Movie review: Alice in Wonderland

I finally got the chance to sit down and watch the Blu-Ray of Tim Burton's version of Alice in Wonderland. While I was very interested in it, I have to admit that I haven't been following all the news on it very closely. I saw the "sneak peek" pictures of the Mad Hatter, the Red Queen, and the White Queen, but I wasn't quite sure how they would work when moving. Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised.

Despite the movie being titled Alice in Wonderland, the movie is based more on the sequel, Through the Looking Glass. Alice had spent time in Underland, which she misheard as Wonderland, as a child. However, she wrote it off as sheer craziness and forgot all about it as she grew up. Years later, she happens upon the white rabbit and once more falls down the rabbit hole. There she finds the Red Queen has stolen the throne from the White Queen. Prophecy says that Alice will slay the Jabberwocky, bringing the White Queen and peace back to the kingdom.

The graphics for the movie are gorgeous. I really wish we had seen it in the 3D. I'm sure that tons of people have complained about the look of everything. However, I think it fits right in with the original story. Much like the black-and-white-to-color change in The Wizard of Oz, the look of Underland makes it clear that this is a completely different world where the usual rules don't necessarily apply.

I also found the acting to be superb. Matt Lucas plays both of the Tweedles. I can't imagine how difficult it must have been to recreate each emotion, each movement for each of the characters yet still have the concentration to perform the lines properly. Both Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter revel in odd roles so they were a perfect fit for the Mad Hatter and the Red Queen. The real surprises come with the virtually unkown Mia Wasikowska as Alice and Anne Hathaway as the White Queen. Wasikowska manages to bring an innocence to the adult Alice while still giving her the backbone to stand up to authority. Meanwhile, Hathaway has this ethereal presence as the White Queen. I recommend everyone watch the bonus material. There is some great insight to how the actors brought these characters to life.

If you're not a fan of Tim Burton's style, then you aren't going to like this movie. But if you are, like I am, I think you will find it amazing and beautiful and one of his best works. (Just to note, I feel the same way about his Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.)