Alice in Wonderland (2010 film)
|Alice in Wonderland|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Tim Burton|
|Screenplay by||Linda Woolverton|
|Based on||Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass|
by Lewis Carroll
|Music by||Danny Elfman|
|Edited by||Chris Lebenzon|
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures|
|Box office||$1.025 billion|
Alice in Wonderland is a 2010 American dark fantasy adventure film directed by Tim Burton from a screenplay written by Linda Woolverton. The film stars Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Crispin Glover, Matt Lucas, and Mia Wasikowska, and features the voices of Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen, and Timothy Spall. Loosely inspired by Lewis Carroll's fantasy novels, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, and Walt Disney's 1951 animated film of the same name, the film tells the story of a nineteen-year-old Alice Kingsleigh, who is told that she can restore the White Queen to her throne, with the help of the Mad Hatter. She is the only one who can slay the Jabberwocky, a dragon-like creature that is controlled by the Red Queen and terrorizes Underland's inhabitants. In this situation, Alice fights against the Red Queen to protect the world.
The film was produced by Walt Disney Pictures and shot in the United Kingdom and the United States. The film premiered in London at the Odeon Leicester Square on February 25, 2010, and was released in Australia on March 4, 2010, and the following day in the United Kingdom and the United States through the Disney Digital 3D, RealD 3D, and IMAX 3D formats as well as in conventional theaters. It is also the second-highest-grossing film of 2010.
Alice in Wonderland received mixed reviews upon release; although praised for its visual style and special effects, the film was criticized for its lack of narrative coherence and overuse of computer-generated imagery (CGI). The film received three nominations at the 68th Golden Globe Awards, including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. At the 83rd Academy Awards, Alice in Wonderland won Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design, and was also nominated for Best Visual Effects. The film generated over $1 billion in ticket sales and became the fifth highest-grossing film of all time during its theatrical run.
While not the first film in general, Alice in Wonderland started a trend of live-action fairy tale and fantasy films being green-lit, particularly from Walt Disney Studios.
In 1843, troubled by a strange recurring dream and mourning the loss of her father, 19-year-old Alice Kingsleigh attends a garden party at Lord Ascot's estate. There, she is confronted with an unwanted marriage proposal by Lord Ascot's son, Hamish, and the stifling expectations of the society in which she lives. Unsure of how to proceed, she pursues a rabbit wearing a blue waistcoat and carrying a pocketwatch and accidentally falls into a large rabbit hole under a tree. She enters a small door by drinking from a bottle labeled 'Drink Me' (called Pishsalver) and emerges to a forest in a magical place called Wonderland where she is greeted by a White Rabbit, a Dormouse, a Dodo, Talking Flowers, and identical twins named Tweedledee and Tweedledum who all apparently know her. Alice suggests that it is all a dream while the others argue over whether Alice is "the right Alice" who must slay the Red Queen's Jabberwocky on Frabjous Day and restore the White Queen (who is the Red Queen's sister) to power, as foretold by the Caterpillar and his Oraculum (a scroll-like calendar which tells Wonderland's history and future). The group is then ambushed by a ravenous beast called a Bandersnatch and a army of playing-cards called Red Knights led by the Knave of Hearts (the Red Queen's tall general and lover). Alice and the Tweedles escape into the woods. The Knave steals the Caterpillar's Oraculum. The Dormouse leaves the others behind with one of the Bandersnatch's eyes in her possession. The Tweedles are then captured by the Red Queen's large Jubjub bird.
The Knave informs the Red Queen that Alice threatens her reign, which makes her order him, the Red Knights and a Bloodhound (who has a wife and children imprisoned) to find Alice immediately. Meanwhile, Alice enters the Tulgey Woods where she is greeted by a grinning vanishing Cheshire Cat who guides her to the Mad Hatter, the March Hare and the Dormouse's tea party. The Hatter explains to Alice that he joined the resistance because the Red Queen destroyed his entire village and killed his family when she first ruled Wonderland. He later helps Alice to avoid capture by allowing himself to be seized instead. Later, Alice is found by the Bloodhound, but Alice insists upon helping the Hatter. At Salazen Grum castle, the Red Queen notices Alice when she ate Upelkuchen (a cake labeled 'Eat Me' which makes the consumer grow) during a game of Croquet with flamingos and hedgehogs, but is unaware of her true identity because Alice pretended to be called "Um" and therefore welcomes her as a guest. Alice learns that the vorpal sword, the only weapon capable of killing the Jabberwocky, is locked inside the den of the Bandersnatch. The Knave attempts to seduce Alice, but she rebuffs him, causing the jealous Red Queen demanding for Alice to be beheaded. Alice obtains the sword and befriends the Bandersnatch by returning its eye. She then escapes on the back of the grateful Bandersnatch and delivers the sword to the White Queen. The White Queen gives Alice a potion that returns her normal size and rewards her with a suit of armor when she battles the Jabberwocky. The Cheshire Cat saves the Mad Hatter from the executioner by disguising himself as him in exchange for borrowing his beloved hat. The Hatter calls for rebellion against the Red Queen, which all her subjects agree to by starting to shout out "Down with Bloody Big Head." The rebellion is quickly put down when the Jubjub bird begins to kill every illoyal subject, but the resistance manages to free the Bloodhound's family and flees to the White Queen's castle; both armies prepare for battle on Frabjous Day. The Caterpillar finally gets Alice to remember that she has been to Wonderland when she was a little girl, and advises her to fight the Jabberwocky just before completing his transformation into a pupa.
