Sixty-five years ago to the day, Disney released the iconic animated feature, Alice in Wonderland. With its colorful animation, memorable songs, and classic characters, it’s no surprise it’s been treasured by fans for so many years. To celebrate the landmark anniversary, we’ve compiled a list of things you may not have known about the movie. Enjoy!
Kathryn Beaumont (Alice) is the voice of another famous Disney character.
If you ever thought Wendy Darling (from Peter Pan) sounded like Alice, that’s because she’s actually voiced by the same actress! In fact, the actress has lent her voice for both characters in the Kingdom Hearts video game series. She also served as the live-action reference model for both characters.
The Mad Hatter is inspired by the actor who voices him.
When designing the character, animators took inspiration from Ed Wynn, the actor who portrays him. In addition to his likeness, one of the Mad Hatter’s famous scenes was completely improvised by the actor in the studio.
The film was shot in live-action as reference for animation.
Similar to several other animated Disney films (including Peter Pan) several of Alice in Wonderland’s sequences were shot in live-action so animators had a reference while they were drawing the characters. It was the first instance since the early 40’s that an entire Disney film was shot in that manner.
It’s based on two books.
Both Lewis Carroll books, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass inspired the classic film. The iconic characters Tweedledee and Tweedledum are actually characters from Through the Looking Glass.
It was almost filmed in live-action.
Despite having a desire to adapt Carroll’s classics for quite some time, one of the first ideas of creating a full-length feature film came to Walt Disney in 1933, when the studio was thinking of combining live-action with animation, with Mary Pickford as the star. In 1945, it was announced that Ginger Rogers was set to star. It wasn’t until 1946 that Walt Disney decided to make the film entirely animated.
The film does not open with an image of a storybook.
Unlike previous animated films based on classic books (including Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Pinocchio) Alice in Wonderland does not open on a storybook. Instead, the first shot is of Big Ben.
The Cheshire Cat sings lines from one of Lewis Carroll’s famous poems.
While most of the film is based on Carroll’s books, some of the lines sung by the Cheshire Cat are actually from one of the author’s oldest poems. It was published in 1855, and was later included in Through the Looking Glass. Filmmakers replaced the Cheshire Cat’s original song “I’m Odd” with “‘Twas Brillig” when a larger sequence based on the poem was cut from the film.
Speaking of songs…
Over 30 songs were planned and never used in the film.
“I’m Odd” wasn’t the only song cut from the film. While most will never see the light of day, the melody for two of the songs was used for “Never Smile at a Crocodile” and “Second Star to the Right”–which are both from Peter Pan.
What was your favorite fact? Let us know in the comments!