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Alice In Wonderland exhibition to feature Walt Disney artwork

Notes from early meetings to final designs for the 1951 film will go on show.

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Concept art by Mary Blair for Alice In Wonderland (Disney)

Concept art by Mary Blair for Alice In Wonderland (Disney)

Concept art by Mary Blair for Alice In Wonderland (Disney)

Designs for Walt Disney’s classic Alice In Wonderland film will go on show in a new exhibition on Lewis Carroll’s literary creation.

The Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) has promised a “mind-bending” experience with the exhibition, which will feature theatrical sets, large-scale digital projections and immersive environments.

Highlights include sketches and costumes from Tim Burton’s 2010 film adaptation.

Concept art by Mary Blair for Walt Disney's 1951 animation of Alice In Wonderland
Concept art by Mary Blair for Walt Disney’s 1951 animation of Alice In Wonderland (Disney)

The exhibition will also show Disney’s vision for Alice, from notes from early meetings and concept drawings to final designs for the 1951 animated film.

Kate Bailey, senior curator of theatre and performance at the V&A, said: “No film adaptation of Alice has had a more enduring cultural impact than Disney’s 1951 Alice In Wonderland, so we are delighted to showcase original artworks and reveal the lesser-known stories behind the creative development of this iconic film, for the first time in the UK.”

The exhibition will bring together Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter and Mia Wasikowska’s Alice costumes from Burton’s film, with the Walt Disney artworks.

Mad Hatter costume designed by Colleen Atwood for Tim Burton's 2010 adaptation Of Alice in Wonderland, worn by Johnny Depp
Mad Hatter costume designed by Colleen Atwood for Tim Burton’s 2010 adaptation Of Alice in Wonderland, worn by Johnny Depp (Disney)

Disney purchased the rights to the original illustrations in 1931, but was unable to realise his vision until 1951.

He said that “no story in English literature has intrigued me more than Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland.”

An original handwritten manuscript by author Carroll will go on display.

The V&A announced the exhibition last year, saying it “will begin with a descent” into its “subterranean gallery via a theatrical interpretation of the story’s famous rabbit hole”.

A “mind-bending visual experience” will take place at a Mad Hatter’s tea party, thanks to psychedelic digital projections and visitors will be invited to play a game of Flamingo croquet.

Alice: Curiouser And Curiouser opens on June 27 at the V&A, London.

PA