5 Fascinating Facts About Disney’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ as it Turns 72

Walt Disney/Everett Collection

The animated classic Alice in Wonderland came out 72 years ago, in July of 1951. It was based on the story by Lewis Carroll and became one of the most beloved Disney films, sparking reboots, attractions, and of course, tons of merch. In honor of the beloved film’s anniversary, let’s learn some fun facts about the entertaining classic.

Another Disney version came first

You may not realize that the 1951 version was not actually the first Disney version. Walt Disney was inspired by Carroll’s work and created the short Alice’s Wonderland in 1923 which combined live action and animation, something very impressive at the time. Disney produced 56 shorts featuring a little girl named Alice, who dreams of herself into Cartoonland.

30 original songs were created for the film but ultimately scrapped

ALICE IN WONDERLAND, Cheshire Cat, 1951

Walt Disney Pictures/Everett Collection

There was a lot of work that went into Alice in Wonderland that never made the cut including some original songs. There was one called “I’m Odd” that was going to be performed by the Cheshire Cat. One of the songs called “Beyond the Laughing Sky” was later changed to become “The Second Star to the Right” in the film Peter Pan.

Live actors performed the scenes for animators

In many Disney animated films, the voice actors perform live for animators so that they can get the energy of the characters just right. It is definitely cool to see this in action in the video above!

One creepy scene from the book almost made it into the movie

ALICE IN WONDERLAND, March Hare, Alice, Mad Hatter, 1951.

Everett Collection

If you’ve ever read the book, you might remember the scene where Alice meets an ugly duchess and has a baby who turns into a pig. The early script featured this scene but it was ultimately cut from the film, probably rightfully so.

It wasn’t a hit, at first

ALICE IN WONDERLAND, Alice, Tweedledee, Tweedledum, 1951

Walt Disney/Everett Collection

Disney spent a lot of time and money to get the movie just right and when it was finished, Disney executives and audiences didn’t really care for it at first. It wasn’t until about 15 years later, that college-age kids started loving the film, comparing it to “an acid trip.” Disney ran with this and ran ads that said, “Down the rabbit hole and through the talking door lies a world where vibrant colors merge into shapes of fantasy, and music radiates from flowers.”

Do you love Alice in Wonderland? Tell us which character is your favorite in the comments! You can watch it now on Disney+.

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August 2021

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