Alice (1988)
May 3, 2024 8:03 AM - Subscribe

[TRAIILER] In Czech director Jan Švankmajer's surreal adaptation of Lewis Carroll's classic children's book, Alice (Kristýna Kohoutová) follows her stuffed rabbit through a portal inside her dresser to be whisked away to Wonderland. While the White Rabbit, Mad Hatter and Cheshire Cat are still present, the familiar magical world and bizarre characters have undergone an unsettling transformation in the director's vision through the stop-motion animation of dead animals, puppets and other assorted objects.

Directed by Jan Švankmajer. Screenplay by Jan Švankmajer. Based on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Produced by Peter-Christian Fueter for Film Four International/Condor Films. Cinematography by Svatopluk Malý. Edited by Marie Zemanová. The original Czech title is Něco z Alenky ("Something from Alice". )

95% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Available on as well as Kanopy . Also available in its entirety on YouTube. JustWatch listing/
posted by DirtyOldTown (8 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Let it be said right up top that taxidermy + stop motion is lot to ask, and I cannot fault anyone who won't try this.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:10 AM on May 3 [3 favorites]

Yeah, that's kind of disturbing, isn't it?
posted by Naberius at 8:49 AM on May 3

If you can look past that, it's just overflowing with inspiration and odd ideas.

I'm from an age bracket where I have cultural relativism baked in as a core guiding principle, but I understand other folks take a more absolutist view on things like this, and I get that, too.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:13 AM on May 3 [1 favorite]

From 2006 to 2008 I was in a relationship with a woman who had extreme insomnia. During the two years in which we regularly slept in the same bed I only ever saw her truly asleep twice (there were nights when she thought she'd been asleep but had in fact been engaging in Ambien-fueled babbling). She must have slept at some point but she with two exceptions she was always awake when I fell asleep and always awake when I woke up.

In order to get herself through the night she would put on what she called "sleepy time movies"; films that had strong visuals and not a lot of plot that needed to be followed that she could play on repeat at low volume all night long while I was trying to sleep. So there are a handful of films that I've seen in whole maybe a couple of times but also in weird disjointed chunks forty of fifty times while being sleep deprived. This was one of those films (along with Little Otik, Heavy Metal, Flesh for Frankenstein, Return to Oz and a few other titles I can't immediately recall).

Anyway, the cumulative result was not good for my mental health at the time but I do think Alice is an interesting film that's worth watching but not by me ever again.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 9:14 AM on May 3 [9 favorites]

Ah, this gets posted on the day I'm registering a course on responses to the Alice books. It very effectively gets at how disturbing the novels can be (I remember as a child reading the Mad Tea Party chapter and thinking, "this is so horrible"), especially given how mundane objects suddenly become threatening--socks with teeth?!
posted by thomas j wise at 11:35 AM on May 3 [1 favorite]

All I can say is this left a very strong impression that remains with me since I saw it when I was about 13 I guess (I am 49).
posted by latkes at 12:08 PM on May 3

All I can say is this left a very strong impression that remains with me since I saw it when I was about 13 I guess (I am 49).

Same. I was a strange kid and watched a lot of experimental films in my teen years.
posted by fiercekitten at 5:40 PM on May 3 [1 favorite]

I've seen some Švankmajer films and heard of this but hadn't ever seen it. Amazing stuff. And the child actor is really good.

It removes almost the whole verbal aspect of the original, only to reveal the creepiness inside it. Pretty much all the scary bits here are also in Carroll's Alice.
posted by zompist at 2:36 AM on May 6 [3 favorites]

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