When Lewis Carroll first sent Alice down the rabbit hole back in 1865, he couldn't have guessed just where she'd end up. While the English mathematician-turned-writer obviously knew she'd be wandering around Wonderland, that was just the beginning of her white rabbit-chasing journey. Countless film, TV, comic book, game, stage, music, music videos and ballet adaptations have taken the famous character far and wide — and, come 2018, she'll be stopping by Melbourne.
From April 5 to October 7, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image will pay tribute to all things Alice in Wonderland, the centre's major exhibition for the year as part of the Victorian Government's Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series. A world-premiere event crafted and curated by ACMI, the entirely original showcase will take fans through the screen history of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There — aka the two Carroll-penned books that introduced not only the titular heroine, but the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat, the hookah-smoking Caterpillar, and food and drink with "eat me" and "drink me" labels.
Proving a date you won't want to be late for, fans can follow Alice on her voyage through more than 40 cinema and 30 television versions, as well as through popular culture in general. Spanning her first big screen appearance in 1903 to 2016's Alice Through the Looking Glass, the exhibition will step through her different guises, and the technologies that have brought her story to life, all in an interactive, experiential way. That includes animation, puppetry, live-action cinema, video games, CGI, 3D and more, as well as playful environments, digital activities and behind-the-scenes glimpses.
"With Wonderland, ACMI has created an interactive exhibition where audiences will explore the magic of film craft and its integral role embedding this much loved story in our imaginations for generations," explains ACMI CEO and director Katrina Sedgwick.
Given ACMI's two on-site cinemas, it's safe to assume that an enchanting lineup of Alice in Wonderland films will also feature.