Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
Alice in Wonderland, the 2010 movie from Tim Burton, was very good. I’ll get the usual joke out of the way now. Yet another film by Tim Burton so he can give his best friend and his wife some work. At least this time there was no erotic overtures between them.
Having said that, here’s the reasons why Alice in Wonderland was a really good film.
Six; I can defeat the Jabberwok.
Alice in Wonderland was the usual movie retelling of standard classical fare, but with a bit of a twist. All too often, when books of this type are recreated for the big screen, some of the text is changed. Granted, that was done here, but done in a much different way than something like the Great and Powerful Oz.
Here, we meet Alice. This is her story, and the characters met along the way merely a part of her story. From the Mad Hatter to the Red Queen to the March Hare to the White Queen and to the Cheshire Cat. Along the way, they give her guidance and try to tell her that her path is set, but she is the one who sets her path. She is the one who comes to the decisions she needs to make.
From attempting to rescue the Mad Hatter, to showing kindness to the Bandersnatch, to taking up the Vorple sword and slaying the Jabberwok. All of those decisions in the end are hers. And this reflects on herself when she climbs back up the rabbit hole.
She doesn’t return to take Hamish and be married. Instead, she becomes her own person with her own ideas. Granted, they were heavily influenced by her father, and the fact that at the end of the movie when she is given an apprenticeship with a trade company there is some of her father recognized in her eyes. But the choices were still hers to make.
This shows early in the movie after taking the drink to grow small, eating the cake to grow big and then drinking the drink again. At one point she shouts out “I’ve been told what to drink, what to eat, and what path to take. I’m taking my own now”.
This story is all about Alice, and she’s no different than any other fantasy story where a knight takes up sword and shield and goes off to slay the dragon.
These are the kind of stories we need more of, because they are the first in a line of different narratives than the norm.