Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Reflections on the Looking Glass

Yesterday, Emilee and I went to see the Disney/Tim Burton production of Alice in Wonderland. When dealing with the surreal, dreamlike world presented by Lewis Carroll, one expects to find qualities both of dreams and of nightmares. For every Frumious Bandersnatch, there's a Vorpal Sword awaiting the hand of a hero. This film, as such, is neither the itty-bitty-friendly land of enchanted princesses we often associate with Disney nor the haunting and often haunted universe many associate with Tim Burton. The tone of the film is somewhat more akin to the Dungeons and Dragons modules based on the books - nothing is quite as it seems nor, perhaps, quite as you remember (or as Alice fails to remember) and it's hard to know whose side everyone is on - all presented with the flair, panache and spectacle (including great CGI effects) of Disney and Walden Media's first Chronicles of Narnia film.

While the CGI creatures are eye-popping (those of you who have seen the film will know exactly what I mean) and the backdrops breathtaking, the crew outdid themselves with Alice's wardrobe. With the various growing and shrinking that Alice does during the film, her dress is rarely quite up to the task, but she somehow (whether by magical means or through some help from the Hatter) finds herself in a new gown, each more glorious than the last a la Dr. Seuss's 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, all while exposing little flesh below the shoulders.

And, to any of my friends in Provo waiting for the dollar theatre, I suggest that you don't. This is a film which cries out for a theatre capable of making full use of a good theatre's sound system and 3D capabilities. The clearest example is Alice's high-speed tumble down the rabbit hole, where you hear objects approaching from the back of the theatre just before they whoosh past your/Alice's head.

In summary, hats (mad or otherwise) off to Disney, Burton and the rest.

No comments:

Which classic Superhero are you?

Your results:
You are Superman
Green Lantern
Iron Man
The Flash
Wonder Woman
You are mild-mannered, good,
strong and you love to help others.
Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz