Alice in Wonderland


After a big night out on the tiles, another 2am KFC and 5 hours sleep, on Sunday 28th February I and my flat-mate Annie, were up on our way to the IMAX in Waterloo for a 10am press screening of Disney and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.

Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland

Having only ever been to the IMAX once before and having only seen one film in 3D, Avatar, I was extremely excited by the whole trip. Upon arrival at the cinema I was surprised by how many small children were about. The film is a 12A, but some of the kids were only 5 or 6, and having been petrified by Tim Burton’s The Nightmare before Christmas when their age if not older, I was wary to get a seat away from potential tiny tears. So we got our glasses, got our seats (dead centre, row F encase you were wondering) and waited for the film.

However, we sat behind a very ‘romantic’ couple. I use the term romantic in a way that describes what a 2euro peep show in Amsterdam offers. This couple, who happened to be French none the less (very cliché), were sucking each other’s fingers in what can only be described as foreplay, and insisted on constant outrageous displays of affection and snuggling. This 12A film had at X-rated audience! Thankfully the lights went down and the dark 3D glasses came on. Instantly I was transported to the uncanny universe of Alice. With a plethora of fantastic British actors, the stiff upper lip of Victorian aristocracy was up held and Alice played the self-confessed black sheep dreamer. The beautiful Mia Wasikowska had a grace and child-like curiosity which complemented the pre-expectations of a matured 19 year old Alice. The script’s strong intertextuality with the original novel was sublime and flowed with ease.

Alice’s fall into the rabbit hole was a feast for the 3D glasses. Its speed, depth and well animated collisions were a joy to watch and created a great sense realism as we, with Alice, hurtle to one’s doom. Both the original novels Alice in Wonderland and Alice through the Looking Glass were strongly referenced and expanded to create a world which had developed a history and story of its own since Alice’s last departure as a child.

The characters were all superbly cast – Johnny Depp’s stylistic and quirky performance fulfilled the role of the Mad Hatter perfectly and the levels of humour were enjoyable. From pig stools, monkey table legs and prosthetic body parts, the film was aesthetically pleasing and brought back memories of my own fairy tale imaginary world. Whereas I was in awe of Avator, Alice in Wonderland is a topsy turvey world of pure fantasy and nonsense making the 3D aspect take on a whole new form.

3D animation movies like Up and Monsters vs Aliens is just that, colourful animation. Avatar took you on a journey wih the characters to new lands with all the sights, sounds and senses. However, Burton has used 3D to make your own dreams and nightmares come alive right in front of you, which will set a new trend for future 3D experiences. Burton has no intention of tricking your eyes, due to the storyline you accept the unbelievable and feel as though your own imagination is being intrusively played out in front of you.

I would highly recommend a viewing at the IMAX. Typically, I am not a huge Burton fan, however Alice really touched a note with me and was a highly enjoyable film to watch.

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