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I was nervous about the glasses-that they would give me a headache. Though they were uncomfortable at first, I did enjoy my first 3-D experience in bug-eyed glasses. I didn’t miss for one second the old paper and cellophane models with one green eye and one red.

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The Old Alice

I was also nervous about the storyline. Lewis Carroll has been one of my most dearly favored authors since I was in grade school. In my childhood, I became well-versed in his oddities, taking pages and pages of his nonsensical poetry to memory. Disney’s cartoon production of Alice, benign to the harsher realities of the book, is my most prized classic. Tim Burton is a sort of film-making entrepreneur, so it’s not surprising that he was reaching for something new and never-done with this rendition of Alice. She’s not a girl anymore, was all I knew before entering the theatre. It’s some ten years later and she’s back in Wonderland…er…Underland. Truth be told, I was terrified that I wouldn’t like the movie.

I will note that I was not at all nervous about my company. Though I was reminded that the middle-of-the-night movie-going crowd is not my preferred crew, my preferred crew certainly were the three by whom I was accompanied: my dear friends, Miss Josi Nichole and Miss Sarah Ann Kingsley as well as my dearest little sister, Angela Lynn. Once they put their 3-D glasses on, they all looked “A Bug’s Life” (that’s the title of the ant movie used in adjective form, indeed). When I put on my glasses, they all still looked the same. As it turns out, this is because I already see them in three dimensions, no glasses necessary. Ah, yes.

Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter in Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland

Legend Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter

The soundtrack was dreamlike and surprisingly contemporary. The costumes were extravagant and made me wide-eyed with wonder and intrigue. The plot flirted with the original text enough to satisfy my expectations. In the places where it birthed new ideas, they were full and mature.

The implication of Burton’s involvement with Alice and her friends involves a depth of character development that I seek in all movies. He wasn’t interested in stereotyping or profiling the Mad Hatter or the Queen of Hearts, portraying the only characteristic for which they are known and magnifying it. No. He’d rather dive back into the mess of what makes and molds and shapes the Hatter. What events and deep-seeded words cause the Queen to be the Queen? This effort of fully developed characters creates a movie that reaches the next level of Alice’s.

Helena Bonham Carter and her big head as the Queen of Hearts

An absolute must-see. A wonderful birthday gift for me [wink]. If you buy your tickets through Fandango, you can raise money for Hiawatha Youth Camp with the Goodshop program here.

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