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  • This may not be the "Alice" adaptation for Carroll purists (You'd have to go to the TV production of earlier this year for that), but it IS entertaining, and the cast DOES seem to be having a good time with it. Judi Rollin, just 20 at the time, is a terrific Alice, with a fine singing voice. One wonders why her career never went beyond the early '70's. Ricardo Montalban brings his usual effortless charm to the White King, and Nanette Fabray is hilarious as his scatterbrained Queen (Her number, "I Wasn't Meant to Be a Queen," is a howl). Agnes Moorehead is her usual imperious self as the Red Queen, and Jimmy Durante is, well, Jimmy Durante as Humpty Dumpty. Most delightfully over-the-top performance is Jack Palance, wearing this spangled Bob Mackie concoction, as the Jabberwock. Composer Moose Charlap was obviously hoping to repeat his "Peter Pan" success with his songs here, and, if they don't have the charm of the ones he wrote for Mary Martin, et. al., they come pretty close, as arranged by the great Don Costa. An Emmy nominee for Best Children's Special, and a Grammy-winner for Best Children's Album, this is an overlooked treasure. As I say, not for Carroll purists, but not bad!
  • I searched for years for a copy of this wonderful show, it is just as good as I remembered it! Judi Rolin is a magical Alice-she relates to the residences of Looking Glass Land as if they were everyday people and it really makes the story! (I really wish I knew what happened to her-she should have been a star!) Ricardo Montalban is funny but tender as the really brave White King, while the musical numbers with Agnes Moorhead and Nanette Fabray just "sing". A real treat is a rare American appearance of Roy Lester, whose chemistry with Judi Rolin in both a fantastic acrobatic number and the fight scenes with a hysterical Jack Palance really make this a memorable family show! To those who remember the great shows and films that used to air after the Thanksgiving Parades-this show will bring back such memories (especially Sabastian Cabot hosting "Alice" and singing a beautiful Thanksgiving Hymn)! If you can find a copy-share it with your loved ones!
  • I have very fond memories of this TV movie. I remember seeing it as a small child on VHS and loving it. I just saw it again recently, and it still holds up well, even as an adult. It's a stage play adaptation of Lewis Carroll's famous sequel to "Alice in Wonderland". But the focus is more on the songs than it is on the adaptation. This is a good thing, because the songs are quite good and very catchy. It's also wonderfully performed by a cast who you could tell had a lot of fun making it.

    A word of caution, the stage play feel of this movie is quite apparent. It was made for TV, so don't expect high production values. In fact, it feels more like a variety show than a movie. Nevertheless, the sets and costumes are quite imaginative, and little kids will be drawn in by the children show look of the movie.

    The best part of this movie are the songs themselves. They are very memorable and some are classics in their own right. Decades after seeing it for the first time I could still sing along to many of the songs. You could tell they were influenced by 1939's "The Wizard of Oz", because the songs, pacing, and overall feel is very similar to that movie, albeit on a smaller scale. There are several cameos by prominent performers (Jimmy Durante, the Smothers Brothers, Ricardo Montalbon, Jack Palance and Roy Castle among others). The performances are very upbeat and delightful ... another reason why little kids will love this movie.

    The most important role is, of course, Alice herself. Alice is portrayed by the adorable Judi Rolin. Judi Rolin was 20 when they filmed this, so Alice is a bit older than she was in the book, but they definitely made a wise choice in casting her. Judi Rolin's beautiful smile, childlike innocence, energy, and gleeful singing definitely make this movie. Had it not been for Rolin, I'm not sure this film would have worked at all. It's a shame she wasn't cast in more roles after this.

    All of that being said, this film is not for everybody. I admit that I am viewing it with rose tinted glasses as I did love the movie as a kid. It strays very far from the source text, and, in a way, is almost a whole new story. At its worst, it can be quite corny, and the almost overly optimistic atmosphere, low budget costumes, scenery and camera tricks will probably make more than a few people roll their eyes. But most kids will not care. They will love the songs and the happy atmosphere. And those of us who are not yet completely jaded in our adulthood will still enjoy it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I suppose Carroll purist would have a problem with all this. they usually find fault with all the 'Alice' entertainments, even the faithful ones. Lewis Carroll's 'Through the Looking Glass' book is basically thrown out the window in favor of a more congenial television variety show approach. like all the adaptations of Carroll in entertainment, the original approach works. the result is a lot of nostalgic fun.

    Judi Rolin is a total delight as 'Alice'. she certainly has a Strong singing voice and a lot of likable charm. the rest of the cast is a lot of fun too. especially Nanette Fabray as the White Queen and Tommy and Dickie Smothers are hilarious and perfectly cast as the Tweedle boys.

    people shouldn't let the looseness of the adaptation to prejudice them against this charming show. if you want a faithful adaptation of Carroll they are out there and are very good. there are several faithful versions of Carroll's work so i have no problem with the films and entertainments that take liberties with the interpretation. 'Alice' is a very inspiring work and it seems to inspire cleverness in pretty much all the adaptations(and i've pretty much seen em' all) so relax and enjoy the WHOLE 'Alice' experience. as far as 'Alice' goes, it's all good.

