Remake of Chapter VIII The Sea in the Puddle

A LARGE ROSE-TREE stood near the entrance of the garden: the roses on it were white. Alice took a step towards the tree, and noticed a puddle to the side of it. She stepped into the puddle, and felt the ground fall away from beneath her. She fell into the puddle, and felt herself submerge into water. She sank very far before she saw the floor of the sea. She realized that she was breathing just fine, even though she was in a sea. She watched as the ground rose up to meet her. Alice could see the outline of large, grayish-white structures. As she fell towards the structures, she saw that they made up a full-sized city made of coral. She saw many undersea creatures that looked extremely like cartoon characters. They had large heads, and everything was rounded. Alice swam towards the closest animal; it was a crab who had an eye patch over his left eye, and a peg-leg for its left leg. It waddled around very slowly. It looked like an old pirate crab. Alice asked, “What is your name? Where are we?”

The crab turned to her, and yelled, “Blue-beard is coming! Blue-beard is coming!”

Then the pirate began running/swimming around frantically.

Alice repeated, “Excuse me, but could you please tell me where we are?”

The crab stopped running, and slowly turned to her, “Fire in the hole!” Before Alice could say anything more, the crab jumped to the ground, and began digging a hole. He stuck his head in it, and closed up the hole with sand. It reminded Alice of those ostrich things she had heard about.

Alice desperately wanted to talk to someone, so she stuck her head in the sand, also. “Excuse me, Mr. Crab, if that is your name, do you know where we are?”

“Of course I know where we are! We are here, where else would we be? And my name isn’t Mr. Crab,” it said sarcastically, “It’s Sedric,” it replied proudly, “And what should I call you? Ms. Human?

“My name is Alice, and don’t be so sarcastic. What I meant was, “Do you know where here is?”

“I really have no idea what you are talking about. Here is here. You humans never make any sense do you?”

“Yes we do make sense! You really have no manners do you, Sedric?”

“Not so loud!” Sedric whispered loudly. “There are spies everywhere. I’m putting your life in danger just by talking to you. You better leave now, before they get suspicious.”

Alice decided that a crab who was dressed up like a pirate, was afraid of things that weren’t there, and was paranoid about spies wasn’t really going to help her. She lifted her head out of the sand, and looked around for someone else to talk to.

Alice wandered around the city, and turned a corner. In front of her was a sign that read, “INFORMATION.” Alice walked to the sign, and asked the lobster standing at the desk where she was. “That’s an easy one! We are in the Sea in the Puddle,” it announced proudly.

“How do you leave?” Alice asked curiously. “Where is the exit?”

“The exit is where you came from,” the lobster answered, indicating upward.

Alice thanked him, “Thank you, I don’t know how to repay you.”

“No need for thanking me. I was just doing my job.”

Alice looked upward at the shining light at the surface, and began heading for it. Before she knew it, she was reaching the surface. She stuck her head out of the water, and saw land. She climbed up onto it, and was surprised to see that she was dry. Alice looked in front of her, and saw that same familiar sight.

Disney Animated Features
<< Cinderella | Peter Pan >>

Release Date: 28 July 1951

After the success of Cinderella, Disney continued on with its animated, musical adaptations of existing stories. However, unlike Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Cinderella, which were adapted from fairy tales, Disney turned this time to the world of literature. And unlike Bambi and Dumbo, this particular piece of literature is still widely known in its original form.

Of course, this being a Disney film, some of the more disturbing elements of Lewis Carroll's original novels had to be removed, annoying purists. Critics of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Pocahontas should note that their profession is an old one. While no one can doubt that Disney changes many elements of their source material (whether fictional or historical), their skill at interpretation is undeniable.

To return to the topic, the film in question here, Alice in Wonderland, was of course based on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, two novels by Charles Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll. Alice is a girl who, one day bored by her lessons, embarks on a strange (some would say psychedelic) adventure in a world called Wonderland. The movie simply follows her from one scene to the next. Each scene has its own small plot, with the only real connecting feature being the famous Cheshire Cat (voiced by the inimitable Sterling Holloway).

All in all, the film was a success, and perhaps may have even inspired the odd youngster to investigate the original works of literature. I know, just the standard counter-argument to the original-source purists I mentioned above, but it's also probably true.

The film was nominated for a single Academy Award (Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture); the music (most of it by Bob Hillard and Sammy Fain, with some from Oliver Wallace and Ted Sears) was adequate but not outstanding.

Next up: peanut butter?

Information for the Disney Animated Features series of nodes comes from the IMDb (www.imdb.com), Frank's Disney Page (http://www.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de/~fp/Disney/), and the dark recesses of my own memory.

On Alice and Dali

Perhaps it was something about Alice, which Salvador Dali saw in himself that lead to his love of her. Both travelled an extended, byzantine road through the land of dreams. Although unlike Alice, Dali's travels were by means of his art. One could not help but obsess over such a seemingly simple girl like Alice, with her effervescent essence of youth.

Dali first delved into Wonderland with his interpretation of Lewis Carroll’s creation in 1968. The original engraving and 12 heliogravures of original gouaches saw Dali depicting Alice in a form he had used in two engravings he made for Paul Eluard's "Nuit Partagées" in 1935.

A few years passed before a similar depiction of Alice was recreated, stylised as a silver bell by Dali, and released by the Lincoln Mint. But what followed leaves many lovers of Dali, and Alice alike spellbound. Dali's gorgeous bronze sculpture (1977-1984) enhances the design of the bell, and stands at an impressive 36.0 x 17.5 inches. Alice has blossomed, her hands and hair formed into roses, and her skipping rope into twisted cord still frozen in motion above her head. She is a faceless, eternally youthful interpretation of her own adventure through a surreal dreamscape. She is a representation of naiveté in its most beautiful, pure form, bringing the unanswerable logic of a child unharmed through her confusing spell in the looking-glass world. And this masterpiece wouldn't quite be complete if it weren’t for the appearance of one of Dali's most popular symbols the crutch, which Alice is oddly propped up by. This sculpture remains a superb, provocative portrayal of Alice at her finest.


Inspired by the Dali Universe

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