Tim Burton (The Nightmare Before Christmas), at least, hasn’t completely lost his head while directing Alice in Wonderland, featuring Mia Wasikowska as nineteen year old Alice Kingsley, Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen, and Anne Hathaway as the White Queen. Of course, this isn’t at all like the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland. No happy flowers and green grass. This story is a sequel to Alice in Wonderland that has been “Tim Burton-ized”, aka? It’s creepy. But I like it.
It begins with a party, Alice’s engagement party, to be exact. And when the English nobleman kneels down, in front of everybody and proposes to her, she “needs a moment” and escapes into the garden. And falls down into a hole, following the white rabbit. Sound familiar? After falling for quite a while, she arrives in “Underland”, which is a world with blue caterpillars, talking animals and plants, and mad inhabitants. All the while, the characters that she meets keep asking her who she is. Is she the Alice? The Mad Hatter certainly thinks so. He claims that she just lost her “muchness”. And then Alice realizes what everyone wants her to do – they want her to slay the Jabberwocky, the Red Queen’s pet, so everyone can revolt against the evil queen and the White Queen will be able to reestablish peace to Underworld again. But can she do it?
The special features were excellent. The enlargement of the Red Queen’s head was done excellently; it looks real. The backdrop looks real, the monsters look real. Alice shrinking and growing didn’t change anything; it looked completely natural (if growing and shrinking can look natural). The voices for the talking animals were paired wonderfully (I hate those movies where the voices don’t match the person’s mouth movement) and wow, was the White Queen’s palace white. Anne Hathaway sure looked odd with white hair…
Makeup, check. The Mad Hatter’s makeup was done quite well. Everyone was made pale, which enhanced the eeriness of the movie. As for the Mad Hatter’s eyes, I don’t know how they did it. The eyes were the scariest of all. If you watch the movie, you’ll see what I mean.
The cast was wonderful. Acting was intact and very sincere. Nothing looked forced or unreal (except maybe Alice in some parts…but that was just a little stiffness). Johnny Depp did an excellent job as the Mad Hatter in this movie. Especially the futterwacken at the end (it’s a dance, by the way). He really portrayed the Mad Hatter’s personality well, able to cackle in the right way, be serious in the right way, and, just overall, be mad. He was “mad, bonkers, off [his head]! But I’ll tell you a secret: all the best people are.” (Alice, from Alice in Wonderland).
The funniest thing, to me, was that some of that random chatter made some sense. Maybe it’s because I’m a little mad myself, I don’t know.
Anyways, this movie definitely deserves five out of five stars. Wonderful, wonderful…”[Underland] is a place. Like no place on Earth. A land full of wonder, mystery, and danger! Some say to survive it: you need to be as mad as a hatter. Which luckily I am.” (The Mad Hatter, from Alice in Wonderland).