Alice in Wonderland

1. Analysis of the book

Lewis Carroll’s masterpiece, Alice in Wonderland, is a very interesting work of art because it can be read and understood, although not in the same manner, by children and adults. Children will notice the fantastical nature of the book and follow it much like a story, whereas adults will pickup on the satire, extraordinary language and art of Alice in Wonderland, while possibly coming up with messages not intended by the author. The overlying themes in the book come from Carroll’s language and background in mathematics. Among these themes are the role of measurement and size change in relation to perspective, ascension to adulthood by way of adult experiences and death, which Alice side steps on multiple occasions.

2. Analysis of the film

Tim Burton’s version of Alice in Wonderland looks like a Tim Burton film and you can probably conclude that it would vary to a certain extent from the book written many years ago. Burton’s version of the story differs from Carroll’s version right at the beginning of the film when Alice is shown as a grown girl in her late teens, revisiting Wonderland. Through an array of sophisticated visuals and 3-D technology and a Gothic darkness, Burton focuses the story on female heroism from Alice, a different character than the Alice in Carroll’s book even at the beginning of the film.

3. Analysis of the adaptation

Referring to lecture, perhaps the most obvious takeaway was that Burton’s Alice in Wonderland is a reboot, not an adaptation. This film isn’t really for kids, but rather for teens and adults who understand the themes and ideas at play—much like how Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland was intended for a children audience. Burton certainly adds his own spin to the original story, starting with the visuals and 3-D imagery, which I can’t imagine having that much of a positive effect on the viewer and ending with the story itself, from the new Alice to the new Wonderland, occupied by perturbed and obnoxious creatures—adding a layer onto the weirdness Carroll previously created.

4. Online research on the film

Alice in Wonderland – Don’t follow Tim Burton down this rabbit hole.

By Dana Stevens

This source is a negative review of the movie, focusing mostly on providing summary, but I was intrigued by the audio at the top of the page of an interview with the author and a movie critic for The Washington Post. It was interesting to hear two critics discuss Tim Burton’s take on Alice in Wonderland, which they both deemed to be dull and visually lacking after awhile.

‘Alice in Wonderland’ shatters box office records

This article talks about the great box office success of Alice in Wonderland, which surprised me, as I didn’t know it did so well and ousted Avatar in sales. According to the article, Alice brought in an estimated $116.3 million, which crushed the $77 million that Avatar made when it first opened in theaters. There was an apparent 3-D mania.

Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland Facebook page currently has 10,125,533 “likes” and 84,498 people are talking about it. These numbers indicate that the movie was a big hit and that even though it came out a couple years ago, people are still talking about the movie. The “About” section of the page contains relevant information concerning the film, such as the release date, studio, awards and plot outline, as well as a link to Rotten Tomatoes, which is interesting considering a lot of the reviews on that website for the film were negative. The page manager doesn’t regularly provide updates or posts, but there’s a lot of useful information on the page for a movie critic or someone who’s interested in finding more about the film, including photo albums of screen shots of the movie and other real life pictures, as well as videos from the movie and video interviews.

5. Critical analysis paragraph

How has the structure and sensibility of video games influenced Burton’s Alice in Wonderland? How has it changed Lewis Carroll’s original conception?

Burton’s Alice in Wonderland is completely different—considered a reboot—from Lewis Carroll’s original conception because Burton doesn’t have an appreciation or grasp of Carroll’s language, which leads to him fumbling around with the visual scales, such as the disproportions of different character’s bodies, which is less a result of him trying to replicate Carroll’s portrayal of size and more a result of the characters being formed from his imagination, taking on the video game and high resolution qualities of today’s culture. Whacky visuals and 3-D is ingrained in today’s media and video game culture. Burton’s Alice shows you how far he strayed from the initial simple and beautiful drawings for Carroll’s Alice.

2 responses to “Alice in Wonderland

  1. Eliot, your analysis of the book, the film, and the adaptation was astute, and your online research links are decent. I could kind of see what you were trying to say in your critical analysis paragraph, but it wasn’t clear. Your thesis statement is most of your paragraph. Try a more succinct thesis statement, which you then develop in the rest of the paragraph. 9/10. Joseph Byrne

  2. In response to your critical analysis, I feel that while Burton does have an appreciation for Carroll’s linguistic skills, he does not quite grasp the comic and fun nature of Carroll’s language. Instead, it seems that it is just Johnny Depp musing on references to the original text. I do wholeheartedly agree in your analysis of the book in the different nature the book takes between childhood and adulthood.

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