Hi! I was just wondering how everyone was introduced to AIW? Here’s my story. I hope everyone likes it!
Before I go on, I feel it’s fair to warn you that I DID NOT Grow up with the Disney movie and I only read the book once. Neither one did much for me in the way of capturing my attention. There was only one version of the story that did that. And that was Disney’s Adventures in Wonderland.
In a lot of reviews and memory essays I’ve read about the show from fans, most of them have remarked on the beautiful scenery or really bright colorful backgrounds the show provided for them. They say that’s what drew them into the show.
I’m here to provide a totally different prospective altogether. I like to think of it as a unique one. And that prospective is an auditory one.
Imagine not being able to
see anything at all. Your world is completely black. The only way you can watch TV or enjoy any kind of entertainment is by listening to it.
Now imagine one day you turn on Disney Channel only to hear this amazing music and an amazing young female voice accompanying it. And before you know it, your mind’s eye explodes with all these color and imagery you didn’t even know existed. Well that’s what it was like for me when I got my first glimpse into the world of AIW.
I guess you can tell from my introduction that I’m not like most AIW fans you probably know. And you’re right, I’m not. But in a way, I am.
I’m visually impaired, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a good TV Show or movie whenever I want. I just watch them differently. But I get the same enjoyment out of them all the same.
One other thing before we go on. When you’re visually impaired, you generally go through a lot of surgeries. It was no exception for me either. But little did I know how much one young girl’s amazing singing voice would help me through the aftermath of one of the most difficult surgeries of my life. And by doing so, would transport me into a world I never thought was possible via my mind’s eye and a little imagination.
Hold onto your seat, let’s go for a ride back in time. To 1992 to be exact.
I had just come home from having one of many eye surgeries. I was in a lot of pain and really tired.
My mother put me down on the couch and turned the TV on for me. She switched it to the Disney Channel before going to put her stuff away and make me something to eat.
As I lay there, I heard music start to play. I didn’t really pay too much attention to it until I heard someone start to sing. She had an amazing voice and the song was cool too. The minute I heard Alice start to sing, my pain totally went away. I didn’t feel as bad and I even smiled a little bit.
My mother noticed the change in me the moment she came back into the room. The ironic thing was, they were showing a marathon of what I know now and love is called Disney’s Adventures in Wonderland.
The next episode I now know was called Herstory in the Making. I was fortunate there as well. No sooner had the episode started and whisked me off to Wonderland via Alice’s mirror, Alice had the first song! Needless to say, I started listening to AIW every day. I especially liked it when Alice sung.
Once my eye was better, I was able to see a little bit and that’s when I really got a taste of the show. The first episode I saw as well as I could was called “This Bunny for Hire.”
It was funny and Alice sung with the Queen at the end. I also liked the Tweedles raps as well. But Alice’s solo songs were always my favorite and still are. I don’t mind when she sings with someone else, but I like it when she sings solo the best.
I don’t know what it is about Alice’s solo songs, but they always help me whenever I’m feeling upset or just need a spirit booster. They also help me a lot when I have writer’s block.
I remember one day in sixth grade, our teacher showed us the movie, “Alice in Wonderland” that Disney had put out.
I sat down eagerly. I was really excited to see it. My excitement was short lived however five minutes into the movie. The movie was NOTHING like the series! I was totally lost and really disappointed.
I sat there, humming Alice songs quietly to myself for the rest of the afternoon.
As I gazed at the screen, I started asking myself questions. Where was Alice’s mirror? Where was the nice, but crabby Queen? Where was the cool music? And why was it animated? Where was my Wonderland that I Knew and loved?
While on the bus that afternoon, I listened to my Adventures in Wonderland song tape in order to get the songs from the movie out of my head. It worked just fine. The minute I heard Alice sing, all the songs from that poor excuse of a movie were erased from my mind.
When I got home, I watched four episodes of Disney’s Adventures in Wonderland, just to get the image of the movie out of my head. I made sure they all had Alice singing in them in one way or another. Three of the episodes had Alice singing solo and one had her doing a duet with the Tweedles.
