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Alice in Wonderland

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Grames
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The story of this movie is actually "Alice returns to Wonderland". It is a sequel to a story the viewer is assumed to be familiar with, the Lewis Carroll version. It shamelessly steals material from Carroll's poem "The Hunting of the Snark" to expand the dramatic possibilities, but it works out. It is story about growing up, and is not particularly a 'girlish' story. (The excellent recent release "An Education" would be an example of a girlish movie about a particular girlish hazard of growing up.) There is not a hint of christianity in it, or of any other religion.

Alice in Wonderland actually addresses philosophical issues. It is against solipsism and subjectivism, in favor of volition over conformity and duty, deprecates emotionalism in favor of rationality. It does so in a manner appropriate for teenagers and intelligent children, never lecturing but illustrating with plot action. Adults can enjoy this as well, I certainly did.

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The story of this movie is actually "Alice returns to Wonderland". It is a sequel to a story the viewer is assumed to be familiar with, the Lewis Carroll version. It shamelessly steals material from Carroll's poem "The Hunting of the Snark" to expand the dramatic possibilities, but it works out. It is story about growing up, and is not particularly a 'girlish' story. (The excellent recent release "An Education" would be an example of a girlish movie about a particular girlish hazard of growing up.) There is not a hint of christianity in it, or of any other religion.

Alice in Wonderland actually addresses philosophical issues. It is against solipsism and subjectivism, in favor of volition over conformity and duty, deprecates emotionalism in favor of rationality. It does so in a manner appropriate for teenagers and intelligent children, never lecturing but illustrating with plot action. Adults can enjoy this as well, I certainly did.

I liked it, too, but I was admittedly too rapt in marveling over the Jabberwocky and other entertaining characters to notice any philosophical issues that might have been addressed. If you would care to explain your position, how and why you think the movie rejects solipsism and subjectivism, and favors rationality, I would be very grateful to hear it because the story interests me a great deal.

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I was going to review Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland for Superhero Babylon. I was going to say that Tim Burton did a good job visually. I was going to say that storytelling-wise, he added a point to a meandering story, infused with with a archetypal "hero's journey," but one mixed with Victorian romanticism that falls victim to the reason-emotion dichotomy. I was going to quote from Ayn Rand's Romantic Manifesto, the rejection of reason by the "Byronic" romantics, and explain how the links between creativity and madness in Burton's film are best understood as a rejection of the "classicism" and "rationalism" of conventional thinking, and that Alice, in the end, fuses creativity with a pro-business mind.

That's what I was going to say. I'd love to elaborate, but you'll have to work with that and figure it out for yourselves, since America, with the passage of this god-damn health care bill, has fallen down it's own rabbit-hole to becoming a socialist nation. There are more immediate villains to fight than red queens, knaves, and Jabberwockys.

This ain't chess, this is real. And I'm mad as a hatter right about now...

Edited by spaceplayer
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Alice doubts what she sees and feels for most of her time in Underland. She repeatedly declaims that it is all a dream despite the fact that pinches and painful pinpricks do not wake her up, and that she cannot be hurt in dream but the bandersnatch draws blood. Denial of the independent existence of the world apart from the mind is what is what solipsism is. The blue caterpillar named Absalom is described as "Absalom is absolute", and eventually brings Alice around to accepting the reality of her surroundings and her own memories. The story shows Absalom is right, Alice has spent most of the story being wrong and even stupid.

The Red Queen is a stand-in for the premise of the primary importance of emotions: she has usurped the crown from her sister the White Queen, has a heart for her symbol, often bursts into red-faced shouting and considers her dilemma to be whether to it is better to be loved or feared by her subjects. The White Queen is the legitimate ruler selected by her parents to inherit the crown, passing over her older sister the Red Queen. The White Queen is pale and colorless, always calm and constrains her behavior to conform with her (unspecified) vows. The story plainly casts the Red Queen as the villain and the White Queen as the victim. The Mad Hatter is mad it seems because he teeters between the two poles of emotional outbursts and reasonable discourse. The Mad Hatter's character supports the conclusion that reason and emotion are actually the sides of a dichotomy, as he is the only character who attempts to combine the two elements and is a failure (driven Mad) because of it.

Alice is emphatic in insisting to the dog Bayard that she sets the course of her life (actually her "dream" at this point in the story) in deciding to rescue the Hatter from the Red Queen. When Alice feels pressured to take up the Vorpal Sword and slay the jabberwocky, the White Queen counsels her that she should not live by other's wishes but choose what she does freely, for she will be alone in her conflict. The dilemma in the "real world" framing story shown before Alice falls down the rabbit hole and after she comes back out is resolved with the exercise of a bit of willful courage on her part. Alice is a non-conformist and comes to a happy conclusion at the end of the story. These incidents approvingly show the role and importance in life of willful activity, of volition.

