True fans will find a lot to like in latest adaptation of 'Alice'

Disney's system of releasing animated features on DVD is frustrating, the way it removes titles from the market, only to re-release them in reconfigured editions a couple of years later. But because Disney was wise enough to hoard and preserve nearly every scrap of paper and celluloid its animators touched, each reissue -- for animation fans, at least -- is like opening a treasure box.
The latest upgrade is 1951's "Alice in Wonderland" (4 stars, $29.99). It replaces the original single disc transfer from 2000 with a two-DVD "Masterpiece Edition." It is not only a significant visual upgrade, rendering the brash, poppy, pre-psychedelic coloring even brighter, but also isolates elements of the soundtrack to compose a new 5.1 Surround mix. (Purists have the option of the original mono.)
Long considered a second-tier Disney, like "Peter Pan," the adaptation has grown in stature since it was re-released in the early '70s, and there's a wildness to this trippy adaptation of the Lewis Carroll classic that wouldn't rear its head again in Burbank until 1992's "Aladdin." For true fans, the revelation here will be a sequence featuring the Cheshire Cat singing "I'm Odd," with visuals to prove it, and the Mickey Mouse short "Thru the Mirror" from way back in 1936.
Parents shouldn't fret: There's an hour or so of kids-oriented games, riddles and sing-alongs.