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Dreamchild

Dreamchild.

Dreamchild
tells the semi-biographical story of Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) and his relationship with young Alice Liddell. Caroll dedicated his books Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There to Liddell, and her name was borrowed for the fictional Alice. The film focuses on an elderly Alice, now Mrs. Alice Hargreaves, visiting the United States for a Lewis Carroll centenary event, who flashes back to her friendship with Carroll, and is haunted by dreams of meeting the characters from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

Plot

The film begins on the ship bearing Alice (Coral Browne) and Lucy from England to New York. As she and Lucy (Nicola Cowper) disembark, they are set upon by several journalists, all trying to get a story or quote from her. Clearly bewildered by all the excitement, she is befriended by an ex-reporter, Jack Dolan (Peter Gallagher), who helps her and Lucy through the legions of the press. Dolan quickly becomes her agent and finds endorsement opportunities for her. Throughout it all, a romance develops between Jack and Lucy.

But all is not well with Alice. Being so advanced in age, she needs Lucy, of whom she can be very demanding, to be her constant companion. When left alone in their hotel room, she begins to hallucinate and sees Mr. Dodgson (Ian Holm) in their room, and then, later, the Mad Hatter (voiced by Tony Haygarth) and March Hare (voiced by Ken Campbell). Joining them for their insane tea party, they berate her for being so old and forgetful. She remembers also the lazy boating party of 4 July 1862, when the young Reverend Charles Dodgson, (Lecturer in Mathematics at Christ Church, Oxford, where her father was the Dean), had attempted to entertain her and her sisters by spinning the nonsense tale that grew to be Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

Via flashbacks, it is insinuated that Dodgson had an infatuation with the young Alice Liddell (Amelia Shankley). Was it an innocent admiration he had for the girl or something inappropriate? Alice is clearly troubled by her recollections of Dodgson. The parameters of her relationship with him were somewhat tortured. Dodgson was unwaveringly adoring of Alice, and while she was usually kind, she could sometimes be cruel and mocking of him, especially of his occasional stutter – as on the day of the boating party when she was on the verge of her teens and trying to impress a couple of young students (one of whom she eventually marries). Alice tries to rectify her feelings and past relationship with the author in her mind.

By the time she delivers her acceptance speech at Columbia University, she comes to terms with Dodgson and the way she treated him. In another fantasy sequence with the Mock Turtle, the viewers see them finally reconciled together in a way that can be interpreted as all-encompassing, as both mutual apology and forgiveness.

Cast

  • Coral Browne as Alice Hargreaves
  • Peter Gallagher as Jack Dolan
  • Ian Holm as Reverend Charles L. Dodgson
  • Jane Asher as Mrs. Liddell
  • Nicola Cowper as Lucy
  • Caris Corfman as Sally
  • Amelia Shankley as Young Alice

Voice cast

  • Fulton MacKay as the Gryphon
  • Alan Bennett as the Mock Turtle
  • Julie Walters as the Dormouse
  • Ken Campbell as the March Hare
  • Tony Haygarth as the Mad Hatter
  • Frank Middlemass as the Caterpillar

Sources

Gallery

Adaptations
Sequels A New Alice in the Old Wonderland - New Adventures of "Alice" - Alice Through the Needle's Eye - Automated Alice - Wonderland Revisited and the Games Alice Played There - Alice: Otherlands
Retellings Alice's Adventures in Wonderland retold in words of one syllable - Alice in Verse: The Lost Rhymes of Wonderland
Parodies The Westminster Alice - Clara in Blunderland - Lost in Blunderland - John Bull's Adventures in the Fiscal Wonderland - Alice in Blunderland: An Iridescent Dream
Imitations Mopsa the Fairy - Davy and the Goblin - The Admiral's Caravan - Gladys in Grammarland - A New Wonderland - Rollo in Emblemland - Justnowland - Alice in Orchestralia
Reimagining Alice or the Last Escapade - Adventures in Wonderland - The Looking Glass Wars - Alice (miniseries) - Malice in Wonderland (2009) - Alice in Wonderland (2010 film) - Alice in Wonderland: The Vampire Slayer - Alice Through the Looking Glass (film)
Films Alice in Wonderland (1903 film) - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1910 film) - Alice in Wonderland (1915 film) - Alice in Wonderland (1931 film) - Alice in Wonderland (1933 film) - Alice in Wonderland (1949 film) - Alice in Wonderland (1951 film) - Alice in Wonderland (1966 TV play) - Alice in Wonderland or What's a Nice Kid Like You Doing in a Place Like This? - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1972 film) - Alice in Wonderland (1976 film) - Alice (1982 film) - Alice in Wonderland (1983 film) - Alice in Wonderland (1985 film) - Alice Through the Looking Glass (1987 film) - Alice (1988 film) - Alice in Wonderland (1988 film) - Alice in Wonderland (1995 film) - Alice in Wonderland (1999 film)
Stage Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (ballet) - Alice in Wonderland (musical) - Alice in Wonderland (opera) - Peter and Alice - Wonder.land
Television Fushigi no Kuni no Alice - Once Upon a Time in Wonderland
Literary Alice in the Country of Hearts - Miyuki-chan in Wonderland
Video games Alice in Wonderland (1985 video game) - Märchen Maze - Wonderland (video game) - Alice: An Interactive Museum - Alice no Paint Adventure - Alice in Wonderland (2000 video game) - American McGee's Alice - Alice in Wonderland (2010 video game) - Alice: Madness Returns
Audio dramas Legend of the Cybermen

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