Bigger Screen :: 7 Reasons why Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland is rubbish.

May 4th 2011


I was walking through Erskineville with a friend of mine a while ago and noticed the big mural someone had painted featuring characters from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. I said it was weird that someone had painted characters from a shit Disney movie that literally made a billion dollars in Erskineville. My friend, a girl of very good taste, was disgusted with me. She declared that she loved the movie. When I asked her why, she said, “I love Tim Burton… and its Alice In Wonderland!”. Hmmm. I watched it again this weekend to figure out why it's so terrible, and to annoy my friend.


1. “I love Tim Burton… and its Alice in Wonderland!”

I remember thinking 'Wow! Tim Burton is doing a remake of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory with Johnny Depp! I don’t see how that could possible be bad!', then walking out and thinking “oh… that’s how”. The last ten years Burton has mostly been consumed with adapting properties that seem to suit the style he developed early in his career, cashing in on his reputation. They have ranged from the terrible (Alice, Planet of the Apes) to the just disappointing (Charlie, Sweeney Todd). Right now he is shooting an adaptation of the gothic soap opera Dark Shadows, with Depp again, and remaking a cartoon short that he originally did in his 20’s called Frankenweenie. The guy is a genius. He made Ed Wood, Bettlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns and Sleepy Hollow. I think this is his 'Fat Elvis in Vegas' period.


2. Is this a sequel or something?

It really should be called Alice in Wonderland 2. Alice in this film is returning to Wonderland (though its called Underland) after her adventures there before (in the book?). Except she doesn’t remember them. Ignoring the fact that there is already a perfectly good sequel to Alice in Wonderland (Through the Looking Glass), what the hell is the point of this? Its maddening to wait for her to remember doing all of the things we know she did, and all of the characters just do the same thing they did when they first met her anyway. I didn’t mind the bookends with the chinless ranga, but no film should bookend its bookends, which is what Alice does with the bizarre shipping company bit.


3. Why the fuck is it called “Underland“?!


4. Johnny Depp.

Helena Bonham Carter is bad as The Red Queen (shouldn‘t she be the Queen of Hearts?), but Depp is worse. A mess of ticks and pre-packaged weird. The script (I assume) saddles him with the this dual personality, but Depp makes the terrible choice to give his dark side a thick Scottish accent for no reason. It’s an excuse for Depp to give in to all of his worst instincts as an actor, and I think it might be the worst performance of his career.


5. That’s Crispin Glover’s head but…

They gave him a whole CGI body? Why?!


6. The Message

Alice’s magical adventures in wonderland inspire her to become… A businesswoman.


7. This is just a fucking terrible idea.

I am not some Lewis Carroll geek so I might embarrass myself here, but isn’t


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