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Alice in Wonderland

June 3, 2011

1. Movie Themes

One main recurring theme was the fight between good and evil.  The Red Queen was depicted as evil but also as a powerful figure.  Her head was portrayed as large representing power as larger and more noticeable.  However, with this power, she had no kindness and was only pleased when thing were done precisely as she wanted them done.  For every person not complying, it was off with their heads.  I thought it was ironic that she cut everyones head off and yet her head was so large. 

Also, there was an attempt at creating a strong, powerful female role in Alice.  Disney has often lacked in this area in that most of the female roles have shown the female characters as passive and submissive.  Throughout this film, Alice says she wants the right to make her own choices and doesn’t like people telling her who she is.  This struggle begins way before she falls in the rabbit hole.  She is told by her mother how she should dress and how she should act.  Her almost mother-in-law tries to guide her role as a wife, and her own sister tries to convince her that being a wife is great as long as she does as she’s told.  After Alice enters Underland, she’s given the role of hero and warrior and because she’s been told so long she’s to be demure, she doesn’t believe she fits the role.  In the end, Alice is victorious in her battle against the Jabberwocky and therefore proves that good always conquers evil.

2. Book Analysis

In the book “Alice in Wonderland”, the recurring themes are change and adaptability.  From the moment Alice finds herself falling down the rabbit whole, Alice begins to question what is real and what isn’t.  She begins to question her own ideas about what she believes is real and thinks maybe her reality isn’t everyones reality.  This is a truth I think everyone can relate too.  Even two people encountering a similar experience will recount the events from different perspectives.  Alice changes her size many times throughout the book and with each change she learns to adapt and no longer questions how the changes are even possible.  I think the idea of change and adaptability is shown in the film version.  However, when a book is turned into a movie, the literary aspects that make a book so wonderful is lost to visual aesthetics such as bright colors, 3-D animation, and hollywood big names.  The movie versions generally depict the film directors personal  agendas  and hidden messages are written in to the film to represent current popular word views.

3. Websites

This website offers a movie review of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.  The website includes pictures, key players, reviews, and plot of the movie.

This website offers several reviews about the book version of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by several contributors

This website includes links to purchasing Tim Burton’s version of the movie.  Additionally, it offers links that will lead to fan sites and other Alice sites.  It then gives a movie review of each of the characters and compares it to the book versions.  It goes on to give the good and the ugly of the movies and why viewers might like it

4. Critical Analysis Question

 Like Burton’s Willy Wonka, the main character in Alice in Wonderland has “daddy issues.” What are these issues and do they add depth to the story, or do they serve as an unwanted distraction (as in Willy Wonka)?

In the film “Alice in Wonderland”, the main character has daddy issues.  Alice’s father dies in the film and leaves her with a sense of abandonment.Much like the daddy issues in Willy Wonka, Alice’s “daddy issues” serve as an unwanted distraction in the film.    When she is a little girl her father is her rock and she is able to tell him about the dreams she continues to have.  Once her father is gone, she tells her mother the dreams have continued to haunt her but gets no emotional support from her.  She has no relationship with her mother except that her mother tries to teach her societys expectation in order to marry her off.  In the film, Alice is her fathers daughter and is more interested in his business than she is in becoming a wife and mother.  This part of the story doesn’t add to the original story line in the book.  However, it serves as an introduction to the story.  It leads into the many issues and challenges Alice will face when she falls down the rabbit hole.  It also is helpful in showing the changes in Alice from the beginning of the movie until the end when she is able to challenge societal expectations.  However,  much like the daddy issues in Willy Wonka, Alice’s “daddy issues” serve as an unwanted distraction in the film and does nothing for the overall plot of the movie.

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One Comment
  1. Good analysis of both the book and the film, interesting online research links, and a well-argued argument paragraph. Nice job! 10/10

    Joseph Byrne

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