    the LATIMES referred to this show as "one of the bright spots in television history and deserves to become a perennial". i couldn't agree more.
  • If you want a faithful adaptation of Through the Looking Glass look to the BBC adaptation or the Natalie Gregory adaptation(which covers both Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass), as other than the title and the characters- and to a lesser extent Humpty Dumpty's Song Twas Brillig- this musical version is probably the least faithful version to the book. Every adaptation however does deserve to stand on its own, and stands on its own this version does, despite its infidelity to the book it is very pleasing in its own right. In fact, my only complaints are some corny and too-family-friendly dialogue and the random throwing in of the three witches which didn't really do anything for the story. Of all the versions of Through the Looking Glass it's this one that's the most beautiful visually, there is a reason why the costumes won an Emmy, the photography while slightly TV quality is still professional and the sets really do have a sense of wonder(did The Wizard of Oz influence it by any chance?). It felt like a nostalgic hearkening back to all the great TV network adaptations of the time(look to the Mary Martin version of Peter Pan for reference), and that was really nice. The music and songs right from the opening title sequence bring a great deal of charm to the adaptation and move the story forward, I Wasn't Meant to Be a Queen will bring great amusement- same with The Backwards Alphabet- though Some Summer Day, Alice is Coming to Tea and Keep on the Grass are very whimsical and the Jabberwock Song is creepy. The story does have an episodic nature like the book does and while not as wonderfully weird or humorous there is plenty of fun, charm and heart to be seen. Judi Rolin is a very enchanting Alice and more than holds her own against the all-star cast, her solo song is sublime and so are her vocals, her chemistry with the Lester of Roy Castle is very sweet. Agnes Moorhead is an imperious Red Queen- she sings Two Sides of Everything surprisingly well- and an unrecognisable Ricardo Montalban touches the heart as the White King, this version's most sympathetic character I feel. Nanette Fabray clearly is having the time of her life as the White Queen, Tom and Dickie Smothers are hilarious, the Humpty Dumpty of Jimmy Durante is over-the-top and egotistical as he should be and not but not least Jack Palance is a frightening and deliciously sneeringly over-the-top Jabberwocky(almost as scary as the Jabberwocky in the Natalie Gregory adaptation). In conclusion, if you want a faithful adaptation of Through the Looking Glass look elsewhere but if you want something with great production values, songs and performance this version should definitely fit the bill. 8/10 Bethany Cox
  • This "adaptation" of Lewis Carroll classic completely throws out his original story and dialogue and substitutes its own mish-mash. No Carroll in sight. Enough said.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    O.K., so Judi Rolin seems about 10 years too old for the role of Alice, but when she breaks into her big song, "Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are", you are totally taken by her. Not as well known as "Alice in Wonderland", "The Looking Glass" has been made several times for T.V. and only as part of a special which included the more famous characters from "Wonderland". Gone are the "Off With Her Head!" Duchess, the rolling pin wielding cook and the Mad Hatter. This is obviously a different fantasy land, and the White Royals and Red Royals are definitely a more welcoming group than the mad rulers of Wonderland.

    With Nanette Fabray and Agnes Moorehead as the two queens and Ricardo Montalban and Robert Coote as the two kings, there's imminent camp, and a delightful description of life behind the mirror ("Two Sides to Everything") has the delightful Ms. Moorehead singing one of the few times in her career. Broadway veteran Fabray shows her meddle after practically stealing "The Band Wagon" away from Fred Astaire, and Jimmy Durante is a delightful Humpty Dumpty. The Smothers Brothers are well cast as Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dee, but their song ("The Backwards Alphabet") isn't one of the better tunes in the score.

    I often find myself humming "Keep on the Grass" when strolling through Central Park or some other nature setting, although I still "Don't Pick the Flowers", to quote the song's second verse. A group of singing flowers do appear as do witches briefly from some other famous children's fairy tales. Jack Palance is never frightening as the Jabberwork, just sneering and over-the-top. They certainly could have done without his non-show-stopping song which stops the action cold.

    Overall, I rate this equally as high as some of the other more famous children's TV musicals, and while the score in total isn't stage-worthy, it is perfect for what it is, a memory I cherish from a Thanksgiving of many years ago, and the type of T.V. we unfortunately shall never see again unless they release it on home video.
  • In first place: Excuse me for my English; I don't speak this language.

    While it is true that this film isn't a true reflection and exact of thread of events that get passed in measure that one go reading Lewis Carrll's book (as this film is an adaptation in form Musical) the film itself shows us another different perspective of this Story; but without distorting the essence present in Carroll's original version.

    The film not only added some scenes or situations that are not originally present in the book; but also added brand new characters as is the case of "Lester", the Royal Jester, that within the plot of the film is a character who serves to be as an Alicia's assistant that appearing only when she needs him, exactly so, like what he is: A buffoon, Lester becomes for Alicia, something like the Joker that she needs when she is in trouble, he is the Ace that she has hided up her sleeve. The musical numbers in the film are also very nice and funny. In my opinion I think that this film should see any children aged 7 to 12 years old, which is the stage of their lives when they are a mix of children and teenagers.

    We remember that the Alicia is in the book "Through the Looking Glass" she is much less child-girl, that another Alicia what we read in the book of "Wonderland", when Lewis Carroll wrote "Through the Looking Glass" he knows that true Alice soon be a woman and she will make her life as a woman married to another man, and most likely, what not be him.-