Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Most people seem to fall in one of two groups when it comes to Alice in Wonderland: they either love it or they hate it. Either it's just too weird or you love it for its weirdness.
I happen to be one of those who loves it. :) I remember repeatedly watching the Disney animated film when I was younger. When I was a teenager I read the classic book and enjoyed it. I own and enjoy both the 1933 film (Cary Grant as the Mock Turtle!) and the newer Tim Burton movie.
The SyFy mini series Alice had been on my Netflix queue for quite a while, but when it arrived a couple of days ago, I was really not in the mood to watch it. The cover of the DVD had this casino look going on, and all I could think was, "Do I really want to watch this cheesy made for TV film tonight? I could be watching Doctor Who." :) I'm sort of obsessive about watching my Netflix DVDs the day I get them and sending them back the next day so I can consistently get 2 DVDs a week. I like having a routine. :) So even though I never send back movies without watching them, I came this close to doing just that.
But I didn't. I decided to just watch it. And goodness...I'm so glad I did! I loved this mini series. I thought about it so much today that I decided I needed to blog about it. :)
I wasn't expecting much for a mini series that aired on the SyFy channel. I thought it would look low-budget and be really cheesy, to be honest. But I was so impressed. It wasn't perfect, of course. It was overly dramatic at times, the special effects were cheesy, and some of the acting was questionable. But for the most part, I really felt like I was watching a film instead of a TV movie. (Note that I don't have any prejudices against BBC mini series. I guess I just don't except the same quality from the SyFy channel. Especially after they changed the abbreviation from SciFi to SyFy...don't they know that it stands for science fiction?? SyFy is an abbreviation for nothing.) 
Alice had sort of a futuristic, even dystopian feel about it. Maybe that's part of why I liked it so much...I do love dystopian. :) The Wonderland of the future still has gorgeous green forests and natural scenery, but it's also got a city built high in the sky full of rundown buildings and steampunk-ish aircraft. The Queen of Hearts kidnaps people from our world and brings them to play at her casino, where their good emotions are drained from them and bottled for the people of Wonderland to purchase and experience. Maybe the bottled emotions part is what felt so dystopian to me.
The world-building was just really great, and so different from the typical Alice in Wonderland stories. But there were references from the original story throughout the film, even some of the more kooky, obscure ones that seem to be skipped over in most adaptations. That was really neat. :)
I also loved the characters. Alice was pretty good, though sometimes she seemed a little rash and single-minded to me. (And I couldn't figure out who she reminded me of, appearance wise. Finally it hit me: Lizzie Bennet of the LBD.) The Queen of Hearts, played by Kathy Bates, was also played nicely, though there seems to be only one way to play that part so there's never much variation in adaptations. And the Hatter.
Oh my...the Hatter. He was just so darn adorable and awesome. :) There's nothing mad about him here- he's really one of the most sensible characters. I have to say I wasn't too crazy about him at the very beginning. They didn't give him the most favorable introduction, in my opinion, but he grew on me quickly. :) I absolutely loved his character! Just a few things to like about him: his English accent, the way that his clothes look like he stepped out of the 70s and he somehow manages to pull this off, how he takes Alice under his wing though you're not really sure if it's for selfless or selfish motives at first, the way his hair sticks out from under his hat, etc...:)
And Charlie the White Knight. He was hilarious and crazy in the best sort of way. :) That's really all I can say about him.
Mad March looked so wonderfully creepy, so it was a shame he turned out to be sort of a wimpy villain. I think it was his voice that made him less credible, though his actions didn't help.
There were a few parts of the plot that seemed a bit odd. I felt like the part about the resistance in the kingdom wasn't developed as much as it should have been, and the whole scene at the library felt out of place somehow. Also, one of the main plot points that develops was something that I didn't see coming, and at first it didn't seem to fit with the story, but it all worked out in the end.
Speaking of the end, it was perfect. :) Aw. *happy sigh*
So yeah, Alice was way better than I expected. Though I can't really explain it, this adaptation just clicked with me, and honestly, I think I prefer this one to the Tim Burton version. I did love that one at the time it was released, but I think I'm much more likely to rewatch this one and enjoy it more each time.
Also...the pink flamingos? I want one.
{P.S. In case you're wondering, this mini series was pretty clean. There's a bit of mild scattered language, and some suggestive lines and moments, mostly in connection with a character called Duchess, who also dresses immodestly.}

Have you seen this mini series? What's your favorite Alice adaptation?

Until next time,



    Welcome to the awesomeness of Alice, Kristin, glad you chose to watch it.

    Funny thing is, my mom and I both liked it which is weird since she doesn't really enjoy sci-fi or quirky movies like this. Basically this post makes me smile - thanks for reminding me about its coolness.

    Abrupt though it may be - that ending also RULES! How sweet it was!?'Nuff said. ;)

  2. Oh, I'm so happy you liked it! As Rissi says, IT ROCKS! :D

    I wasn't sure what to expect on my first viewing either, but oh what fun! Quirky and funny and sci-fi-ish and crazy. It has just about everything!

    And my, my that ending. Mmmm. I don't think there are words to describe my happiness about this movie. :)


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