The episodes that I had watched were “How the West Was Wonderland”, “Friday the Umpteenth”, “Herstory in the Making” and “Whose Carrots Are They, Anyway?”.
After the episodes were over, I felt a lot better and I was in a better mood.
When Disney took the show off in 1995, I was very upset.
I remember getting up that Monday morning with all intensions of watching AIW. I got dressed, made my breakfast and sat down to enjoy my favorite show. Little did I know how disappointed I would be.
Eight twenty five rolled around and one of those short things came on. I didn’t mind. I figured they would start AIW soon.
However, when eight-thirty rolled around, another show started, but it was DEFINITELY not AIW! It was some stupid mouse tracks stuff!
I looked at the screen as though it had betrayed me. I quickly scanned the guide on our TV to see if AIW would be on later. If it was, at least I could tape it and have something to look forward to when I returned from school. The guide had large print, so I could see it just fine. Alas, AIW wasn’t on at all.
Even though I was really upset, I decided to give it a week or so. I figured maybe Disney was trying out a new show and seeing what time slot fit it best.
I figured they would put AIW back on after they got the new show settled in a regular time slot. Again, I was wrong. Weeks and weeks passed by and no AIW.
I watched the tapes I had acquired through recording it, but it wasn’t’ the same as waking up every morning and watching it on TV.
My audio tape of Alice songs helped me to cheer up, but I still missed watching the show on TV>
It wasn’t until a year later, did I get the biggest surprise of my life!
I was at a local Kmart with my Dad when I found something I didn’t think I’d ever see again in a million years!
My Dad was looking for something and he dropped me off in the movie section. I was looking for Disney stuff and I found it pretty quickly. I searched through the shelves and found what I was looking for. I was into the Little Mermaid as well and I wanted to see if they had the newest video. They hadn’t gotten it in yet, so I turned around to leave, when something caught my attention.
I walked back to the shelf to get a closer look at it. As I inched my way closer, I had to blink to make sure I wasn’t seeing things.
When I opened my eyes, I realized I wasn’t seeing anything. They had Adventures in Wonderland on tape! I picked the box up and read the back. Fortunately, the print was white and the box was a dark purple. The contrast was perfect for me to see it on my own with the vision I had. Needless to say, I bought the tape, along with the two others Disney had put out. I was so excited and popped them into the VCR the moment I got home.
The three tapes were wonderful, but there was still an aching in my heart for Disney to put the show back on again.
The three tapes that I had bought contained the episodes, “Pop Goes the Easel”, “Pretzelmania: The Missing Ring Mystery,” “Technobunny”, “Noses Off,” “For Better or Verse” and “Off the Cuffs”. They all had great songs in them and really funny lines from Hatter/Hare.
Although Alice and the Tweedles will always be my favorite characters, with the Queen at a close third, I will always love Hatter/Hare’s silliness! I especially love their one liners to the Queen! They always crack me up!
Later in 2004, I had created a message board for AIW. I was looking on it to see who had posted and I found an entry advertising a new AIW site. I went on it and boy was I Surprised! There were songs and a whole lot of them too! That’s when my AIW Alice song collection really grew! I soon acquired episodes in audio form. This was thanks to the owner of the site and now my good friend, Dave. He encoded them for me into MP3 format. I can’t thank him enough for what he’s done for me. Dave has brought AIW back for me in a way that nobody else could. He’s currently trying to make a better site for AIW, so his old one is down for now.
I also find that whenever I’m having a bad day or just am not feeling my best, I listen to my AIW CD and it cheers me right up. It also helps me in other ways as well. I can’t wait till they bring AIW to DVD. I hope they do.
I also am grateful to Elisabeth Harnois for bringing Alice to life so well. If it wasn’t for her and her God given talent of singing, Alice would not have come to life so well. Elisabeth has an amazing singing voice and I know it’s going to take her far. There aren’t enough words I can use to express my gratitude for what Elisabeth has done for me through her portrayal of Alice. Likewise, there aren’t enough words I could use to express how much AIW has helped me. It will always hold a very special place in my heart.