Tim Burton’s 3D adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland doesn’t really lose much when seen at home in 2D. The film’s hallucinatory visuals look just as good and the quirky characters are equally striking.
On the downside, the plot is just as one-dimensional on the small screen as it appeared in 3D in the cinema.
Of course, the story’s not strictly an adaptation of the Alice books but a sequel in which Carroll’s familiar figures are squeezed into a teen-friendly quest plot.
Now aged 19, Alice (played by Australian actress Mia Wasikowska) thinks she is dreaming when she tumbles down a rabbit hole and finds herself back in Wonderland. Its residents, however, including Johnny Depp’s decidedly loopy ginger-haired Mad Hatter, must persuade her that it is her destiny to save Wonderland from the tyrannical rule of the evil Red Queen.
Helena Bonham Carter’s comically grotesque Red Queen is a joy. Indeed, it’s the sight and, more often, sound of a host of British big and small screen icons that provides most of the film’s high spots.
Look and listen out for:
- Matt Lucas as Tweedledum & Tweedledee
- Stephen Fry as the Cheshire Cat
- Alan Rickman as the Blue Caterpillar
- Michael Sheen as the White Rabbit
- Timothy Spall as Bayard the Bloodhound
- Barbara Windsor as the Dormouse
- Christopher Lee as the Jabberwock
- Paul Whitehouse as the March Hare
Look out too for Frances de la Tour in the story’s above ground framing sections. You may remember her as desperate spinster Miss Jones in 1970s sitcom Rising Damp, the eternally elusive object of desire of Leonard Rossiter’s seedy landlord Rigsby. The film’s casting director surely had this role in mind when choosing de la Tour to play Alice’s deluded maiden aunt Imogene.
I say casting director, but could the anglophile Burton secretly be a fan of the show?
Available on Blu-ray & DVD, and showing on FilmFlex & Sky Box Office, from 4th June.