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Alice in Wonderland - The Early Years (1903 - 1931) Adventure, Fantasy (DVD)

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Journey down the rabbit hole to find a compilation of the first motion picture adaptations of author Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871).

Directed by: Various, detailed below.

Starring: Various, detailed below.

Collection Contents:

Alice in Wonderland (1903)

Made just 37 years after Lewis Carroll wrote his novel and eight years after the birth of cinema, this 1903 adaptation was directed by Cecil Hepworth and Percy Stow, and was based on Sir John Tenniel's original illustrations. In an act that was to echo more than 100 years later, Hepworth cast his wife as the Red Queen, and he himself appears as the Frog Footman. Even the Cheshire cat is played by a family pet. The film uses several special effects like Alice shrinking in size in the Hall of Many Doors and getting so big that she gets stuck inside the White Rabbit's House. With a running time of just twelve minutes (nine of which survived), 'Alice in Wonderland' was the longest film produced in England at that time.

Directed by: Cecil Hepworth, Percy Stow, Written by: Cecil M. Hepworth, Based on: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll, Produced by: Cecil M. Hepworth, Herman Casler (exec. producer), Elias Koopman (exec. producer), Harry Marvin (exec. producer), Starring: May Clark, Cecil M. Hepworth, Mrs. Cecil Hepworth, Norman Whitten, Cinematography: Cecil M. Hepworth, Production company: Hepworth Picture Plays, Distributed by: American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, Edison Manufacturing Company, Kleine Optical Company, Release date: 17 October 1903, Running time: approx. 9 minutes, Country: United Kingdom.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1910)

Made by the Edison Manufacturing Company and directed by Edwin S. Porter, the film starred Gladys Hulette as Alice. Being a silent film, naturally all of Lewis Carroll's nonsensical prose could not be used, and, being only a one-reel picture, most of Carroll's memorable characters in his original 1865 novel similarly could not be included. What was used in the film was faithful in spirit to Carroll, and in design to the original John Tenniel illustrations. Variety complimented the picture by comparing it favourably to the "foreign" film fantasies then flooding American cinemas.

Directed by: Edwin S. Porter, Written by: Lewis Carroll (book), Based on: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll, Starring: Gladys Hulette, Distributed by: Edison Manufacturing Company, Release date: September 9, 1910, Running time: 10 minutes, Country: United States, Language: Silent.

Alice in Wonderland (1915) (Plus only surviving reel of Through the Looking Glass)

This film version is notable for depicting much of the 'Father William' poem and it includes footage resembling Tenniel's illustration of Father William doing his back-somersault at the front door. On release, the film was two hours long was the first Alice film to combine chapters from both Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. It was re-released and re-edited multiple times, at one point becoming two different parts. There is no known surviving print of the complete original version. The Wonderland portion is incomplete and all but one reel of the Looking-Glass portion is missing.

Directed by: W.W. Young, Screenplay by: W.W. Young, Based on: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll, Starring: Viola Savoy, Distributed by: American Film Manufacturing Company, Nonpareil Feature Film Corp, Release date: January 19, 1915, Running time: 52 minutes, Country: United States, Language: Silent.

Alice's Wonderland (1923)

Alice's Wonderland is a 1923 Walt Disney short silent film, produced in Kansas City, Missouri by Laugh-O-Gram Studio. The black-and-white short was the first in a series of Walt Disney's famous Alice Comedies and had a working title of Alice in Slumberland. The film was never shown theatrically, but was instead shown to prospective film distributors.

Directed by: Walt Disney, Ub Iwerks (uncredited), Story by: Walt Disney, Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising, Produced by: Walt Disney, Starring: Walt Disney, Ub Iwerks, Rudolf Ising, Virginia Davis, Hugh Harman, Margaret Davis, Animation by: Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising, Ub Iwerks, Carman Maxwell, I. Freleng, Layouts by: Ub Iwerks, Backgrounds by: Carman Maxwell, Colour process: Black and white, Production company: Laugh-O-Gram Studio, Release date: October 16, 1923, Running time: 12 minutes 29 seconds, Country: United States, Language: Silent, English intertitles.

Alice in Wonderland (1931)

An independently made black-and-white Pre-Code American film based on Lewis Carroll's 1865 novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, directed by Bud Pollard, produced by Hugo Maienthau, and filmed at Metropolitan Studios in Fort Lee, New Jersey.

This was the first sound version of the story, and therefore the first film in which Carroll's original dialogue was heard. The film stars Ruth Gilbert as Alice and Leslie King as the Mad Hatter. The film opened at the Warner Theatre in New York City. The movie begins with a jazzy theme song written by Irving Berlin.

Directed by: Bud Pollard, Written by: Lewis Carroll (book), John E. Goodson (adaptation), Ashley Ayer Miller (screenplay), Based on: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Produced by: Hugo Maienthau, Starring: Ruth Gilbert, Leslie King, Pat Gleason, Ralph Hertz, Meyer Berensen, Cinematography: Charles Levine, Edited by: Bud Pollard, Production company: Metropolitan Studios, Distributed by: Unique Foto Films, Release date: September 30, 1931, Running time: 58 minutes, Country: United States, Language: English.

Contained in: Transparent Plastic Wallet.

Format: Either PAL or NTSC (depending on world location), Region 0 (Multi-Region/Worldwide).