Disney Soundtracks – Alice In Wonderland

Walt Disney's Alice In Wonderland - All The Songs From The Original Motion  Picture Soundtrack (1962, Vinyl) - Discogs

Greetings, Glancers. Last time we enjoyed Cinderella’s various delights but I don’t have high hopes for this one. I’ve never liked Alice In Wonderland – not the Johnny Depp ones, not the book, and not any other I’ve seen. Which is weird, because I love weird and surreal and maybe everyone being off their nips on drugs. For whatever reason, Alice In Wonderland doesn’t do it for me – it tries to hard, it’s annoying to me. The Disney animation is probably my favourite version though. There’s a whole, steaming, crapload of songs to get through, so lets just get on with it.

Main Titles‘. Ugh, even the soundtrack doesn’t make sense, 12 names for each entry. This is your traditional Disney opening – brass, strings, harps, annoying choral voices. There’s no discernible difference between this intro and all the others.

Pay Attention/In A World Of My Own‘. This is a dreamy, string led piece and starts off rather sweetly. The cat noises are bizarre without having the images. I’ve never liked the vocal performances for Alice in these songs. This is a decent character intro song, but hardly a classic.

I’m Late‘. Fast, whistling, painful grunts. Scratchy vocals. Short.

Curiosity Leads To Trouble/Simple Impassable‘. Foreboding strings pave the way before sudden piano harp weirdness takes over. This is wonderfully experimental, a forerunner to Zappa et al. It then becomes a more traditional string piece – fast paced for a while, then slow, with various interludes. It’s not a piece that makes a lot of sense without the visuals though even if you haven’t seen the movie you can imagine what is happening.

The Sailor’s Hornpipe/The Caucous Race‘. You know the melody. This gets a Disney reworking, along with some other traditional pieces. Eventually the vocals come in, luckily not annoying. It’s a lot better with the visuals and doesn’t stand too well on its own as a song.

How D’Ye Do And Shake Hands/Curious‘ is filled with weird voices and noises. The music is scattershot and fast for the first half, slowing and calming for the second.

The Walrus And The Carpenter‘ continues the weird voices and noises. It sounds like Bugs Bunny. You should know by know that I don’t care for the accents. There are the usual instrumental interludes and the song flies all over the place with pace and timing and tone shifts – works in the movie, terrible as a standalone song.

Old Father William’ is an extension of the above, but only a few seconds long.

Mary Ann!/A Lizard With A Ladder/We’ll Smoke The Blighter Out‘ starts off like a Tom And Jerry cartoon. It’s over the halfway point that the vocals come in, but nothing worth mentioning.

The Garden/All In The Golden Afternoon‘ starts with piano tinkling before strings take control. It is evocative of a pastoral scene even if you haven’t seen the movie. Of course, like most of the track here there are spoken parts and just sheer weirdness which mean you will be unlikely to stick this on in the car. The singing part is okay, the voices are almost annoying, not quite. It ends with a jump scare.

What Genus Are You?‘ is educational and crap – just like school! With that piece of biting social commentary out of the way, we can say more accurately that this is all strings and a little bit of weird trumpet – the movie has some bits about biology. But not the dirty stuff.

A-E-I-O-U (Ray the Caterpillar Song/Who R U?)‘. Ugh, crap on a biscuit, this is taking a long time. This is a weird one, with wonky vocals and some sort of Eastern, mystical horn and percussive stuff going on. I hate to keep saying it, but it doesn’t work without the visuals. After some meandering, we get a spoken part which isn’t as creepy as it should have been.

A Serpent‘ is strings, lots of twiddling, you already know – worthless on its own.

Alone Again/’Twas Brillig/Lose Something‘ is more messed up stuff. The Cheshire Cat does stuff. It’s all pre-psychedelic but not very good. Some bouncy stuff, some tinkling stuff.

The Mad Tea Party/The Unbirthday Song‘ is maybe the most famous one here, but it’s still terribly annoying. The voices and all the high-pitched stuff just isn’t worth your time. Or the bills to fix your ear drums. Great in the movie, bad in any other situation.

The Tulgey Wood‘ at least sounds a little threatening. Bird noises. Strings. Blowpipe stuff, weird noises.

Very Good Advice‘ starts with choral voices that I hoped were gone for good by now. This is what, 15 years since Snow White and choral voices are still a thing. God, how long does that mean we’ll have to cope with Adele for? Alice talks/sings to herself. It’s almost a song.

Whom Did You Expect‘ has some speaking then some strings. It’s over in under a minute.

Painting the Roses Red/March of the Cards‘ has more whistling and diddly dumming. It feels like something the Seven Dwarves would sing. It’s just the same jingle repeated to death with some spoken parts in between. It gets more zany and jazzy towards the end.

Marie the Queen of Hearts/Who’s Been Painting My Roses Red?‘ continues the above, kind of. It’s a slower, stompier version with more shouting.

A Little Girl/Let the Game Begin/I Warn You Child‘. I’m down to single words now. Strings. Honking. Crap.

The Trial/The Unbirthday Song (Reprise)/Rule 42/Off with Her Head/The Caucus Race‘. Six minutes. Noise. Stampede. Bits of other crap to make one almighty crap.

Beyond The Laughing Sky‘ is the first deleted song, so that must mean we’re almost done and I can hibernate once more. This actually sounds like a song, maybe because all the surrounding madness has been removed. Second star. I’m sure this would have been roont had it been included (incloont?)

Dream Caravan‘ is okay. Zoom gally gally sounds like something that I would say. Possibly while hiding in your bushes.

I’m Odd‘ – aren’t we all? Again this is better than anything in the actual movies.

Beware The Jabberwock‘ starts out a little creepy, as it should. It quickly becomes a very standard piece of guff, as if they’re selling cigarettes in a TV ad.

So They Say‘ is a song. There is a clear melody. It’s nice enough, good have been turned into something decent.

If You’ll Believe In Me‘ features characters who didn’t make the final cut. Therefore the song doesn’t make it. It’s average stuff and sounds like something that would have been wrecked by the insanity of the orchestration.

Beautiful Soup‘ is another cut due to cut characters. The melody is nicked but the song comes straight from the book.

Everything Has A Useness‘ is more cigarette selling jingle crap.

Curiosity‘ is a song almost at the end of this post.

‘Humpty Dumpty‘ is almost like you would sing it, but with added piano.

Speak Roughly To Your Little Boy‘ is this time selling pepper.

‘Will You Join The Dance?’ No. No I will not.

After the greatness of Cinderella, this is pure muck. There isn’t a single track worth listening to on its own and while none of the music is particularly good it is certainly experimental, influential, and fits while watching the film. Skip it. Looking on Youtube I found what appeared to be even more deleted songs. My mind is now bereft so I can do no more. Comments etc.

Tell it like it is!

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