DVD Rating: ***

Reviewed by: Anton Bitel

Read Anton Bitel's film review of Alice

This Dual Format Edition from BFI confines information on the main feature itself to its typically excellent 34-page illustrated booklet, replete with essays, film notes, biographies and full credits.

The DVD and Blu-ray discs present the film uncut in its original Czech-language version (with optional English subtitles), as well as in its English-language dub. The extras are an intriguing and eclectic collection of short films drawn from the BFI archives, each somehow related to Alice's Adventures In Wonderland. There is a screen adaptation (in fact the first) of Alice dating from 1903 (which can also be seen as an extra on the BFI's release of Jonathan Miller's Alice In Wonderland). At nine minutes it was in its day the longest ever British film production.

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Elsie and the Brown Bunny (1921) is a bizarre eight-minute promotional film for Cadbury Bros and their chocolate factory in Bourneville, framed as a Wonderland for the drowsy chocoholic of the title. Even curiouser, the 12-minute animated Central Office of Inofrmation film Alice In Label Land (1974) inventively appropriates characters and motifs from Lewis Carroll's masterwork to simplify an explanation of the new food labelling laws that were enacted in 1973.

Best of all are Stille Nacht II: Are We Still Married and Stille Nacht IV: Can't Go Wrong Without You, two music videos for songs by His Names Is Alive. Bearing the inimitable stamp of their directors, the Quay Brothers, these impenetrable shorts cast a pubescent girl and a white rabbit in a haunting peepshow. While they may reference Lewis Carroll's work only through oblique suggestion, they are certainly the extras closest in spirit (not to mention in texture) to Svankmajer's Alice.

Reviewed on: 26 May 2011
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Alice packshot
Surreal adventure 'inspired by' the Lewis Carroll classic.
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Product Code: BFIB1095

Region: 0

Ratio: 1.33:1

Sound: Mono 2.0

Extras: Alice in Wonderland short, Elsie and the Brown Bunny short, Alice in Label Land short, Stille Nacht II: Are We Still Married music video, Stille Nacht IV: Can't Go Wrong Without You music video

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