Review? Alice in Wonderland

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SPOILERS

What is it about?

Alice In Wonderland follows the story of a girl who follows a rushing rabbit down a rabbit hole and embarks on a one-of-a-kind adventure.  Accompanying her sister to the riverbank, Alice is bored by lessons and becomes distracted by a white rabbit. Curious, she follows it down a hole and ends up in a room, watching the rabbit disappear behind a tiny door. She is advised to shrink and drinks from a bottle. Unfortunately shrinking too small, she eats a biscuit and becomes too large. Upset and drinking the bottle again, Alice is swept through the door by her tears.  Alice sets on her way to find the rabbit and crosses the paths of Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Told a cautionary tale, Alice leaves and comes across the rabbit’s house. He mistakes her for the housemaid and sends Alice to retrieve his gloves. However unable to resist, she eats another cookie and grows too large for the house. They try to burn down the house to get rid of Alice but she escapes and becomes distressed about her tiny stature.  Alice meets a caterpillar who advises her to eat either side of a mushroom and she returns back to normal to continue her journey. In the woods, she meets a Cheshire Cat who advises her to visit the Mad Hatter.  Arriving, the Mad Hatter and his friends are celebrating an unbirthday. The rabbit shows up and has his watch destroyed. Fed up with the nonsense, Alice tries to go home but is lost. Following the advice of the Cheshire Cat again, she takes the shortcut to the Queen’s castle.  Alice meets the Queen who beheads playing cards for planting the wrong type of roses and plays a game of croquet.  After the Cheshire cat plays a trick on the Queen, Alice is arrested and put on trial. Chaos ensues during the trial until Alice grows big again, insulting the Queen.  They order her execution and she flees, finally stumbling upon the door from the beginning at the movie. She realizes she has been sleeping this entire time, wakes up and leaves to go home for tea.

Opinions

Alice is a strange movie. It is no surprise that people who participate in illegal substance use like this film. It is bright, colourful and has no consistency from scene to scene. I struggle to watch this movie. It is so clunky, suffering from pacing issues and jumping around with no real plot. You are stuck with a bland character enduring the insanity. The biggest problem for this movie is there is too many going on all the time.  You can barely digest one scene before you are onto the next bit. This means all the characters suffer from extreme traits. The rabbit is always rushing – does he do anything else? The Mad Hatter is just mad and annoying. The Queen is just boisterous and loud. Alice is just curious. I find that I lack sympathy for her character and I don’t particularly relate to her journey. To me, there is no real take away mess other than don’t mess with that you don’t know what will do.  This film is a bright, loud and colourful trip that makes little sense. There is no plot holding the remnants of each scene together.  One scene to another don’t really fit together to tell anything of importance and this hurts the film. I said I struggle because this movie is such an overload to the sensory, you can’t latch onto anything.  As a person who hasn’t read the tales but seen various attempts of the material – this is not the best adaption. It adds no strengths to the characters, their arches or the stories morals. The best thing about this film is in the style it is animated. Without all these graphic visuals, detailed in a bold style, there wouldn’t be anything about Alice to remain in the imagination…maybe except the headache.

The weird things

  • Just eat the random food. Just drink the random liquid. It’s fine, you’ll be good! Ha, the “subtle” hits at drug use in this movie is rampant. While I’m not saying that is the intention of the novel. The whole “just eat whatever a stranger tells you” is not a great message to be teaching your kinds.

Lessons Learned

  • Be curious – Curiosity while not necessarily being represented in a great way in this film is a good thing. Be curious and obtain a certain joy/wonder about the world. Question things and be ready to explore. Take a new path.
  • Be Careful about the advice of strangers and their goods – Alice is often given misleading advice and items that both help and hinder her. She has to use her wits to try and get the right result from the tools handed to her. This means you won’t always be given the exact answer but if you use your skills, you get an answer you need.

Fun Facts

  • Based on the Alice books written by Lewis Carroll
  • Walt Disney initially tried to make Alice into an animated film during the 1930s
  • Alice was originally intended to be a live action/animated film
  • The creative direction of the film was criticised by Carrol, literary and British film fans for “americanizing” the work.
  • Earned 2.4million at the US box office during initial release
  • Disney felt the film failed because there was no warmth in Alice’s character.
  • During the late 1960s – early 1970s, the film rediscovered popularity due to the association of Carrol’s work with the drug culture.

Verdict:

  • Movie will be kept in DVD collection
  • 3/10 for personal enjoyment
  • 5/10 for overall era
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