Disney’s first attempt at bringing their beloved animated films into live-action adaptations, and while this is the first that paved the way for other successes like ‘Maleficent’, ‘Cinderella’ and this year’s ‘The Jungle Book’. Although, ‘Alice in Wonderland’ remains as the highest grossing of the animated adaptations, grossing more than $1 billion at the global box office back in its release in 2010. Let’s go into Wonderland… Uh, I mean Underland (that title is so misleading) and take a look at the 2010 film that divided fans and critics a part.
‘Alice in Wonderland’ sees Alice having nightmares about a strange world with a smiling cat and other unusual impossible fantasies. Many years later, we see Alice, now 19 years old, getting proposed at a garden party. Can’t decide, she leaves and follows a white rabbit with a waistcoat. Falling into Won… I mean, Underland, everyone discovers that they brought the wrong Alice. However, the right Alice must defeat a Jabberwocky as fulfilled by the prophecy.
Mia Wasikowska is good as Alice, portraying a subtle acting performance. I liked Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter in parts, but it’s hard to get use to a character who changes his accent a lot, I’m like so he is an American-Scottish Mad Hatter? Although, sometimes the scenery is interesting too look at, like the film’s climax set on a giant chess board, which is clever because chess boards are meant for battles, and that’s what we get.
This film has a hard time focusing at what is important to this half-baked story. Alice refuses the proposal because she wants to chase a rabbit instead? Is it because she accepts her fantasy land more than reality? I don’t know, the film isn’t clear. However, both her reality world and her dream world never cross paths. What I mean is, how does taking the time to think to go into a world of impossible things help her about her proposal? Is it because she learns she can do anything that she puts her mind too? Another problem is that we know that she is the right Alice, but everyone (except the Hatter) thinks she isn’t the real Alice. If we didn’t have the first two minutes of this movie when she was young having these delusional dreams, then this would be a nice little shock and surprise towards the end of the film when revealing her days in Under… Wait, Wonderland? What the hell is this place called?! Make up your mind! Instead, because we know she was having these dreams, it makes it frustrating for the audiences watching, because we know she is the right Alice.
Here’s something that I find missing, we get a flashback on the Red Queen’s plan by burning up a village with the Mad Hatter and the White Queen present, but I don’t think it’s that necessary. Instead, what is necessary isn’t even featured in this movie, only talked about very briefly is the Red Queen’s and White Queen’s struggles as sisters, and the Red Queen constantly getting rejected because of her younger sister. This is fascinating, as it would make the Red Queen not as a total villain, but a sympathetic villain instead, one that you could relate too. But no, obviously the filmmakers said it wasn’t important, so instead we see Mad Hatter break dance.
‘Alice in Wonderland’ is a major disappointment, and stands as the worst Disney live-action film adapted from their beloved animated features. It’s not very fun and is missing some crucial plot elements, that’s more style than substance. While there is some character moments with Alice, thanks to Wasikowska’s fine performance, the film isn’t much focused and cluttered of a story.
Now is there a drink that’s called Forget Me, because I want to forget this mess.