Alice in Wonderland DVD|
From Walt Disney Pictures comes Alice In Wonderland, an imaginative re-visit to the astonishing and crazy world beyond the rabbit hole, which was first introduced to us by Lewis Carroll.
In this latest visual treat by director Tim Burton, we see a 19-year-old Alice (Mia Wasikowska) returning to the twisted 'Underland' she visited in her childhood - not that she remembers it!
She once again follows an unusual waistcoat-wearing rabbit and ends up tumbling down a hole and into a dazzling land filled with talking animals, unusual plants and horrific monsters. But her return has not gone unnoticed by the evil Red Queen who wants "off with her head!".
In order to escape capture by the queen's villainous knight, Alice must rely on some old friends, the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp), Tweedledee and Tweedledum and Cheshire Cat, to jog her memory and help her realise her true destiny - to defeat the Red Queen, sleigh the Jabberwocky and restore the rightful White Queen to her throne.
The star-studded cast also includes Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway and Crispin Glover.
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Tim Burton and Disney join forces for this 3D fantasy adventure based on the characters from the Lewis Carroll classics 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' and 'Through the Looking Glass'. Mia Wasikowska stars as the 19-year-old Alice, who returns to the magical world of her childhood adventure to reunite with her friends the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp), the White Rabbit (Michael Sheen), Tweedledum and Tweedledee (both played by Matt Lucas), the Dormouse (Barbara Windsor), the Caterpillar (Alan Rickman) and the Cheshire Cat (Stephen Fry). Alice discovers her true destiny as she joins forces with the colourful denizens of Wonderland to overthrow the wicked Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter). The film won Academy Awards for Art Direction and Costume Design.
Average Rating for Alice in Wonderland  - 3 out of 5
(based on 2 user reviews)
Alice in Wonderland Joanna Rose
A fantastic interpretation of this lewis caroll tale. Visually superb and great characterisation, Jonny Depp is particularly good as the mad hatter. An imaginative and dark yet funny must see.
Alice in Wonderland Barnaby Walter
Tim Burton's visual style mixed with Lewis Carol's magical storytelling should have resulted in a very different film than what we have here. This is not the Alice in Wonderland we have grown to love, nor is it anywhere near as good as Disney's previous trip down the rabbit hole in 1951. This is a muddled, mangled and rather un-magical reworking of the original tale, but instead of offering us an extension on the classic premise, it merely sets out to make a quasi-sequel where Alice, now a young woman, falls down the hole in the ground just after being proposed to by her unattractive suitor.
When she arrives in Wonderland she gets chased by giant monsters (involving scenes that owe more to Jurassic Park than Lewis Carol), hunted by the guards of the Red Queen, who now rules Wonderland (a terrific Helena Bonham Carter), and talks to a Stephen Fry-voiced Cheshire Cat. They all talk to her as if her arrival has been prophesised. By examining an old map they repeatedly thrust at her, she finds that a girl called Alice did once arrive in Wonderland. She denies it was her, but memories from the past start to resurface as her adventure continues; cerebral stirrings she has assumed were dreams.
The opening is promising, with the initial establishing of Wonderland rushed but suitably atmospheric, and a lot of fun can be had by guessing which famous British actor is voicing the animated creatures (a highlight is Alan Rickman as the caterpillar). The film starts to fall apart when, I'm sorry to say, Johnny Depp gets involved. It was inevitable that the talented actor from Kentucky would be given a role in the film - he has been involved in seven of Burton's past efforts, both good and bad - but his presence as the Mad Hatter adds an uneasy touch to an already challenged picture. His accent is peculiar, particularly when he slips into a rough Scottish growl for no apparent reason. Reminiscent of the dash of dementia he added to Willie Wonka five years ago, he succeeds in making his character Mad with a capital M, but it feels like a soulless reimagining of the character Lewis created. The supporting characters (mostly GCI) also go on and on about the Mad Hatter's "Futterwaken". Leaving aside the fact that this sounds faintly obscene when said with the Cheshire Cat's purr, we are left to wander quite what the "Futterwaken" is for some time until we a treated to its full embarrassing spectacle. As he has promised throughout the movie, the Hatter "Futterwaken's vigorously" - it's a dance (he tells us this much) that he performs near the end of the film. It's an ill-judged attempt to make Danny Elman's otherwise glorious score stray into more techno and hip musical areas, but the result is painful and Depp's dancing is strangely creepy rather than joyfully amusing.
There is also sibling jealousy going on between the Red Queen and her younger sister, the White Queen (a wasted Anne Hathaway). This is an underdeveloped subplot which fails to lessen the sagging feel of the story, and leads to a final showdown which lacks both impact and excitement. Burton may have creative flare, but he was fighting a losing battle (in terms of narrative quality) when he signed on to direct Linda Woolverton's dismal screenplay. Australian actress Mia Wasikowska is equally incompetent in the title role, and makes the character of Alice sound stupid, boring and bankrupt of personality. This doesn't bode well for her leading lady-turn as Jane Eyre in Cary Fukunaga's upcoming adaptation.
Even though it's tragically flawed, Alice in Wonderland currently holds the place of highest grossing film of 2010. It's a shame that a Disney-vehicle as weak as this has yielded such rich financial returns, but hopefully it shall serve as a springboard for a whole new generation to discover the proper story of what happens to Alice when she falls down the rabbit hole.
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