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Alice in Wonderland
poster from Alice in Wonderland 8 out of 108 out of 108 out of 108 out of 108 out of 10
Rated: PG
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Current Voter Rating: 6.938 (16 votes)
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Alice in Wonderland has always been a story that just gets "curiouser and curiouser". Bring in Tim Burton, creator of such dark fantasies as The Nightmare Before Christmas and Edward Scissorhands, and you've got yourself a real treat, strange though it may be. My daughter has been waiting for this movie for quite some time, it being one of her favorite stories, and so she accompanied me to the theater dressed in her Alice in Wonderland costume "with a twist" as she put it for under her blue dress she wore a pair of Converse shoes. We got a couple of good looks as we made our way to our seats, but I truly believe that it is we who had the most fun that day. We saw the film in 3D which provided a unique-enough experience to help me to swallow the exorbitant cost of movie tickets these days.

picture from Alice in Wonderland

Burton's film does not rehash the same tale told in the Disney animated version, nor does it bind itself to Lewis Carrol's original set of books (Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass). Instead we are given an older, twenty-something Alice (Mia Wasikowska), who escapes an unwanted marriage proposal by chasing the white rabbit down the iconic rabbit hole towards a new world where the rules of her aristocratic life do not apply. However, this strange world is not quite what we might remember as it appears to be a land devastated by the wrath of the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter). Alice soon finds that it is she that must put an end to the Queen and her jabberwocky monster, much to her chagrin. But she is not alone, as she is aided by many friends, not the least of which is the Mad Hatter, played by Johnny Depp who, of course, steals the show.

I was particularly enamored with the theme of the film which is quite obvious from the start even before Alice falls down the rabbit hole. We see a wonderful scene where a young Alice tells her father of her dreams and then asks, "Am I mad?" to which her father replies, "Yes. But all the best ones are." I took this to mean that we should all keep dreaming our impossible dreams if we really want to succeed in life. Alice tells us that her father used to "think of six impossible things before breakfast." And this theme repeats throughout, singing its high note at the films climax.

picture from Alice in Wonderland

I loved being whisked away to Wonderland in this delightful (and at times only slightly creepy) film. On the latter note, this one is rather tame for a Burton flick, but young children should not take part. My only real disappointment with the film is its special effects. What was done very well was the realism of the Queens enlarged head, her henchman's elongated torso, the Mad Hatter's enlarged eyes, and of course, the Cheshire Cat. However, I paid good money to see this in 3D, and I was not "wowed" by anything that appeared in 3D. Of course, having recently seen Avatar, I may be a bit spoiled.

In summary however, I found it very rewarding to spend an afternoon in the land of white rabbits, march hares, disappearing cats, smoking caterpillars, and talking dogs. The film is surprisingly colorful for a Burton movie, and its characters and themes have a way of getting you to believe the impossible. In my opinion it is probably not Tim Burton's greatest or most memorable work, but is still worthy of attention, especially for any Burton or Alice in Wonderland fans.

picture from Alice in Wonderland

thumbs up!This film is a little mad, but all the best ones are.

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So far, the average rating for Alice in Wonderland is: 6.938 (16 votes)

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