Alice in Wonderland – 3D

I have to say I’ve been looking forward to this film for quite some time once I heard of Tim Burton’s involvement. I’m a big Tim Burton fan and thought he would do a great job with his interpretation of the book, and he didn’t disappoint.

The movie pretty much follows the book the whole way through from start to finish – first establishing Alice’s character, who turns out to be quirky, imaginative and a bit awkward in the aristocratic society in which her family is part of. Then leading to her dismay with said society and her plight in figuring out who she is in spite of everyone else telling her what they think she should be doing with her life. Alice then of course falls down the rabbit hole and the story unfolds from there.
I saw this film in 3-D and was glad I did. The visual landscape that Tim Burton and his team weaves is spectacular – rich with the backdrop the story sets and the on screen interpretation that brings it all to life. The colors are vivid and lush, the characters are well thought out and very creatively imagined and the effects are top notch (you gotta love the Red Queen’s giant head). The film does have a dreamy quality to it which lends itself nicely to the ideas set forth by the book and Alice’s imagination. As usual, Tim Burton’s artistry is hard to go wrong with whenever he applies himself to projects like this.

The actors are excellent: Mia Wasikowska plays the role of Alice well as a coming into her own character that’s dealing with a bit of an identity crisis, especially after continually being told she’s the “wrong” Alice which echos sentiments from earlier parts of the film. Helena Bonham Carter plays the Red Queen spot on dialing things up when she should (OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!!!) and dialing back at the right times. Crispin Glover plays the role of Stayne convincingly as an obnoxious out for himself villain. And Johnny Depp as the hatter – well, he’s Johnny Depp which in itself is a compliment, the guy just can seem to do no wrong in the characters he portrays. The only actor I thought was OK but not great was Anne Hathaway who’s White Queen I felt was a bit stiff and forced. There were also some CG characters in here played by: Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, Timothy Spall, and Matt Lucas, all of whom turned in fine performances (especially Alan Rickman as the hookah smoking Blue Catepillar).

If you’re a fan of the story try to catch this in digital 3-D, just try to time your arrival at the theater after the onslaught of commercials so it doesn’t effect your enjoyment of the film (see my rant about AMC). Otherwise be sure to check it out on DVD or PPV.

reviewed by Sean McKnight