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Alice in Wonderland

Photo Credit: The Daily Record, UK

Alice in Wonderland is a great family movie. It is rated PG and produced by Disney. Beside some complex wordplay intended for adults, the film is made for children. The only difficult things to understand are the intricate metaphors. The images in the picture are amazing and don’t require any analytical skills to enjoy.

Tim Burton’s work in 3D is about as close as film can come to a hallucinogenic experience for the viewer. The combination of computer-generated animation, special effects, and make-up almost make the cartoon version more realistic than this one.

Once entering Wonderland, the new film’s plot is mostly similar to the book by Lewis Carrol and the 1951 film version with Kathryn Beaumont as the voice of Alice.

However, Burton’s version does have some differences in the plot, such as depicting Alice at almost age 20. Instead of visiting Wonderland, she is returning to Underland, where all the characters are at odds about whether or not she is the same young woman who came to visit them as a girl 13 years earlier.

The prologue tells how Alice — before falling into the rabbit hole that leads to her adventure — is the daughter of Helen Kingsleigh. With her father Charles dead, Alice is about to marry the son of Lord Ascot for the security of his family’s wealth and status. A crowd of hundreds watches as young Ascot asks for Alice’s hand in marriage. She retreats to the garden, following a curious rabbit, instead of attending to the pressing matter at hand.

Once falling down the rabbit hole at edge of the Ascot’s property, Alice encounters all the characters you know from the classic. The white rabbit, tweedledee, tweedledum, the Doormouse, the Cheshire cat, the blue caterpillar (Alan Rickman), the March hare, and the mad hatter (Johnny Depp) are all there.

The duality between the red queen (Helena Bonham Carter) and the white queen (Anne Hathaway) still exists. Of course, the red queen is more bloodthirsty than the pure white queen. The two probably represent the transition from innocence to womanhood that occurs with marriage. Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is not yet ready to become a married woman.

The message is that following the standards of propriety against one’s will can be crazier than any fantasy land. Just trying to ‘fit in’ ruins the individuality that makes each person great.

Fans of Burton’s earlier movies like Edward Scissorhands and The Nightmare Before Christmas have been disappointed with his recent appeal to the masses with remakes of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland.