A Very Merry Unbirthday to You: Alice in Wonderland

First thing I am going to comment on: this heat makes a writer very lazy. All your friendly neighbourhood Z wants to do is watch her Xena DVDs and drink lots of water. And if you’re wondering whether there will be a Xena review… the answer is eventually, once I get through the whole series. It’s the same with Buffy, man, could either review it season by season, or all at once, and believe me the latter is far easier to write. Secondly, it’s my unbirthday today! And not one of you got me a present, shame on you. Nah, it’s okay, it’s fine, that’s just a lead in to the review. It’s been one of my favourite stories since forever, so today I am reviewing the Walt Disney (him again! Stop being the ever present feature in childhoods!) classic, Alice in Wonderland.

Now, the first thing I can say about this movie is that I spent the whole thing sitting going ‘Alice, honey, what the hell have you been eating’. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I just have to advise not watching this on heavy medication because you will feel a little trippy with it. But I’ve read the original book, this is not a bad thing. That’s another thing I’ve got to say about this movie, it does not stick entirely to the book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; it does also take influence from the sequel book Through the Looking Glass. Mostly in the Tweedles. Actually, only in the Tweedles now I think on it but that’s besides the point.

Alice in Wonderland poster

So. Story of Alice in Wonderland, well, it’s a pretty simple ‘stuff happens to girl as she travels through a land of nonsense’ story. Meaning that there isn’t actually a plot unless you count the Disney movie’s addition of her wanting to go home. Along her journey she meets a variety of various colourful and memorable characters and eventually finds her way home to be with her cat Dinah and find out it was all a dream. One of the few scenarios where ‘it was all a dream’ works, by the way. By the end of the movie, you’ve had a good little romp through insanity, and if you’ve managed to make sense of it, well, well done you because I’m still wondering what the hell dear Alice was on.

I suppose here I should make a brief mention of the 2010 Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland movie which acts as a sort of stand alone, and yet sequel to the much beloved animated movie which happened to have an all star cast including (sing along if you know it) Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter. I should mention it, but I’ll be honest. I much prefer the animated version in comparison to it. Actually, my favourite adaptation of Alice is the 2009 SyFy channel mini-series with Andrew-Lee Potts as the Hatter but that’s a subject for another review. The Burton movie isn’t bad, as far as movies go it’s alright, it’s just that it tries to make Wonderland into Narnia and it doesn’t completely work. Also I’m not entirely fond of the portrayal of Alice herself in that movie and this isn’t getting the review done, is it?

Well, as to be expected from the Disney studios, the animation is amazing, and has held up really well for … I think it’s 60 years? Okay, a quick check just told me it’s 62 years exactly. So yes, the animation has held up really well for 62 years, especially when you consider this is probably the most well known version of Alice in Wonderland there is. It’s highly likely, Wanderers, that this is the version of Alice you saw first before you even knew there was a book.

In fact, I’m kind of noticing that I’ve not really reviewed the film properly in this review and we’re nearing it’s end. And I find myself realising that it’s sort of hard to know what to say about it. I mean, it’s one of the best known films in the world. How can I review it without saying things that many people before me haven’t already said about the subject? It’s a fun little ride of nonsense with very memorable characters – the Mad Hatter and March Hare will stick in your mind forever – and a premise that despite its rambling way with no real direction in mind, will be very enjoyable and just entertain you. [A bit like this review -Ed.]

Sometimes that’s all you need, really.

Z McAspurren (“Mustard? Don’t let’s be silly!”)

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This entry was posted in Film/Movie, GUST, Issue Twenty-Nine, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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