Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland is probably one of the best movies of all time. It encompasses the essence of a true magical adventure.
From the moment Alice falls down the rabbit hole to the minute she drinks the Jabberwocky's blood you are completed captivated and truly feel you are in Wonderland. This is partially due to the incredible casting talents of Tim Burton.
Mia Wasikowski plays Alice with an endearing amount of bluntness mixed with impeccable grace- matched greatly by the awkward, cunning but extremely compassionate Mad Hatter portrayed by none other than Johnny Depp. This duo has many scenes together and even amongst the action and adventure we see their relationship as well as their characters flourish. By the end of the film I was almost positive in my mind that in some way, shape or form The Mad Hatter was Alice's father in disguise....despite what others might say about their relationship having a less-than-platonic nature I am going to stick with my first thought and say that I truly believe throughout the film he was definitely in the very LEAST, the closest thing Alice had to a father figure in a very long time.
Our next unlikely duo are The Red and White Queens- portrayed by Helena Bomam Carter and Anne Hathaway. This is brilliant casting in my opinion because these two actress' are probably two of the most different organically than any women out there. Hathaway carried her self as if she was floating the entire time, while Carter was basically a midget more-bitchy version of herself (PERFECT). The two separately were so quirky and it was truly a great moment when they eventually met in the end. Good really did triumph over evil in every way possible, and even though The White Queen would never harm another living thing, she certainly was not light in her punishment to her evil older sister.
The special effects were seriously Lord-of-the-Ringsesque. All the magical creatures they encountered just brought more magic to the screen (The Cheshire Cat and The Caterpillar in particular). I finally felt that technology has come close to being up to par with the mind of Tim Burton. Of course everything Tim Burton thinks let alone directs is pure gold--but Alice in Wonderland has the spark that will most definitely shine long into the future... I may even go so far to say that it is "The Wizard of Oz" of the 21st Century.
Many directors could have used special effects, great actors, and a good screenplay to their advantage to create something "epic" but the reason that Tim Burton's work is a true masterpiece is because he worshiped Lewis Carroll and his poetry about The Jabberwock. Having this poem being the underlying subtext to the entire movie is what made it great. The poem is haunting, and that feeling was with Alice throughout the entire movie. When Alice realized in her heart that it was her destiny to fight The Jabberwork was when Burton reached true creative possibility by capturing not only his own imagination but Carroll's as well. Only Tim Burton could reach through time and take a piece of the past and make it into a work not only for the future, but for the ages.
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"
He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.
And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!
One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.
"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.