0 Before Tim Burton: 'Alice in Wonderland' (1903)

Disney, Alice in Wonderland 1951, movie poster, animation, Technicolor
The original poster advertising the 1951 Disney animated version of Alice in Wonderland.
[Image credit: Neatorama.com]
The British Film Institute has just released the surviving eight minutes of the original twelve-minute version of Alice in Wonderland, first produced in 1903. Measuring 800ft, Alice in Wonderland was the longest film produced in Britain at the time.

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, based on Sir John Tenniel's original illustrations. Hepworth cast his wife as the Red Queen, he appears as the Frog Footman and the Cheshire cat is played by their family pet.

There have been many versions of Alice, but the one I remember best is the 1985 TV movie version ending with the Jabberwocky (gave me nightmares as a child). Before you head to the theater for the latest version, Tim Burton's new film (opening March 5), take a look at this newly restored footage from the first-ever 1903 production.

Cinema has certainly undergone quite a transformation in the last hundred years.

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