The latest offering from Tim Burton and Disney has been highly anticipated since the plans were announced. Alice in Wonderland has never been out of the media spotlight over the past couple of months with disputes over its cinematic release and endless trailers played at cinemas or on televisions across the country. However did it live up to the expectations or leave the audience disappointed?
The story of Alice in Wonderland is one almost all will know- curious girl falls down a rabbit hole into a wonderland of Mad Hatters, talking caterpillars and slightly deranged queens with an infatuation for red (and cutting off heads). These all remain within the new film, but the story itself has changed as an older Alice returns at the whim of the citizens of Wonderland (Underland) in order to defeat the red queen and return the White Queen to her rightful throne. Unfortunately this new twist on the tale doesn’t add much, often feeling disjointed and the original story is actually far more interesting.
With an all star, if slightly predictable cast from Burton including Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway, that is then accompanied by the voice talents of Stephen Fry and Alan Rickman, you can see how no expense was spared in order to make this one of the big blockbusters and must-see movies of the spring. Depp adds the same comical nature to the Hatter that made Jack Sparrow such a brilliant character, including a dance that replaces the comical Jack-esque walk whilst still adding a trademark Burton darkness to the film with his split personality and harsh accent at particularly bleaker parts of the film, making him instantly the most memorable part of the film.
But the problem is that expense was clearly spared with regards to the terrible 3D animation. Some aspects really stand out, such as the material flowing into the audience, or the smile of the Cheshire Cat; but some scenes are completely devoid of any 3D aspects and it becomes a pain to realise that you’re paying double the price to see a film that is less than a third what you wanted in terms of 3D.
The main problem with the film is not the 3D, but that the two conflicting interests of Disney and Burton just don’t gel well enough together to make the film a success. Don’t expect a happy Disney feel good film that children will adore, as Burton dispels that with more sinister aspects of cinematography. But similarly don’t expect a twisted reworking of a classic tale because it doesn’t delve deep enough into a new world to make it work. The film feels like a mix of two genres that cannot co-exist without the film inevitably suffering.
Alice in Wonderland is entertaining enough and die-hard Burton fans will adore it; but for the general public, the idea is interesting, it’s just a shame it doesn’t pan out to make an interesting film too.