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Why is a raven like a writing desk?

Sir John Tenniel
I went to see Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland the other day. The visuals were spectacular. Unfortunately, the story sucked.*

What makes Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass wonderful? The humor. The cleverness. The fact that an ordinary girl with a Victorian upbringing maneuvers her way through surrealism with intelligence and wit as well as confusion and uncomfortable moments. Getting to the end of a logical story is not the point. Rather, all the fun is in the travel along the way. There is nothing predictable about Lewis Carroll's stories. Nor are they sappy. That is why folks love them.

Burton's Alice, on the other hand, is a series of clichés. We have the hero's quest; chase scenes; sidekicks; a hint of romance; the truly awful character and the truly good one; the cryptic old sage who dies only to be resuscitated in another form at the very end; the misunderstood evil who is good at heart. . .  And there's a whole lot of not much fun along the way.

The very occasional word play just doesn't make up for the total sappy ickiness of the production.

And you know, I'm a Tim Burton fan. But really, for goodness sakes, why is the dormouse wide awake?

Grumble, grumble.


* We went to the 2-D version, having been forewarned that the 3-D effects are distracting. Maybe we should have stuck with the 3-D version --- it'd have distracted us from the story.

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