Image from IconVision
Well, I was defiantly happy with the movie… it was pretty amazing.
I will say right from word go that I am a big fan of the original Disney film and the original original Lewis Caroll novel, so although I realize this is new story I can not help but compare.
I did love the way it tied in with the original movie but still worked with the new story line. I also loved that it was real people with realistic looking CGI animated character. *bless today’s technology*
I thoroughly enjoyed the film and will no doubt go and see it again. I do have a few things that I would have liked to have seen that weren’t in it and a few things that were that got under my skin…
The story starts as Underland (aka Wonderland) has been taken over by the Red Queen and is in turmoil. A prophetic scroll predicts that a blonde wavy haired girl is going to kill the Jabberwocky on the Frabjous Day (which is fast approaching). All the White Queens loyal subjects instantly know this wavy haired girl is Alice and the White Rabbit goes in search of her. Before you know it Alice is falling back down the rabbit hole but she has no memory of being there. It does remind her of a reoccurring “dream” she has had since she was a child. Basically the jist of it is, that Alice now 19 years old is returning to Wonderland.
The majority of the familiar faces are present; although not all in there classic roles. The March Hare is delightfully mad and throws things constantly and the White Rabbit is still very uptight and proper…
I have always had a bit of a soft spot for the dormouse, as he was such a cute little sleepy character who sung a sweet song before retiring back into his teapot mid sentence. However the dormouse in the new version is way too chatty and kind of irritating. For starters he certainly isn’t sleepy, in fact at one point he stabs Alice in the foot with a mouse sized sword. I’m no expert on Alice in Wonderland but I defiantly wouldn’t have thought that that sleepy little mouse could have turned out like that…
I also liked the caterpillar in the original, and above all liked the way his smoke turned into letters as he spoke. Although the caterpillar still smokes in this, his smoke is just ordinary smoke… No letters, no shapes, no nothing. The line “who are you?” just isn’t the same without the letters puffing into Alice’s face.
Lord Ascot is a new addition and is the Red Queen lanky escort and defender. The Red King in all in pint sized glory isn’t present in the film, except the mention of his death and quick glance of a head floating in the water of the moat.
The Cheshire Cat
The Cheshire Cat still had the widest grin and the ability to float and turn invisible, overall I liked the cat… in fact I quite liked the him, the only criticism is that he was now blue and grey rather then purple.
The Mad Hatter
I have enjoyed Johnny Depp in every movie I have seen him, he does such an outstanding job becoming a character that I don’t even realize it is the same actor as I watch him. This is no exception. (PS I have no seen Willy Wonka) The Hatter is just as mad with red hair as he was with white, but in this film he actually gets the chance to peruse his career in hat making. The only thing I noted about the hatter was that he was in much more of a leading role and his character was much deeper. It was almost like he had been abruptly shoved into the role of Alice’s friend and guide which was much more of the Cheshire Cat’s role in the original. Of course, the characters are going to have more depth in this, being aimed at a slightly older audience and also at past fans but still it was a bit of a surprise. The only part of this I question is whether the role was made larger simply because it was Johnny Depp or would the Hatter have been the same if someone else was cast?
And last but not least…
No complaints, besides the fact that I am a 19 year old Australian girl and would have killed for the role. Being years later then the original Alice of course has grown up but she still has the same sense of curiosity and is just as strong willed. If anything, the ending sets a fairly good example for young girls that Alice leaves a fantasy world to pursue a business venture and the final scene she isn’t in her Victorian garb wearing a corset but rather pants and a long coat…
There was also a few more new characters though that I did enjoy like Bayard the helpful talking dog, a huge fat dog like monster who works for the Red Queen (who’s name I can not remember for the life of me) and the Red Queen’s large featured cohorts.
The story line worked well with the timeline they had set and all the characters stuck fairly close to the original. I was very impressed that they had included the line from the Lewis Caroll story “why is a raven like a writing desk?” and did not try to answer it (as intended) and some of the kooky creatures like the rocking horse fly and the dragon fly. Oh, and they did manage to get “twinkle, twinkle little bat” in there (although it wasn’t the same with the new dormouse) which did make me smile.
There were a few things from the first Disney film that I would have liked to have seen re-done that were not included like the talking door knob, Alice’s giant tears, the “very happy un-birthday” song and the Caterpillar’s song and although this was a different story I am sure they could have adapted them slightly and it still would have worked.
The costumes were amazing and I defiantly wouldn’t object to any of them turning up in my wardrobe and the scenery in wonderland (the parts that hadn’t been destroyed) were mystical (especially in 3D) and would make for a wonderful *pun intended* theme park.
Overall I would give the film 8 out of 10, originally I would probably given it 9 out of 10 (probably would have been a 10 if turned out to be as dark as I expected from Burton and less Disney) but right before the ending something horrible happened…
After the climax of Alice defeating the Jabberwocky, suddenly some horrible poppy hip hop music started and the Mad Hatter broke out into some strange dance, his head spinning around exorcist style. The dance had some weird name (something like FrabberLacken?) and is mentioned earlier when referring to the Hatters less “mad” days. The White Queen also then dances (but much more lady like, simply waving her hands a little). Right then, I was terrified that whole cast was going to break out into dance and then the credits would role! Thankfully the dancing ceased without this happening but it still ruined the whole mood of the film and cheesed it up. I am going to assume that is expected to be appealing to the child audience and is simply the influence of Disney but still… it was really like a slap in the face after such a good run until then.
Definitely worth seeing and will undoubtedly be among my DVD collection upon release.
Image from MagicNeverEnds