Thursday, December 11, 2008


No, not the Linda Lavin comedy series (based on one of my favorite movies ever-that's another blog entry altogether), but Alice in Wonderland on TV. There have been dozens of odd adaptations of the Lewis Carroll classic - from Meryl Streep's ALICE AT THE PALACE to the star-studded CBS miniseries to the X-rated musical. Each of these attempts deserve their own articles - so I will address them in the future (maybe during a week-long Alice-fest?). This time out, I want to concentrate on a lost classic - and one which I have yet to see
Yes, Hanna-Barbera's hour-long 1966 animated musical comedy special entitled ALICE IN WONDERLAND or "What's a Nice Kid Like You Doing In a Place Like This" featuring the voices of Sammy Davis Jr. (The Cheshire Cat), Zsa Zsa Gabor (The Queen of Hearts), Harvey Korman (The Mad Hatter), and voiceover superstars Janet Waldo, Alan Reed, Mel Blanc, Daws Butler, Don Messick plus a guest appearance by Hedda Hopper!
With original music by Charles Strouse (ANNIE, IT'S A BIRD, IT'S A PLANE, IT'S SUPERMAN, and BYE, BYE, BIRDIE) and guest appearances by Fred Flintsone and Barney Rubble - how bad can this be???
Here's some great TV Guide images from the show. I think it looks pretty darn cute. Especially since The March Hare looks just like Ricochet Rabbit (sans Droopalong) and the Doormouse is a dead ringer for Pixie (or is it Dixie?)
The White Rabbit, on the other hand looks like he was drawn in a totally different style. Neither are faithful to the original Alice illustrations by John Tenniel, but most
adaptations usually avoid this high-detailed drawing approach anyhow–and I'd never expect H-B to stray that far from their recognizable brand style.
My Christmas wish (besides world peace & financial security) is that somebody at Warner Bros. will discover this wonderfully odd program exists and put it out on dvd-maybe perhaps part of a Hanna-Barbara Lost Classics box set??? Now that would be cool.


Writer said...

I scanned through to see if it was Hanna-Barbera. It looked like it. I love their animation. It's simple yet distinct.

laura linger said...

See, when I saw that on my feed, I nearly pissed myself because I thought you had uncovered an episode of ALICE where the gang from the diner puts on a show for Henry the telephone operator and the guy who played Ruben Kincaid on Partridge Family, and Mel Torme and Robert Goulet just so happen to show up as guest stars. Broken-down tour bus! Let the wackiness ensue!

No Christmas is complete without Linda Lavin's holiday vocal "stylings" and Vera putting Mel in his place somehow in a totally predictable ode to The Grinch. Throw in Diane Ladd as Belle (always my favorite, and she and Lavin apparently LOATHED each other) with her wiggle and her propensity for wearing feather boas, and you have Christmas Magic, my friend.

I'm dreaming of a White Christmas...with Linda Lavin murdering the song with her supposed singing. Good times.

Anonymous said...

I loved this show. I remember watching it and enjoying it as a kid and I keep checking to see if it's on DVD but so far no luck.