Warren Beatty may not be as popular these days, but
If your iconic on-screen version of “Alice in Wonderland” was created by Disney, then you’re seriously missing out on some truly inventive adaptations of Lewis Carroll’s famous series about the girl who daydreams her way down the rabbit hole and into a world of magic, bizarre characters, and danger.
1. “The Care Bears Adventure in Wonderland,” Cineplex Odeon Films, 1987
Yes, the Care Bears also visited Wonderland. The White Rabbit leads the bears through the rabbit hole, there’s a Jabberwocky named Stan, and the Cheshire Cat is a rapper.
2. “Alice,” originally titled “Neco z Alenky,” Czech, 1988
If you thought the original tale was surreal, this version will blow you away. Inventive stop-motion animation with pleasantly crackling, creaking sounds makes this adaptation truly unlike any other, and definitely worth checking out. Alice begins as a girl and becomes a doll to fit in with stop-motion Wonderland.
3. “Alice in Wonderland,” CBS made-for-TV film, 1985
Irwin Allen produced this movie (he’s mainly known for his work in the “disaster” and science fiction genre), which stars notable actors like Shelley Winters (as the Dodo Bird) and even Ringo Starr (as the Mock Turtle).
4. “Alice in Wonderland,” NBC made-for-TV film, 1999
Martin Short, Whoopi Goldberg, and Ben Kingsley all make appearances in this version. Alice is a very likable brunette, and the cast makes this a standout film.
5. “Dreamchild,” British drama, 1985
This one focuses on Alice Liddell, the real-life child who inspired Lewis Carroll’s beloved books. It follows Liddell as an adult and flashes back to her childhood with Charles Dodgson (Carroll’s real name), insinuating that their relationship may have bordered on inappropriate.
6. “Alice,” Canadian miniseries on Showcase, 2009
This miniseries follows Alice, an adult woman who’s also a judo master, on her adventure into Wonderland, a sinister, hidden world she stumbles upon when her boyfriend is attacked and taken hostage there after giving her a strange family heirloom. Psychedelic scenes make it eye candy, while the adult world set-up makes it intriguing…until it starts to drag on…and on… Kathy Bates makes an excellent Red Queen, though.
7. “Alice of Wonderland in Paris,” Czech-American animated film, 1966
Not quite the original story of Alice, this one has the titular character making a different kind of trip (to Paris, as the title suggests). She still has the magic mushrooms, though, and the same sense of adventure.
8. “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” British musical, 1972
Thanks to the time period, this one is now totally retro in a very fun way. Alice’s outfit here is one of the best out there.
9. “Alice in Wonderland” or “Fushigi no Kuni no Arisu,” Japanese animated series, 1983
Following the storyline of the first Lewis Carroll novel (as opposed to Through the Looking Glass, the second in the series, which most films and TV adaptations focus on), this series (about half the episodes of which came to the US after first airing in Japan) boasts captivating, colorful animation.