Here’s an interesting review of Tim Burton’s Alice. Apparently some Burton fans were a bit disappointed to find that the director’s unique touch has been adjusted too much for a Disney produced film.
Article by Ariel Lambert from the Luton today newspaper.
How many of us knew that Alice in Wonderland was a Disney production? When I went along to see the movie I was expecting to see one of Tim Burton’s unsettling
adaptations. Tim Burton and Lewis Carroll seemed like an unbeatable combination. But
I was disappointed to see a PG rating, family fun and disney characters.
Linda Woolverton (screenplay author), writes a sequel to Alice in Wonderland, where teenage Alice (Mia Wasikowska,) persues the white rabbit (Michael Sheen) down the famous rabbit hole. In the world of Underland (Burton’s idea of Wonderland) the red queen (Helena Bonham Carter) and white queen (Anne Hathaway) are locked in sisterly brawl for control of the world. Alice becomes the white queen’s prodege and at the end, fights the famous jabberwocky to win back the empire for the whites.
The first bad decision of Burton was the idea of the sequel. This was completely unnecessary. There is so much room for an imaginary interpretation in the original stories that a sequel made it a little cheesy. Burton decided to create a linked, coherant story, and in doing so, lost sight of the dream. This is an important aspect to Carroll’s vision because it presents readers with the child’s vivid imagination. Burton had a real chance to demonstrate his creativity in a dream world but he didn’t take advantage of this.
I had very high expectations for this film because of the big names attached to it. Everyone wants to see a film with Johnny Depp; especially when you hear that he is playing the mad hatter. But I felt that he was holding back and didn’t take full advantage of his character. He continually changed accents, which could be annoying. Jonathan Ross says ‘this is one of Johnny’s best performances;’ sadly, I disagree. There was potential, but Depp and Burton fell short of the mark.
With Burton’s previous films (Edward Scissorhands, Sweeny Todd) I expected to see an unusual adaptation. Disney and the PG age limit restricted the film. The characters, setting, and plot needed to be much darker. Have you ever read Carroll’s adventures? Once you’ve deciphered the nonsense, you discover a story which is very disturbing. I wanted to see this in the film.
But if you love light hearted, family adventures, then this is the film for you.