Friday, April 04, 2014
The other day, I rewatched the 1999 Alice in Wonderland TV production, and still keep it at the top of my favs list. Watching a bizarre 1966 TV version this winter made me want to check in again on my leading choice. For the record: Disney is a big NO, and Tim Burton disappointed greatly.
My disappointment in Burton was underscored by comparison to the 1999 telling: much of its look I might have called Burton-esque, or Pee Wee-esque. Details that make me think of Burton include the splendid way the Red Queen, in particular, looks like a playing card -- down to the "drawn" black lines of her hair; or the checkerboards of grass that curve dreamily in backgrounds and transition scenes.
This Alice follows the books closely enough to please an avid reader. We get "why is a raven like a writing desk," we get the treacle well, we get the Cheshire cat checking on whether Alice said "pig" or "fig." Tina Majorino makes a spot-on Alice (looked into it real quick: looks like she's gone on to a strong career in things that I don't watch). Gene Wilder captures the Mock Turtle; and -- omg! that's the Queen from "Black Adder"! (Miranda Richardson). Brilliant.
Before urging this version above all other on someone, I might mention that it starts off a little slow -- there's no need for the Caucus Race to be that long a scene -- but it is the one I would suggest, above all.
See also: my Alice pins.