'Alice in Wonderland' Truly Magical
By Chris Jancelewicz Posted Aug 5th 2009 05:05PM
How many movie and television iterations of this classic Lewis Carroll tale have been made? There was the Disney classic (of course), there was that weird TV miniseries/movie with Carol Channing and John Stamos that used to scare the bejesus out of me, and there was the little-seen 1988 psychedelic nightmare 'Alice', directed by Jan Svankmajer. There's probably more out there, depending what country you live in. The beauty of Carroll's story is just that - it's malleable, adaptable, and best of all, not ever confined within certain boundaries.
Enter Tim Burton, the directing mastermind behind such wacky enterprises as 'Edward Scissorhands' and 'Beetlejuice'. 'Alice in Wonderland' has been a project he's wanted to helm since he was a burgeoning young director. Interestingly, Burton started out as an animator with Disney, working on the 1982 sci-fi epic 'Tron', and now he's come full circle, joining forces in a bizarre marriage with cutesy, cuddly Disney. It appears (this early on, at least), that both director and production company have hit the jackpot with the upcoming 'AIW'.
Opening on March 5, 2010 and starring Burton favourites Helena Bonham Carter and Johnny Depp (along with Crispin Glover, Anne Hathaway and unknown Mia Wasikowska as Alice), the film looks to be a hit, both esthetically and substantively. At a recent press and media screening of the trailer, the audience went nuts. We were treated to a 3D version, which, if you'll excuse the cliche, literally blew my mind. When 2D is enough to impress, imagine Wonderland in 3D. It's a druggie's paradise (not that we're encouraging that kind of thing).
Another treat was Alice in Wonderland: The Touring Exhibition, which we were allowed to walk through. Consisting of the props, costumes, and partial sets from the movie, it was like stepping into Wonderland yourself. Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter wig was there, the White Queen's dress, and the Red Queen's heart-shaped throne, just to name a few. The kicker for me was the tiny 'Eat Me' cakes on display, one with little bite marks in it. The set pieces were flown directly from San Diego's Comic Con, and Toronto was privileged enough to have only one of two showings of the exhibit in North America. Then the exhibition is off to Amsterdam, appropriately enough.
I predict nothing but good things from this movie. Even if the script is complete tripe (which I doubt, because it's Burton), it will be a visual feast, especially in 3D. Maybe the one con will be the excess of giggling teenagers in the audience, but hey, it's just part-and-parcel of the whole experience. This is one rabbit hole you will most definitely want to fall into.
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