Nobody who has seen even one of Svankmajer's shorts is likely to doubt that the Czech surrealist would make the definitive version of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. For no other film-maker - and that includes David Lynch - is so consistently inventive in his ability to marry pure, startling nonsense with rigorous logic, black wit with piercing psychological insights. Here, as always, Svankmajer's methods are hugely enjoyable in their perversity: Alice (the only human in a feature debut populated by a fantastic array of superbly animated puppets) not only changes size, but actually becomes her own doll; when the White Rabbit loses his stuffing, he simply secures his gaping chest with a safety-pin and eats the sawdust. Eggs crack to reveal skulls. Rolls sprout nails. Steaks crawl. A wonderland, indeed, imbued with a grotesque, cruel, and menacing dream-logic at once distinctively Svankmajer's and true to the spirit of Carroll.
Cast and crew