Analysis – Alice in Wonderland (1951)

Alice in Wonderland

For my project I watched the 1951 film Alice in Wonderland.  The film was produced by Walt Disney Studios and is a true classic.  It is based off of the 1865 novel by Lewis Carroll titled, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”.  It is safe to say that almost every person in America has seen this film at one point or another.  This film was not an immediate success but is still popular today.  The film was re-made in 2010, but the original animated movie will still be watched for generations to come.

When Walt Disney was 21 years old, he was working at a studio and tried to make an Alice in Wonderland cartoon series that took influence from the classic book.  In this, there was a real girl in an animated landscape.  Unfortunately, the studio that Disney was working for went bankrupt and his creation was never aired.  He then went to Hollywood California and began working at a new studio with his brother.  Together and with the help of others they created an Alice series that lasted for three years.  Eventually, Walt came up with having a Alice in Wonderland Feature Film.  This was postponed and Disney created a Snow White and the Seven Dwarves movie instead.  The film was very successful and this prompted Disney to create the Alice in Wonderland film that he had been dreaming about for so long.

This film was created with the use of the Multi-Plane camera.  The Multi-Plane Camera is a device that has multiple layers and can create various effects that create for greater depth and more believable atmospheric perspective in an animated film.  The multi-plane camera also made it easier and faster to animate.  With the different layers of aspects in a scene, an animator would only have to redraw things that were moving, rather than every single thing over and over again.  This made the animation process considerably faster, cheaper, and easier.  It also made it incredibly easier to have a believable sense of depth and believability in the work.  Also, each layer could be filmed moving and different speeds, which would only further the sense of depth perception.  Many animators in the industry used the multi-plane camera and it can truly be considered a staple in the animation industry.  It is safe to say that without the multi-plane camera this film would not have turned out the same, and it would have compromised the art at hand.

Stylistically, this film is very different than others of its time.  Disney was one of the only companies using the multi-plane camera.  This game them a greater sense of reality than other animated feature films as well as a sense of depth.  The multi-plane camera is truly what gave Walt Disney Studios an edge, and is what put them ahead of many other animation companies at the time.  The device was previously used in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and again made an appearance in Alice in Wonderland.  Without this device the competition for Disney would have been far greater and it could have compromised the animation industry as we know it today.


About JamesWrobel

I'm a junior at Alfred State College majoring in Digital Media and Animation. I specialize in digital art and photography rather than drawing and painting. It's a work in progress and I'm working hard to achieve my dreams.
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