own” (1951)

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If Alice in Wonderland could be summed up in one sentence, it would be: Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it!

The incredibly naive Alice is bored to death listening to a history lesson read by her sister. She’d much rather live in a nonsensical world she dubs “Wonderland”, where “cats and rabbits would reside in fancy little houses, and be dressed in shoes and hats and trousers…” Alice also imagines that all the flowers could talk and sing and that they would talk with her for hours and hours. Alice’s cat Dinah (who clearly understands her mistress), isn’t so sure about this idea of “Wonderland” (smart kitty).

It’s a neat trick on Disney’s part to have this song foreshadow a good deal of what’s to come in the film: Alice ends up exploring the White Rabbit’s house, and even later she does in fact get to talk to (and sing with) the flowers.

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“In a World of My Own” is a beautiful little song and the picture it paints sounds charming, but poor Alice finds out that dreaming about Wonderland and actually LIVING in it, are two entirely separate things!

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See also:

Alice in Wonderland “The Un-Birthday Song” (1951)

Alice in Wonderland “All in the Golden Afternoon” (1951)

Alice in Wonderland “Painting the Roses Red” (1951)

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And for more animated film music, check out the main page here: Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

Alice in Wonderland (1951) takes us down the rabbit hole

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On July 26th, 1951, Disney’s Alice in Wonderland was released in theaters. The 13th Disney Animated Feature was based on Lewis Carroll’s 1865 children’s novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

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Alice (Kathryn Beaumont, perhaps better known as the voice of Wendy in Peter Pan (1953)), finds herself drawn into an adventure in the topsy-turvy Wonderland after following a White Rabbit down a rabbit hole and falling down into the magical place.

While seeking a way out, Alice encounters a wide variety of crazy creatures, from singing flowers, a caterpillar that smokes a hookah, Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum, the Mad Hatter and the March Hare and perhaps most importantly, the semi-deranged Queen of Hearts, who has a thing for shouting “off with their heads!!”

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Alice in Wonderland failed spectacularly at the box office and unlike other Disney films, was not re-released to theaters during Walt Disney’s lifetime. At the time of release, critics (and fans of the books) did not appreciate the liberties Disney had taken with the story and felt that he was trying to “Americanize” a great piece of British literature. The film’s reputation has improved in the following decades, but (in my opinion) it still remains one of the lesser known (and somewhat under-appreciated) entries in Disney’s animated film series.

One flaw that I’ve come to recognize in the film is that it is not so much a unified story as it is a series of vignettes (short scenes) ostensibly tied together by the presence of Alice. A notable exception is “The Walrus and the Carpenter” which, being a story told by Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, doesn’t feature Alice at all and really feels like it’s from another story entirely.

Alice in Wonderland “Painting the Roses Red” (1951)

Interestingly, during the production process, almost the entire film was shot live-action for reference, and the footage that survives is a fascinating look into how the earlier Disney films were put together. This was actually a common practice for the Disney studio, though unfortunately not all of the footage has survived to the present day. Some films that I know had live-action footage shot include: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs; Sleeping Beauty; Peter Pan (particularly for scenes involving Tinker Bell interacting with the drawer in the Darling home); Cinderella and Pinocchio.

 

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One of my favorite pieces involves the Un-Birthday Party/The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Broadway Classixs on YouTube synched up the live-action footage with the animated result and it’s amazing to watch the voice actors at work.

Alice in Wonderland Tea Party: Live action vs. animation

What do you think of the animated Alice in Wonderland? Do you think it’s been neglected compared to other Disney films? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

See also: Animated Film Reviews

Alice in Wonderland “In a World of My Own” (1951)

Alice in Wonderland “The Un-Birthday Song” (1951)

Alice in Wonderland “All in the Golden Afternoon” (1951)

Alice in Wonderland “Painting the Roses Red” (1951)

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*all images are the property of Walt Disney Studios