It's gonna be a cavalcade of rich color and visual effects coming out at you in 3D when Disney's Alice in Wonderland hits theaters next month. But the new Tim Burton film is only the latest in a long line of adaptations of Lewis Carroll's beloved books.
Here's the very first film adaptation of of Alice's adventures in Wonderland, that was made in 1907, when the technology of "moving pictures" was only eight years old at the time.
The only surviving print, though heavily damaged, has been color-restored. With any silent film, for me at least, this probably just as creepy now, if not more so than it was then.
Official description of the film from the BFI National Archive of the U.K.:
The first-ever film version of Lewis Carroll's tale has recently been restored by the BFI National Archive from severely damaged materials. Made just 37 years after Lewis Carroll wrote his novel and eight years after the birth of cinema, the adaptation was directed by Cecil Hepworth and Percy Stow, and was based on Sir John Tenniel's original illustrations. In an act that was to echo more than 100 years later, Hepworth cast his wife as the Red Queen, and he himself appears as the Frog Footman. Even the Cheshire cat is played by a family pet.
With a running time of just 12 minutes (8 of which survive), Alice in Wonderland was the longest film produced in England at that time. Film archivists have been able to restore the film's original colours for the first time in over 100 years.
Music: 'Jill in the Box', composed and performed by Wendy Hiscocks.
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