I saw Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland today!Non Spoilery thoughts:
Very fun! After two whole years of anticipating this film (though really I was waiting my whole life for this movie, no that's not even an exaggeration, I've wanted Tim Burton to do an Alice movie ever since I figured out Alice in wonderland was gothic horror, and really his style was perfect for that type of story) I was worried I'd be severely let down....BUT I WASNT!
Wonderland looks as beautiful, eerie, stunning, grand, dreamlike and amazing as I'd hoped. and The plot was a very fun albeit loose adpatation of the books, it took elements from both Alice books, and perfectly executed some of my favorite alice scenes. That said, it really isnt a super faithful adaptation plot wise but tone and style wise I feel like it's one of the most faithul Alice adaptations to ever emerge.
I really loved how the main battle was between two Queens and the one who is responsible for slaying the Jabberwock and giving the crown back to the rightful queen was Alice. Much cooler than having her just wander around wonderland being lost and cute. I've never seen the actress they cast to play Alice in anything before but I feel like she did very well, and she had some STRONG competition.
Depp's hatter was very weird, and unlike the hatter in the books seemed to be bi-polar and would often switch from talking like a nutty british fop to ranting about in a strong scottish brogue. Very odd, but fun to watch. My favorite thing was really the Red Queen/Queen of Hearts as played by Helena Bonham Carter, girlfriend was born to play that role she was so awesome in it! She had the perfect blend of crazy, megalomania, rage, sweetness, narcissism, pitifulness and delusion. I honestly feel like the most underhanded character in the film wasnt the Red Queen but the Knave of Hearts her (supposedly) loyal servant. Dude CREEPED ME OUT.
I really loved all the beautiful costumes in the film and I think Alice ended up changing her outfit more times than a model during a fashion show. The ending is really sweet and lovely, it was so great to see this young woman take charge of her life and go towards this bright exciting future.
I dont know how realistic that was for victorian society but I also really dont care, if we can accept talking animals and jabberwocks, then we can accept victorian woman actually making decisions about their lives and futures.
Voice casting was also really well done and brought the animated creatures to life in the best way! I was really worried about Tim Burton's weird blending of animation and live action but it really didnt look bad at all, it worked! But I didnt see it in 3-D so I dont know if that is the same for the 3-D picture.
and I loved that not only did the Jabberwock make an apperance but so did the Bandersnatch casually mentioned in that poem as well! I only feel sad that neither the walruus nor the carpenter (and their famous feast of oysters) made an appearance in this film. That actually kind of broke my heart a bit ;_;
All in all a solid effort I think. Was it the best Alice movie EVAR? No I dont think so. Though I'd be hard pressed to think of a BEST Alice movie EVAR since every adaptation has it's strengths and weaknesses, I think my favorite will always be Jonathan Miller's version though but Burton's adaptation is easily my second favorite and is the most visually amazing and beautiful alice film I've ever seen. As a huge Alice fan I am very pleased!
In my effort to watch all the oscar nominated animated films for this year. I have taken to various means (both legal and...less so) to watch all of the films. Anyway I already saw Up back when it came out but I have sadly yet to see Fantastic Mr Fox and Princess and the Frog. I did see Book of Kells recently though!Book of Kells
: This was a beautiful animated film. This is really and ode to irish folktales and culture, both the pagan and the christian. It really does a good job of respecting both sets of beliefs and in this fantastical version of medieval europe both the pagan beliefs and christian beliefs are treated as true and real. It's refreshing in that sense. More refreshing is the lovely 2-D animation that you really just dont see anymore, and the hero of the film is very delightful and sweet and while he does slay monsters and save the day he does so with his wits, courage and heart and not with any kind of violence/weaponary or even some sort of magical power.
There is also the sweet befriending of the boy hero with the faery girl Ashley, which I really liked since again it highlighted this harmony between the pagan and the christian, even while the Abbot would rail against pagans and their beliefs.
The central conflict of the story is an interesting one, it's basically a fear of viking attacks here called "the northmen". Historically Vikings were VERY scary and caused great havoc to much of europe in their heyday, it was nice to see a threat that had real roots in history in a story that also treated faery creatures and primordial snake monsters as real. That said to perhaps express the horrifying way Vikings appeared to their victims, the vikings in this film are animated to look almost like hulking shadowy monsters that only resemble men in the vaguest most distant sense. It was a very effective way to show just how scary vikings were without actually making them into some kind of fantastical monster army.
Anyway in a nutshell, Book of Kells is a great story about a young boy coming of age and becoming the great man everyone knows he will one day be, but it's also a story about friendship, facing your fears, faith (not just in deities and heaven but in yourself), and also it's a story that beautifully and excellently blends history with folklore, and pagan with christian. and just watch it! It's lovely and you wont regret it. You can also totally take kids to see it :D I also want to add that the irish folk music in this film is so beautiful and really adds to the rich culture of the film.
I have also watched 3 of the 5 nominated Shorts for the animation category. While I enjoyed all 3, my favorite was easily "Granny o Grimm's Sleeping Beauty" totally cracked me up while also being a really creepy retelling. I hope whoever wrote this film does a full length film one day too.
You can watch the oscar nominated animated shorts here: http://community.livejournal.com/ohnotheydidnt/43953738.html