This is director Tim Burton’s visual interpretation of author Lewis Carroll’s classic tale ‘Alice in Wonderland’, and stars Johnny Depp (Mad Hatter), Helena Bonham Carter (Red Queen), Crispin Glover (Stayne Knave of Hearts), Anne Hathaway (White Queen), and Mia Wasikowska (Alice). The movie starts off in England (obviously not modern day). Alice is very young and has very vivid, recurring dreams of Wonderland. We fast forward and Alice (Wasikowska) is 20 years old (yet looks and acts younger) and I am assuming I am not giving anything away here, she falls into a rabbit hole (the size of freaking Texas!) and enters Wonderland.
Wonderland is a very strange and mysterious place where Alice meets: the March Hare (Voice: Paul Whitehouse), Dormouse (Voice:Barbara Windsor), Blue Catepillar (Voice: Alan Rickman), Cheshire Cat (Voice:Stephen Fry), Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum (Voice:Matt Lucas), Bayard (Voice:Timothy Spall), White Rabbit (Voice:Michael Sheen), and the Mad Hatter (Depp). Most of the unique and odd inhabitants of Wonderland are convinced this is the Alice that they have been waiting for to help them put the good ,White Queen (Hathaway) back in the castle, and get rid of the mean and hateful Red Queen (Bonham Carter). Believing that she is just dreaming, and getting help from the Mad Hatter along the way, Alice decides to assist her new peculiar friends.
From the very beginning of ‘Alice in Wonderland’, the visuals really captured and held my attention. It did take me a while to adjust to Johnny Depp in the Mad Hatter make-up (Note to Tim Burton: Less is more), and I am not sure if kids under 4 years old will like it either. I love the way director Tim Burton uses different types of visuals, from elaborate set designs, to unusual costumes, to backgrounds that I know had to be green screen effects, yet it was not too obvious. It’s just like a canvas splattered very strategically with different kinds of mixed media, and only Tim Burton can pull this off without making a holy mess! The editing was very well done, and the music was just right (not too overbearing). Bonham Carter was probably my favorite character as the Red Queen, I just loved her big bulbous head, and of course it was fun to watch her get mad.
The movie moves well, and kept me interested throughout (no parts that dragged). Plenty of action, no romance, and not as much humor as I would of liked. Initially, I did not want to see this film because I was not impressed with what Burton had done with ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’, maybe that will be my next review, but I enjoyed ‘Wonderland’. A very good film.