Sunday, January 16, 2011

Weird and Wonderful

The other night I finally watched Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. I've always said that I'd love to ramble around in his head for a day or two. I'm also a Johnny Depp fan.

I'm sure that this movie looked great on the big screen of a theater. I didn't go see it because I refuse to give Disney any more of my money (long story.) I borrowed the DVD from Vancouver Public Library.

One of these days I'm going to have to read the Alice books. I'm afraid I'm quite behind on my "classics of children's literature." I was not read to as a child. My mother left school in the fourth grade. She have very little skill at reading and writing. She thought it was a waste of time.

I can only remember reading two children's books: E B White's Stuart Little and Charlotte's Web. Both books were school assignments. I have a feeling I missed out on a lot of good books.

I did see the Disney animated version of Alice. It has been years and I don't remember that much of it. I knew Alice, the Red Queen ("Off with their heads!"), the Cheshire Cat, The Mad Hatter and the White  Rabbit. I knew about the "eat me" and "drink me." Everything else is kind of fuzzy so I don't know how true to the books this movie is.

I don't think it matters. I think the movie is fairly easy to follow - after you get past the part where a girl finds a bottle labelled "drink me" and she does. Some might think she deserved everything that came after for being so careless but that's another blog post entirely.

I've always loved the look of Tim Burton movies. The bright colors and out of kilter shapes. There was so much to look at in Alice that I got distracted. More than once I had to stop and go back because I missed something. The costumes in this film were amazing. I found myself coveting every hat the Hatter made. All of the characters in this wacky world looked wonderful. I'm always amazed by how well thought out and executed Burton movies are.

I was glad the soundtrack was also wonderful. I'm not always enamored of Danny Elfman's work. I thought his Mars Attacks! score was annoying. Alice's score was just right, quiet when it should have been and exhilerating when it needed to be.

I also loved the featurettes on this DVD. I'm always interested in the process (as long as I don't have to do it!) I was surprised that Johnny Depp did not know the origin of the phrase "mad as a hatter" until he began work on Alice.

****** SPOILER ALERT*****

Alice was a thoroughly enjoyable movie. I think I'd like living in Wonderland. Which reminds me, the MOST fantastical thing in the movie was at the end. She tells everyone she won't marry Hamish and Lord Ascot asks her to be his apprentice. Then he takes her advice about China and in the last scene she's on a ship (called Wonder) heading out to sea.

In  1878? Never happen. If I only had the life of a woman in the19th Century to go back to I'd stay in Wonderland.

Alice in Wonderland
Through the Looking-Glass


  1. I read the books when my kids were little and I saw the Disney animated version, but I'm yet to see this one. Everybody around me seen it even my own teenager and they say it was great and little bit twisted.I have to rent it one of these days.

    Visiting from SITs.

  2. It wouldn't be Burton (and Depp) if it wasn't just a little bit twisted.

    Welcome to my blog!