Tim in Underland

I saw the Tim Burton Alice yesterday in IMAX 3-D and I’m neither thrilled nor annoyed.  Despite the lavish look it was pretty meh for me, I’m afraid.  I went in knowing it wasn’t Carroll’s story and so that was fine. But the story it was didn’t hold together very well for me.  There is Alice missing her father, the adventurer, and then taking his place at the end. Good enough. But the business of her becoming engaged at the beginning in a Carrollian-absurd-way?  And was the Hatter meant to be a father-stand-in or fiance-stand-in or what?  Felt a bit cobbled together with some elaborate visuals, but (dare I say it?) a bit dull at times.


Filed under Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll, Neil Gaiman

10 responses to “Tim in Underland

  1. Uh oh. Cobbled doesn’t sound good. My husband, like many, complained that Avatar was all special effiects without much of a story, and I’m afraid I might hear the same after this.


  2. I’ve just come home from seeing it too, and am still cogitating! Like you, I didn’t expect Carroll’s Alice, so no problem on that count, although I thought, actually, they did a pretty good job of connecting too and building on some elements of the book. Like, you, the frame didn’t do a great deal for me. I didn’t find it dull, but I did find it hard to hear what people were saying from time to time. Really, I think I’d rather Burton had done a straight version of the book, because I think he gets the surreal and dark side of it, but perhaps everyone felt it has simply been done too many times?


    • Jeannine, I’m afraid I found the effects blah compared to Avatar.

      Judith, I agree with you that they did a decent job bringing in elements from the books, but otherwise it felt phoned-in Burton and I’m with you that he should have done the story straight rather than this mediocre one.


  3. Hatter as a fiance to Alice? That’s just ridiculous. In Carroll’s Alice, it states that she leaves the Hatter, disgusted at his appalling manners. I thought that Alice was a young girl, but yet she got engaged?


  4. Unfortunately, I wholeheartedly agree with your take on the film. Like you, Nancy and I went to see it on opening night, narrowly avoiding being trampled by the crowds — only to almost be bored to death! Sadly, we’ll be giving it a negative review in our next KidsmomoMO segment. I’ll send you the link once it’s up!


  5. c18gi — pretty weird for sure.

    Karen, can’t wait to see your review!


  6. Hi, Monica — our review is up on Kidsmomo! Thank goodness for the monkeys; otherwise our review would have been wholly negative. :-)



  7. Oh goodie! And yes, thank goodness for the monkeys.


  8. k

    I also wish Burton had done a straight retelling; instead, it’s like he read the two Alice books and thought: “I wish I’D thought of these characters because I’d do XYZ.” I found Anne Hathaway’s White Queen baffling, the conflation of the Queen of hearts and the Red Queen into one Helena Bonham Carter annoying, Alice petulant in an uninteresting way, the dancing of the Hatter and Alice cringeworthy, and the Hatter & Alice’s relationship confusing at best, creepy and Freudian at worst.

    I did like that Cheshire Cat, though.


  9. Pingback: From the Vault: Alice in the Undertoad | Misrule

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