I’ve never been a big fan of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland or Through the Looking Glass, but having Tim Burton direct a new version for Disney, I had to take a look. Of course, as much as I like Tim Burton, he and I have a hit or miss relationship. At the time, Batman, Batman Returns and Edward Scissorhands were hits. Sleepy Hollow, SWEENEY TODD remain hits for me. But plenty of his other movies are misses for me. Sadly, Alice In Wonderland ultimately is too.
There is plenty to like here; a lot of the movie looks amazing, and the acting is excellent. I love that Mia Wasikowska has a star making turn as Alice. She’s excellent in the film, and she’s gorgeous. I don’t like Johnny Depp’s look in the movie, but he does a good job as a seriously screwy Mad Hatter. Mrs Burton, Helena Bonham Carter, is great as always, but wow, she’s got a big head! I loved Anne Hathaway’s look as the White Queen, but maybe more than I liked her performance. The voice actors were great; Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen and Timothy Spall…awesome. Also the great Christopher Lee, a Tim Burton fave, also lends his classic voice to the film.
Visually, most of this movie is amazing. Burton didn’t hold back, and much of the film has his signature pseudo-creepy look. There’s also a lot of colorful imagery which I don’t like nearly as much as the gothic looking stuff, but I guess you can’t always get what you want. There is a lot of CGI in AiW, but most of it looks really good.
So it sounds like a pretty positive review, so why not give it a higher grade? Well, because the stuff I didn’t like…I really didn’t like. Chances are you’ll like the movie a whole lot more than me. But for me, while it felt like a big screen movie, ultimately, I think it’s a rental.