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I think I'll see it.

I did like the old Disney version. I found it whimsical and, at parts, witty. I like the scene with Alice in the flower bed ("Have you ever seen an Alice with a blossom like that before?" "Come to think of it, have you ever seen an Alice?")

Anyway, has anyone read the Loiuis Carroll books and are they worth reading?

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Anyway, has anyone read the Loiuis Carroll books and are they worth reading?

I was somehow exposed to the original Alice story as a child, but I don't remember the story well at all now. I have an illustrated version of "The Hunting of the Snark", which is a really weird and sometimes scary poem not suitable for children. They are worthing reading if you want to be well read and informed about literary allusions that refer to Carroll's work. Carroll's word play is unique, and he invents words that seem to be just right in sound and spelling for his needs.

The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!

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Anyway, has anyone read the Loiuis Carroll books and are they worth reading?

I read Alice in Wonderland about four years ago, in seventh grade. It was one of my favorite books at the time, because the characters were all eccentric and quirky, but each in their own way. I thought the story was pretty lame, though, especially the ending (I won't spoil it, but it really made me angry). I never got around to Through the Looking Glass.

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I would recommend the books to anyone, extremely delightful books and certainly require more than your typical reader's passive observation. I recommend The Annotated Alice (http://www.amazon.com/Annotated-Alice-Definitive-Lewis-Carroll/dp/0393048470) as *the* book to get if you have never read either book (Wonderland/Looking Glass) and are thinking of picking them up. All other editions are poor by comparison.

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Ha. Interesting. I actually think this is the worst movie I've paid to see in at least a year. The storyline was completely ordinary, which, considering the source material, is a total travesty. Absolutely everything about the story was predictable from start to finish. Nothing close to the humor and cleverness of the novels is preserved for this film, as Tim Burton opted instead for silly one liners. And possibly the worst part of all, the movie included nothing discrete or thought-provoking, which is possibly the best characteristic of the novels and even the original animated Disney film. Also, I think Tim Burton got confused and thought he was still in the 80s, when he was a hit machine, because his usage of RealD (the best and most advance 3D experience there is) is closer to the 3D of of terrible 1980s horror flicks than it is to modern films, like Avatar.

C+

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because his usage of RealD (the best and most advance 3D experience there is) is closer to the 3D of of terrible 1980s horror flicks than it is to modern films, like Avatar.

I agree, but I think the reason was not an artistic failure but a financial demand by the studio that the movie be converted to 3D after it was shot to get the higher ticket prices.

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I agree, but I think the reason was not an artistic failure but a financial demand by the studio that the movie be converted to 3D after it was shot to get the higher ticket prices.
Doesn't look like that's the case. From Wikipedia:

Development and writing

Joe Roth was developing Alice in Wonderland in April 2007 at Walt Disney Pictures with Linda Woolverton as screenwriter.[4] That November, Burton signed with Disney to direct two films in Disney Digital 3-D, which included Alice in Wonderland[5] and his remake of Frankenweenie. He explained "the goal is to try to make it an engaging movie where you get some of the psychology and kind of bring a freshness but also keep the classic nature of Alice." On prior versions, Burton said "It was always a girl wandering around from one crazy character to another, and I never really felt any real emotional connection." His goal with the new movie is to give the story "some framework of emotional grounding" and "to try and make Alice feel more like a story as opposed to a series of events."[6] Burton focused on the Jabberwocky poem as part of his structure.[7] Burton also stated that he doesn't see his version as either a sequel to any existing Alice movie or as a "re-imagining".[8]

He went into the project with the purpose of creating a 3D experience.

Edited by Alexandros
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  • 4 weeks later...

I agree it is a pretty good movie. Tim Burton's movies are a bit of a genre in themselves. I liked it, as always Burton brought his unique look to the film which I thought was great. If you like his point of view in telling stories then you won't be disappointed. Besides, to view his world in 3D is priceless. I wouldn't mind seeing it again at all.

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I wouldn't mind seeing it if everything weren't so... ugly. The cinematography just makes me want to vomit.

Wait... What? Vomit? Seriously? I thought the movie was terrible, but I don't see anything wrong with the cinematography. What exactly you think is so wrong with it?

Edited by 0096 2251 2110 8105
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