All of her young life Alice has had a recurring dream filled with a rabbit in a waist coat, a smiling cat, and animals that can talk. She has always looked at the world differently than those around her and she has been thought of as odd for her outlook. While attending her surprise engagement party, Alice is reminded of her dream as the white rabbit in the blue waist coat makes a secret appearance at the celebration. After chasing the rabbit down a rabbit hole and into another world, Alice has found herself back in the dream that has haunted her. Even though she has returned to the same place she always has dreamt about, the dream has changed somehow and Wonderland is not the same place that she remembers. Still full of the same characters from before, she discovers that what the inhabitants call “Underland” has become a bleaker place under the rule of the tyrannical Red Queen. She has turned most of Underland into a wasteland and its citizens into slaves. Alice’s return to has been foretold and she is considered the chosen one and the only person who can slay the terrible jabberwocky and become the champion of Underland thus setting all of Underland free. Alice insists that she in the wrong Alice for the job and that she could never slay anything. Now she has to figure out how to wake up from the dream and get back to her real life.
In a place full of so many characters that are out of this world, an out of the ordinary set of actors and actresses was required to bring everyone to life. Not just anyone could portray the zany Mad Hatter, but an actor known for playing characters on the fringe of society could. Johnny Depp is superb as Tarrant Hightopp, a man who is just on the edges of sanity and finds he is slowly slipping into madness. Anne Hathaway is a vision as the White Queen who is trying to lead her people in a revolt against the Red Queen. She has a quirky personality all her own. Newcomer Mia Wasikowska is a blonde revelation as the nine-teen year old Alice Kinslgey who not only helps the citizens of Underland find freedom, but she also finds an independence of her own. A review would not be complete without a “nod” to the ravishingly bulbous Red Queen played by the talented Helena Bonham Carter. Her tyranny knows no bounds and neither does the size of her giant head. Surrounded by lackeys of her court led by Stayne Knave of Hearts played by the villainous and very tall Crispin Glover, she terrorizes her slaves by ordering “off with their heads”.
Alice in Wonderland is a movie full of breathtaking landscapes and unique characters. It is truly one of director Tim Burton’s greatest accomplishments. The man has a very special way to tell and story and is a true artist. As to be expected Burton has turned the magical world of Underland into a miraculous and mysterious place full of the most amazing characters and places. All the details are covered from the plants and the flowers to the insects. Everything gets the Burton treatment as his creativity abounds throughout the film. I have truly fallen in love with the movie Alice in Wonderland and I would find it difficult for anyone else not to do so as well. From the quarky characthers to the quirky story it is so easy to follow Alice down the hole every single time. No DVD collection would be complete without it!
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