Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Alice Art

Sometimes I think there isn't enough love for Alice in Wonderland. People question the film's narrative, and I get that, but I do like the fact that this movie is different. One zany sequence follows another, and the in the end you feel like you've been on this nutty but fun ride.
Alice is the only realistic character in the film (aside from her sister), a concept Marc Davis agreed with. "You can have all the crazy stuff in the world, but if the heroine isn't handled in a believable way, the whole film falls apart."

A couple of beautiful animation drawings by Ollie Johnston, who always makes it look so easy.

Eric Larson animated the opening scenes with Alice and her cat Dinah, such as this one.

These few cels showcase the extraordinary craftsmanship of the ink & paint department.
Amazing colors choices for the characters.

One of the old background painters once noted that a background by itself without any characters should look like a deserted stage set. The image will look complete once combined with the character cels. The BG below proves that point very clearly. Terrific painting!

Images Heritage Auctions and Howard Lowery.


  1. As for me, myself, personally, I couldn't agree more :-)

  2. Fancy seeing YOU here, Matt! :D

    Count me in, too. Call me mad, but this is my favorite film of all time!

  3. While the film may have its challenges, the dark ride at Disneyland is one of the most successful and entertaining rides in the park.

  4. I've always thought the film a very good adaptation personally, the original novel is very episodic too and I think the film handles it very well. In fact it's my favourite Disney film!

  5. At this point, if you look at how the films have evolved, you see this mastery of simplifying areas of color to give form. It's very impressive stuff. Look at the design for the water effects animation in the sea of tears, versus how waves are portrayed in Pinocchio. I love how they refined things at this point. You can almost hear Mies Van Der Rohe saying "Less is More."

  6. oh if i was rich i'd have that Rose cel on my wall! Such a exquisite drawing!

  7. Beautiful art!

    I read Walt didn't like this film because he thought Alice was too prim, but I adore her. The film makes Carroll's book more accessible and imaginative. And I agree with Marc Davis. Alice needed to be grounded amidst all that zaniness.

  8. Still my favorite animated film:-)

  9. I totally agree! I love the fact that the film doesn't really have much in the way of a narrative or structure, and Alice is a very endearing heroine. She's clever, witty, and elegant, and Kathryn Beaumont's voice is very sweet.

    I'm just curious; do you have any artwork such as cels, layouts, or rough drawings from the "Falling Down the Rabbit Hole" sequence. It's my favorite scene in the film, and artwork from that scene (aside of examples of Mary Blair's art) seem to be very hard to come by for whatever reason.

  10. Alice in Wonderland is one of my favorite Disney films, even if not many of the people who worked on it liked it. Alice is a great heroine. I think Milt Kahl did some amazing work on her, particularly in the courtroom scene.