Jan Svankmajer

Stop-animation director.

Alice (1988) -- Although the images and animation in this retelling of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland are impressive (though not entirely new for those familiar with surreal or expressionist movies), this movie is more annoying than anything else.  The sound design seems to be made of nothing but ratchets, odd clicks, and fingernails across the chalkboard; although the opening of the film suggests that children close their eyes, both children and adults hitting the mute button would be more like it.  The movie actually could be more interesting to children than anyone else -- if the children aren't prone to nightmares -- since the movie looks like one of those freaky kids shows made by performance artists featured on public television of the 1970s.  Of course, the puppets here are made of meat and bones, there are images of bread with nails sticking out of them, there's a jarful of cockroaches, Alice often turns into a baby doll, etc.  Kids also might not get as annoyed by the pointless narration (usually dialogue tags: the most-repeated line in the movie is "said the white rabbit," delivered in the same exact tone every time), accompanied by a close up of the narrator's lips, every ten seconds.  The movie obviously has a good amount of vision, but that vision was completely wasted because of the unbearable nature of the delivery. D

Copyright (c) Feb 2006 by Rusty Likes Movies