Wonderland - ACMI - Info - Melbourne

ACMI invites you to venture down the rabbit hole into an enchanted world with WONDERLAND this April where expectations are turned upside down and curiosity is rewarded. Wonderland will celebrate the screen history of Lewis Carroll's timeless stories - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There in an entirely original immersive exhibition. 

WONDERLAND will illustrate the ongoing fascination of Carroll's stories and characters with new visual technologies from over more than a century. From the earliest optical toys to silent film, animation, puppetry, live-action cinema, video games, CGI, 3D and beyond, the exhibition explores how the moving image has kept Alice and her stories in the public consciousness, reinvented in contemporary contexts and mediums.

Commencing in Lewis Carroll’s drawing room, visitors of WONDERLAND are handed their own Lost Map of Wonderland, a physical and digital device unlocking surprising experiences during their exhibition journey and beyond. With their interactive map in hand, visitors wander the world of Wonderland, losing themselves in the Hallway of Doors, playing at the Queen’s Croquet Ground and taking part in a magical Mad Hatter’s Tea Party that comes to life before their very eyes.


Along the way they will find more than 300 unique objects sourced from all around the world including first edition publications and illustrations, magic lantern projectors, concept drawings, animation cels, spectacular costumes, puppets, props and more.

Photo credit: ACMI

Photo credit: ACMI

From the first screen adaptation by Cecil M Hepworth in 1903 to Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016), WONDERLAND reveals the development of special effects from pre-cinematic entertainment to silent film, animation to puppetry, live-action cinema, videogames, CGI, 3D and beyond. Among the films featured; Norman Z McLeod’s 1933 version featuring a young Cary Grant; Lou Bunin’s Alice Au Pays des Merveilles (1949) which almost did not make it to the screen; Jan Svankmajer’s acclaimed Alice (1988); the Quay Brothers’ experimental Alice in Not So Wonderland (2007); and television versions by the BBC and NBC, and much more. 

So take a trip through the looking glass into an immersive, enchanted world that draws together a remarkable selection of original behind-the-scenes material. The more curious you are, the more you’ll discover. 

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