Posts Tagged ‘Walt Disney’

Fist of Film: They All Played Alice

March 5, 2010

The Rev. Charles Dodgson’s devotion to Alice Liddell is well-known, but is his fictional Alice really that plum a role? After all, it’s Alice’s task to act as audience avatar, a perplexed witness to the nonsensical residents at the bottom of the rabbit hole. Regardless, starlet Mia Wasikowa is the latest to fluff the tresses of the Victorian era’s dizziest blonde. While audiences flock to the Burtonized Alice in Wonderland, we thought it would be beamish to survey who else once ran with White Rabbits.

May Clark in Alice in Wonderland (1903)

The first surviving film that drew on Lewis Carroll’s fantasia was filmed by Cecil Hepworth, partly on the estate belonging to travel agent Thomas Cook. For the heroine of what would be the longest film yet produced in Britain, the Brighton filmmaker cast May Clark, a 14-year-old who had been doing odd jobs at his studio. Both Clark and the Hepworths’ dog Blair would reappear in Rescued by Rover (1905). Download it at Archive.org

Gladys Hulette in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1910)

Seven years after The Great Train Robbery, Edwin S. Porter directed a version for Thomas Edison. He cast the 14-year-old Hulette, a stage actress who didn’t share her contemporaries shame over appearing in silent films. The one-reel adaptation was well-regarded, despite excising many of Carroll’s characters. As an adult, Hulette appeared in John Ford’s Western The Iron Horse (1926).

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Walt, As I Was Saying …

March 16, 2009

This weekend I learned that Dumbo is something like sixty years old, but still can transfix a two years old. It’s also 55 minutes of unrelenting grimnesses redeemed by about five minutes of flying. Animation is a blind spot in your blogger’s world, but Walt Disney remains one of the country’s abiding geniuses. Here he meets another one of the country’s abiding geniuses. Via Mark Evanier’s excellent News From Me blog:


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