Yesterday, Erin and I took Emma, Nassem and Addie to see the new “Alice in Wonderland” in 3D.
Directed by visionary Tim Burton, the film is a fabulous reimagining and extension of the traditional Alice tale. In the movie, Alice is now a young adult faced with a marriage proposal from a lord whose family now owns her late father’s business. Alice, played magnificntly by newcomer Mia Wasikowska, is so confused that she runs off in pursuit of the white rabbit she has been catching glimpses of at her engagement party. She follows him down the rabbithole and before you know it, she is back in Underland, which she mistakenly called Wonderland in her previous visit. But has she really been there before? The zany inhabitants of Underland aren’t sure that she is THE Alice who had been there 13 years previously. I won’t ruin the whole story for those who haven’t seen it, but you can be sure you will get to see all your favorite Wonderland (or is it Underland) characters including Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum and the Cheshire Cat.
The casting for “Alice” was absolutely inspired. Wasikowska embodies the innocence and naivety of Alice as she initially enters Underland. Yet she believably shows the growth Alice makes as she undertakes her journey. Helena Bonham Carter brings just the right energy to The Red Queen. As the man who has played Jack Sparrow, Willy Wonka and Edward Scissorhands, Johnny Depp easily slides into the insane mind of The Mad Hatter. Depp seems to get inside the head of the Hatter and show a humanity to him, rather than just playing off his crazy ways. Crispin Glover and Anne Hathaway also turn in strong performances as The Knave of Hearts and The White Queen, respectively.
Visually, you get what you would expect from a Tim Burton production: absolutely stunning scenery with an ever-present dark shadow. Burton’s fertile imagination brings Underland to life in a way you’ve never seen it before.
Overall, it was a fun movie with a message that you should follow your dreams and you’re never too old to believe in the impossible.