Curiouser and Curiouser: Tim Burton’s take on Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland - Mia Wasikowska’s Alice, flanked by Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter and Anne Hathaway’s White Queen, in Tim Burton’s version of Lewis Carroll’s classic tale

Tim Burton’s 3D adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland doesn’t really lose much when seen at home in 2D. The film’s hallucinatory visuals look just as good and the quirky characters are equally striking.

On the downside, the plot is just as one-dimensional on the small screen as it appeared in 3D in the cinema.

Of course, the story’s not strictly an adaptation of the Alice books but a sequel in which Carroll’s familiar figures are squeezed into a teen-friendly quest plot.

Now aged 19, Alice (played by Australian actress Mia Wasikowska) thinks she is dreaming when she tumbles down a rabbit hole and finds herself back in Wonderland. Its residents, however, including Johnny Depp’s decidedly loopy ginger-haired Mad Hatter, must persuade her that it is her destiny to save Wonderland from the tyrannical rule of the evil Red Queen.

Alice in Wonderland - Helena Bonham Carter plays the Red Queen in  Tim Burton’s re-imagining of Lewis Carroll’s classic tale

Helena Bonham Carter’s comically grotesque Red Queen is a joy. Indeed, it’s the sight and, more often, sound of a host of British big and small screen icons that provides most of the film’s high spots.

Look and listen out for:

Look out too for Frances de la Tour in the story’s above ground framing sections. You may remember her as desperate spinster Miss Jones in 1970s sitcom Rising Damp, the eternally elusive object of desire of Leonard Rossiter’s seedy landlord Rigsby. The film’s casting director surely had this role in mind when choosing de la Tour to play Alice’s deluded maiden aunt Imogene.

I say casting director, but could the anglophile Burton secretly be a fan of the show?

Read the full review of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.

Available on Blu-ray & DVD, and showing on FilmFlex & Sky Box Office, from 4th June.


To activate the sound in the trailer: hold your cursor over the screen to reveal the control panel and click on the volume control in the bottom right-hand corner.

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