“Alice in Wonderland” seems particularly suited to Director Tim Burton’s dark, exaggerated style and judging from the latest movie trailer, the film will be a surreal trip. Hopefully it will still retain the crazed charm of Lewis Carroll’s original work.
Carroll, real name Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, was a Victorian-era author given to satire and flights of fantasy in a genre known then as “literary nonsense.”
At least some of Carroll’s work is said to have been inspired by psychedelic experiences on Psilocybin, a hallucinogenic drug extracted from mushrooms; no surprise, then, that mushrooms are featured prominently in scenes involving the Cheshire Cat, who Carroll pictured himself as.
His two Alice books, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and its sequel “Through the Looking-Glass,” were Carroll’s best known works, as well as the poems “The Hunting of the Snark” and “Jabberwocky.”
Carroll is known for his clever word play, twisted logic and wild fantasy; could Burton ask for anything more?
But on closer reading, Alice and Looking Glass have a definite political slant and were considered satires of 19th century English society and the monarchy.
Whether Burton captures that subtly and applies it to today’s culture, or he just goes for stunning visuals remains to be seen. The new trailer is more of the latter.
It opens with a voice intoning: “There is a place like no place on earth” as a stunning visual scene appears.
Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum are traipsing through the otherworldly landscape when another voice intones: “Some say to survive it, you need to be as mad as a hatter – which luckily, I am.”
The trailer cuts to Johnny Depp as the hatter, looking quite mad with orange hair, white face and a cartoon size top hat. The scene cuts to the Hatter’s mad tea party with Mia Wasikowska as Alice.
Then it, cuts to the stormy Red Queen played by Helena Bonham Carter and the White Queen, an almost transparent looking Anne Hathaway.
Great eye candy; let’s hope Burton captures the book’s broader themes as well.
The movie will debut on March 5, 2010.