The most recent “Alice in Wonderland” is not what you expect if you think it will be a remake of the 1951 Disney version. Director Tim Burton has used his wacky, creative ideas to develop a story about “Alice” as a coming-of-age adult. So Carroll purists beware: it is not like the books.
To put this movie into 3D was a wonderful idea. Though the depth perception can make your brain go in little circles at some points, the general picture wasn’t distracting like some 3D movies can be. As Alice follows the rabbit down the hole, it is like “The Wizard of Oz” when Dorothy goes from her black and white world to a land of color- Alice’s plain world is nothing in comparison to the 3D, visually-rich Wonderland.
Unfortunately, releasing this movie so closely after “Avatar” will probably lead to unhappy reviews of the 3D in “Alice in Wonderland,” and they will come from people who simply prefer Pandora over Wonderland. But while the story-line in “Avatar” is so terribly predictable, “Alice in Wonderland” isn’t quite so typical.
Unlike almost every heroine in Disney movies, the romance is absent. “Alice in Wonderland” is solely girl power. While this might be a turn-off for some viewers, Mia Wasikowska (Alice) makes the movie worth watching. As a newcomer to the film industry, Wasikowska makes her debut and makes it well. She plays the perfect Alice: timid and unsure at the beginning, then beginning to show her “muchness,” as mentioned in the movie, when she grows into her character. To help her along the way is the Mad Hatter, played by Johnny Depp. Burton creates a whole new role for the Mad Hatter in the movie; Depp, like he does in seemingly every movie he is in, plays one of the leading roles. After Alice happens upon the everlasting tea party, the Mad Hatter is rarely away from the screen for the rest of the movie.
One problem with the movie is the speed of events. Though Alice’s task is clear at the beginning, it is rushed. Soon after Alice falls down the hole, she is heading to the Queen of Hearts’ castle in a jiffy. You may find yourself asking: already? Wait, what just happened? Still Burton tosses some unexpected turns in. Not many may be able to recall the 1951 Alice in armor actually fighting a jabberwocky at the end of the movie.
Though this movie was rated PG, fighting a jabberwocky may not be the only frightening scene for children. The Queen of Hearts’ realistically bulbous head, the Mad Hatter’s huge green eyes and eerie facial expressions and some startling scenes in the new “Alice in Wonderland” could all be fear-provoking for children. Alice isn’t a child in the movie, nor should other children be watching it.
“Alice in Wonderland” has brought in $565.8 million from worldwide ticket sales. But as popular as the movie is, it may not win many Oscars. It was an enjoyable, modern version of the classic, much more visually entertaining, and still in theaters.