Quick-Thoughts: Jan Švankmajer’s Alice (1988)

Jan was like, hey, how bout we remake Alice In Wonderland, but make it 10x more disturbing than it already was? That’s what the public wants, right?

Remember that scene from Toy Story where all of Sid’s twisted-looking toy hybrids come to life and begin cornering Buzz and Woody? Well, picture that moment but dragged out into an entire feature-length and infused with the standard Alice in Wonderland storyline. The best compliment I can give to Jan Švankmajer’s interpretation is that it manages to be even more imaginative on top of the already exceedingly imaginative set-and-stone Alice in Wonderland tale in terms of how it visually presents itself through fever-dream methodologies. 

If you’re already familiar with the Alice in Wonderland material and aren’t a huge fan of it unlike me, then you’re likely not going to get much out of this. However, if you love seeing laborious work on stop-motion, crafty props, sharp foley, and live-action infusion come to life, or obviously, love the classic novel itself, then this is a must watch.

Secondly, I appreciated how Jan inserted more real-life childhood items such as stuffed animals or socks to correlate with the creatures Alice “imagines.” No shoutouts to Tim Burton in his live-action adaptation for dodging that opportunity! 

All in all though, quirky, solid s**t! Recommendation: don’t/do watch high?

Verdict: B+

“Alice” is now available to stream on The Criterion Channel.

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