Just in time for the arrival of Tim Burton's new, somewhat sequel-ized mo-capped 3D version of Alice in Wonderland comes video of the first ever film adaptation of Lewis Carroll's book from 1903, courtesy of the British Film Institute Archive. Though the book (originally called Alice's Adventures in Wonderland) was published in 1865, it wasn't until eight years after the birth of cinema that the initial adaptation -- directed by Cecil Hepworth and Percy Snow -- came about. Other Alice adaptations followed shortly after in 1910 (first version made in the United States) and 1915 (both, including the 1903 version, were silent), and the first Alice adaptation with sound came in 1931. From that point on, there's been over 20 different adaptations of Carroll's original book on the big and small screen, concluding with the version that's about to hit theaters on Friday.

From the YouTube description: "The first-ever film version of Lewis Carroll's tale has recently been restored by the BFI National Archive from severely damaged materials. Made just 37 years after Lewis Carroll wrote his novel and eight years after the birth of cinema, the adaptation was directed by Cecil Hepworth and Percy Stow, and was based on Sir John Tenniel's original illustrations. In an act that was to echo more than 100 years later, Hepworth cast his wife as the Red Queen, and he himself appears as the Frog Footman. Even the Cheshire cat is played by a family pet. With a running time of just 12 minutes (8 of which survive), Alice in Wonderland was the longest film produced in England at that time. Film archivists have been able to restore the film's original colours for the first time in over 100 years."

Watch the first ever Alice in Wonderland movie after the jump.



[via Neatorama]