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Jonny's Blog: Issue 3

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Prince of the Squirtle Squad
So, this blog is in the running for Oddest Blog Post of all time. But I have never been entirely satisfied with any version of Alice in Wonderland. I thought about this blog post because Alice in Wonderland is out on DVD now, and I went to go and see it on my birthday at the Imax, and I remember how disappointed I was with it. Still, it's OK because I got Fantastic Mr Fox which more than made up for the day.

Anyway, on a superficial level, I like Alice in Wonderland very much. The mad tea party, the Cheshire Cat, the Queen and her army of playing cards are wonderful. Upon closer scrutiny, though, the original is a shambles: it's brilliantly imaginative but it just lacks coherence or meaning. There is nothing to it but madness, and though I suspect that's half the appeal it feels oddly disheartening.

Another adaptation is The Looking Glass Wars: this is a fascinating book that claims our version of Alice in Wonderland is a pack of lies based upon a truer, far gorier tale. Great idea, but when you read it it feels flat and the chapters break up the story too much. It also feels you're introducing so many artificial cliffhangers.

Finally, there's the latest film. I suppose when I saw the trailer, I expected it to be a visual powerhouse: that goes without saying for films now, though it certainly isn't necessary. But what I really wanted was a film that really explored the characters, the setting and so on. I wanted a film that explored the Mad Hatter's eccentricities, his background, his outlook on life and his attitudes. I wanted a character, instead of a breakdancing Scotsman. Actually, to be fair Alice was very strong in the film: she felt almost autistic in her determination to explain Wonderland as a dream: intelligent, yet curiously childlike. It worked very well, even though I'm probably reading into something that doesn't exist.

So, am I being ridiculously pedantic? Probably. It seems unfair to ask books and films to conform to expectations I never voiced. I suppose I just want someone to explore Wonderland, to flesh it out and give it coherence and depth. I want a world, instead of a collection of vignettes. Maybe it's something I'll do one day: it's too good a creation to waste.

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Post on Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:33 pm by JT_the_Ninja

It had the guy from Little Britain in it...small point in its favour...didn't think the plot was very well-delivered or indeed very original, though. []

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