Alice in Wonderland [Book v. Movie]

This is not the version I have. Mine is from 1960 and therefore impossible to find an image of.

I thought I would start a new category of “reviews” for when I discuss both the book and its movie. Here is the inaugural post.

As I’ve previously mentioned, my book club read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass this month in anticipation for the new movie. On Sunday, we all met at the movie theater, watched the movie (the 3D-Imax version), and then headed over to Panera to discuss.

I have never read Alice in Wonderland before. Which surprises me a little considering how much I read when I was a kid. And I wish I had read this when I was younger because I think 9-year-old Michelle would have really enjoyed it. But 27-year-old Michelle is glad she finally did read it.

Alice and Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass are nonsense books that contain quirky characters, witty wordplay, and, although it may not seem so at first glance, an underlying theme about growing up. I actually enjoyed Through the Looking Glass more – even though I was the only one in my book club who felt that way. It’s hard to describe these books and they are better experienced than reviewed.

On to the movie. Tim Burton’s adaptation of Alice in Wonderland was in fact wonderful. The movie takes place years after the events in the books when Alice is a young adult on the verge of being married. Once again she follows a rabbit through the rabbit hole and is thrust into the role of savior of Underland (what she called Wonderland as a child). The film is visually stunning and the characters are marvelously imagined. There is some artistic license given – the red queen from TTLG and the queen of hearts from AIW are combined into one and the mad hatter (how can you not love Johnny Depp?) is given a prominent role despite his relatively brief scene in the book. Oh, and the costumes are fantastic.

I’ve heard some negative opinions of the film and I don’t entirely know why. It isn’t like the books, so maybe that’s what people were expecting, but I was thoroughly entertained. It reminded me a lot of Hook (one of my favorite movies). Both feature the grown-up version of the main character from the book who must return to the fairytale land of their childhood. Neither remember their earlier adventures and both must take on a role they don’t think they want yet clearly destined for.

I definitely recommend the movie.

9 thoughts on “Alice in Wonderland [Book v. Movie]

  1. Michelle March 19, 2010 / 11:20 am

    I bought the book at a yard sale a few years ago, but it sits nicely on my shelf. Now I must get it down and start reading it! Thanks for the kick! šŸ™‚


    • Michelle March 19, 2010 / 8:00 pm

      You are welcome. I’ll be interested to hear what you think.


    • Michelle March 19, 2010 / 8:00 pm

      Well, he’s not really all that attractive in Alice, but I still love me some Johnny Depp.


  2. Bina March 19, 2010 / 5:04 pm

    Haha, the movie release prompts so many people to confess that they havenĀ“t read Alice before šŸ˜€

    I didnĀ“t enjoy the movie that much. IĀ“m disappointed by my own reaction, but I canĀ“t help it. I found it pretty to look at, but the story and dialogue were boring. I usually adore Tim BurtonĀ“s stuff.


    • Michelle March 19, 2010 / 7:59 pm

      Really? I enjoyed it a lot. But you are not alone in that opinion.


  3. Dominique March 20, 2010 / 12:33 am

    Great review! I’m probably going to go see the movie next weekend, I’m really looking forward to it, it sounds great! I have a copy of the book I’m hoping to get to before then.


  4. Vishy March 23, 2010 / 3:25 pm

    Nice review! Would love to have a look at the cover of the edition you have – why don’t you try taking a picture and post it here? The 1960 edition would be quite different from today’s.


  5. Antonella March 24, 2010 / 11:29 am

    I agree with you again. I went to see the movie with my daughter (and we have both read the book, although she hasn’t read Through the looking glass yet) and we both loved it. I think some people didn’t like the fact that it was a sort of free interpretation and they would have preferred an Alice so bright and beautiful like the old Disney cartoon. Johnny Depp was amazing and watching it in 3d a great experience. Ciao. A.


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