In 1988 Czech animator Jan Svankmajer unleashed Neco z Alenky (Alice) on the world. The world was not ready.
The world is still not ready.
This movie is available on the Netflix instant viewing service so I guess there’s a chance some of you might venture to see it. If so, you might consider this post to be fraught with spoilers, but honestly, if you don’t know the plot to Alice in Wonderland by now this isn’t really the movie for you, anyway. Or if you’re afraid of burrowing socks, then this is not the movie for you.
There are a lot of taxidermied animals in this movie that have been animated using stop-motion animation, but the white rabbit is the spookiest. The rabbit has a gaping gut wound that he repairs with a large safety pin. Nevertheless, every time he pulls out his watch, he leaks copious amounts of sawdust. At one point, he eats large spoonfuls of sawdust from a bowl to replenish his guts.
The first 30 minutes were pretty slow, but we’ve managed to hang in there. I’m glad we did because Alice just went into the rabbit’s house and grew large and suddenly the film has become a work of mad genius.
A carriage full of fancifully taxidermied chimera with skulls with doll eyes for heads shows up. The cart is accompanied by foley hoofbeats and horses whinnying, but it is actually drawn by a pair of chickens with skull heads. That’s when things get….
I’m sorry, I was trying to come up with a colorful way to say “bizarre” but I was so hypnotized by the tea party scene, which involves wooden marionettes, a pocketwatch full of butter, and extreme closeups of teeth that I forgot what I was trying to say so instead I’ll embed video of Alice meeting the caterpillar.