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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - June, 2010

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"Alice in Wonderland" (2010) (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by John Johnson

Alice in Wonderland

Synopsis

More than half a century after Walt Disney Pictures brought the Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a.k.a. Lewis Carrol (1832-1898) novel, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) to life on the screen in color and animation, Disney brings the timeless classic up to date with state of the art screen capture and 3-D.

It is 19th Century England, and Alice Kingsleigh (Wasikowska) attends a large party that she discovers has been planned so that a British Lord can formally ask for her hand in marriage.

Alice is an adventurer, and the Lord has a sensitive stomach, so Alice runs from the party, falls into a dark hole and when she hits the bottom, she finds herself in a very strange land where rabbits wear coat tails, and animals speak.

Everyone seems to be asking the question, "Is this the right Alice?"

Meanwhile, the Red Queen (Carter) rules the land with a cruel hand, and the question about Alice comes to light as she is the one destined to depose the Red Queen and put the good White Queen (Hathaway) on the throne where she belongs. In order to do this, she has to battle the Red Queen's evil monster, the Jabberwocky, after enlisting the help of the White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter (Depp).

 

Specifications

  • Walt Disney
  • 2010, Color, Rated PG, 1 hrs 48 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: Not Specified
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Ann Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska
  • Directed by Tim Burton
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Mild
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

I was a small boy when the original Disney Alice in Wonderland (1951) was released. I remember it vividly though. This latest version, with the help of motion capture, 3-D, and the inimitable Johnny Depp, is just as entertaining to new audiences as the 1950's version was to us back then. By the way, "mad as a hatter" comes from the early use of mercury in curing leather used in hats. The hatters became poisoned with mercury, which caused brain damage.

Technical

Live animation has reached a very believable technical stage. However, they need to study a few physics books. While small characters can run and change direction quickly, large objects, like the Jabberwocky, are limited by laws of mass, velocity, and acceleration.

Extras

Lots of extras on this three-disc package, including Stunts of Wonderland, Scoring Wonderland, Finding Alice, The Red Queen, Cakes of Wonderland, Tea Party Props, and a digital copy for your Video iPod. It is also BD-Live.