Black (Movie) Magic

3 12 2009

From a book, to an animation, and now to a live-action movie, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has come a long way from the simple children’s story that it began as. But is it actually the book itself that’s coming so far, or just the concept? We see it all the time; a good book being warped and twisted to fit into a movie that the director likes best. Is this what’s happening to Carroll’s book? Have we lost the true story in the rush to get out a good movie?

We see what Disney did with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It’s a very good children’s movie, with cute songs and a relatively clean story line. And really, it stayed pretty close to the book. Of course, it edited out a few parts, but that’s just something to be expected with ANY movie. Over-all it was surprisingly accurate. But now Tim Burton’s gotten his twisted little claws into it, and you have to wonder exactly how twisted he’s going to make this story. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great movie man! But from the previews, it looks like he’s taking what’s supposed to be a very subtle underlying darkness and flinging it out to the front, smothering the innocence.

Really, how is anyone going to be able to see the brilliance of the Cheshire Cat if he looks like a mutated alley cat? So the question arises; is Tim Burton basing the new Alice movie on the actual book, or is he taking the story into his own hands? We can see from the first movie that they stayed pretty true to the book, but even from the previews we see that Alice is no longer an innocent little girl, but a teenager. And the Cheshire Cat isn’t the spunky, slightly confusing kitty that we all know and love, but a creepy, horrifying specimen of grossness (yes, I am highly irritated at the new portrayal of the Cheshire Cat).

There is a wonderful topic in Darcy’s blog, No Explosives, No Interest, that ties in here nicely.

People are changing. Our attention spans are shorter and our interest isn’t help for very long if there isn’t action or drama or something exciting that will keep our attention for more than a few minutes. Tell me, how many times have you walked into a movie theater, sat down, and as soon as the film started, thought “ohmygosh this is boring!” because it didn’t get exciting fast enough? Maybe this is why the movie has changed so much from the book. Because to make money, they have to keep our attention. They have to have pretty much non-stop action or serious suspense or we’re lost. While it’s irritating when our favorite book gets mangled by some producer who’s only after money, you have to wonder if there’s a reason that the movies are always so different.


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