I was dubious about going to see Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. To begin with, I was worried that Burton would ruin it like he botched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory — which was a crass interpretation of a Dahl classic.
But I enjoyed Alice. A Burton spectacular. His vision for Wonderland was visually stunning, I wanted to munch on my Raisinets and be there among the bright fungi.
It was the right mix of faithfulness to Carroll (although it’s not the Alice story, but a weird hybrid) and inventive entertainment.
The actress Mia Wasikowska who played Alice was super, and Bonham Carter and Depp were good. Although Depp’s portrayal of the Mad Hatter as a fey, carrot-haired campy clown with huge chartreuse eyes really got on my nerves. I understand that the mercury hatters used to make hats made them go mad, but eyes like that? Annoying.
All in all, though, a fun flick. Nothing ground shattering or mind enhancing.
But Alan Rickman’s voice as the caterpillar and Stephen Fry’s as the Cheshire Cat were definite stand-outs. And the Mad Hatter in a kilt and wielding a Scottish claymore was a treat.
And one of the best lines was by Crispin Glover about the bloodhound (voiced by Timothy Spall): “Dogs believe anything you say.”
So was it worth going down the rabbit hole for? Yes, but not entirely.
If you still want weird and wonderful and nonsense, read Carroll. He’s the master.