Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland
When I first heard that Tim Burton was going to give a shot at making his own version of Alice In Wonderland, I wasn’t surprised. The whole world of “Wonderland” feels as if it’s made for Burton, like it was meant for him to one day make his own version; few of the actors that were cast didn’t surprise me either. That Johnny Depp would be a part of the movie was almost a given. Same with Helena Bonham Carter. But even if they were the obvious choice for Burton, he makes the right decision. They fit right into their roles, just as well as Burton fits into the role of director.
What were my expectations then for Burton’s attempt at the movie? Well at first I was skeptical, as I think a lot of the long time Alice fans were. I know, from my own point of view, having been a fan of the books since early childhood made me feel as if it would be hard to give them another mood than the one portrayed in previous films. Out of the earlier adaptations of Alice, the only version I like, is the Disney 1951 version – that is portrayed as a children’s movie with a very light mood. My first image of Burton’s version was something dark and twisted, and I knew I was right the moment the first trailer was released. Yet somehow, I feel as if there was no other direction for Burton to take the movie.
In this new version, Alice returns to Wonderland as a young adult. She’s stuck in a world where I get the feeling she’s not quite happy. She’s being courted by a young man that doesn’t have her heart or her interest, and it’s obvious she’s not ready to marry him. At first Alice is very adamant that she is just stuck in a dream, and this makes her a little reckless, but slowly she is faced with memories of having been there before, and in the end she is forced to accept that it’s not a dream. This version is a more adult adventure, though still suited for children in many ways. Something Tim Burton has also stated was that the original Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland books are really just a collection of scenes and events where a girl gets to meet one crazy character after another, and not one story with a proper storyline. The director has claimed that his greatest struggle was to make the movie into a story instead. I think that is a very good point made by Burton, and I can only agree. The movie does definitely deliver a story instead of a string of moments, but it doesn’t disappoint when it comes to the quirky nature of the characters that Alice meets. The Cheshire Cat is there, voiced brilliantly by the British Stephen Fry, with the Mad Hatter portrayed by Johnny Depp, who exceeds all expectations as usual.
It’s a brilliant journey through beautiful landscapes, plenty of CGI, colorful characters and thrilling fight scenes as well as sparkles of humor thrown in, from the beginning to the end. Anyone who likes Tim Burton or Alice in Wonderland should definitely give this movie a try.