On Frabjous Day, the Queens gather their armies on a chessboard-like battlefield and send Alice and the Jabberwocky to decide the battle in single combat. Encouraged by the advice of her late father, Alice fights the Jabberwocky among a demolished spiraling tower surrounding the battlefield. During this fight, a catapult stone kills the Jubjub bird; Alice finally defeats the Jabberwocky by jumping from the top of the tower onto its neck and beheads it. Frabjous Day has finally ended and the Red Knights turn against their ruler. As punishment for their crimes, the White Queen banishes her sister and the Knave into exile together. The Knave attempts to kill the Red Queen because he grew sick of her affections, yet the Mad Hatter protects the Red Queen from his attack. After the Hatter performs a celebration dance called Futterwacken, the White Queen gives Alice a vial of the Jabberwocky's purple blood whose power will bring her whatever she wishes. She decides to rejoin the everyday world after saying farewell to her friends. Back in England, Alice refuses Hamish's proposal and impresses Lord Ascot with her idea of establishing oceanic trade routes to Hong Kong, inspiring him to take her as his apprentice. As Alice prepares to set off on a trading ship, a light-blue butterfly with dark vein markings lands on her shoulder, and Alice recognizes him as the Caterpillar.
- Mia Wasikowska as Alice Kingsleigh: When creating the character, screenwriter Linda Woolverton researched how young women were expected to behave in the Victorian era and then made her the opposite. Wasikowska read Carroll's books as a child and re-read them to prepare for her role. She also watched Jan Švankmajer's Alice. She said, "When we were kids, my mum would pop it in the VCR player. We would be disturbed, and wouldn't really understand it, but we couldn't look away because it was too intriguing. So I had kept that feeling about Alice, a kind of haunting feeling." Although facing pressures to conform to society's expectations, Alice grows into a stronger-willed and empowered heroine who chooses her own path; Independent columnist Liz Hoggard praised Alice as a role model for girls, describing the character as "stubborn, brave, [and] non-girlie". Mairi Ella Challen portrayed Alice as a six-year-old girl.
- Johnny Depp as Tarrant Hightopp / Mad Hatter: Wasikowska said that the characters "both feel like outsiders and feel alone in their separate worlds, and have a special bond and friendship." Burton explained that Depp "tried to find a grounding to the character … as opposed to just being mad." Burton also said that "[i]n a lot of versions it's a very one-note kind of character and you know [Depp's] goal was to try and bring out a human side to the strangeness of the character." The orange hair is an allusion to the mercury poisoning suffered by hatters who used mercury to cure felt; Depp believes that the character "was poisoned … and it was coming out through his hair, through his fingernails and eyes". Depp and Burton decided that the Hatter's clothes, skin, hair, personality and accent would change throughout the film to reflect his emotions. In an interview with Depp, the character was paralleled to "a mood ring, [as] his emotions are very close to the surface". The Hatter is "made up of different people and their extreme sides", with a gentle voice much like the character's creator Lewis Carroll reflecting the lighter personality and with a Scottish Glaswegian accent (which Depp modeled after Gregor Fisher's Rab C. Nesbitt character) reflecting a darker, more dangerous personality. Illusionary dancer David "Elsewhere" Bernal doubled for Depp during the "Futterwacken" sequence near the end of the film.
- Helena Bonham Carter as Iracebeth / Red Queen: She is an amalgamation of two Carroll characters: the Red Queen and the Queen of Hearts. Her first name is a play on the word irascible because she is easily irritated, obstreperous, impatient, and quick to anger. Bonham Carter's head was digitally increased to three times its original size on screen. The character hates animals, and chooses to use them as servants and furniture. It is implied that the Red Queen beheaded her former husband, the King. The actress took inspiration from her young daughter Nell, a toddler, stating that, "The Red Queen is just like a toddler, because she's got a big head and she's a tyrant."
- Anne Hathaway as Mirana / White Queen: She was one of few characters that did not require digital manipulation. Hathaway summed up her character with a caption on a magnet of Happy Bunny holding a knife; "Cute but psycho. Things even out." According to Hathaway, "She comes from the same gene pool as the Red Queen. She really likes the dark side, but she's so scared of going too far into it that she's made everything appear very light and happy. But she's living in that place out of fear that she won't be able to control herself." Hathaway described her interpretation of the White Queen as "a punk-rock vegan pacifist", with inspiration drawn from Debbie Harry, Greta Garbo, and the artwork of Dan Flavin. Burton said that the White Queen's appearance was inspired by Nigella Lawson.
- Crispin Glover as Ilosovic Stayne / Knave of Hearts: The Knave of Hearts is arrogant and tricky. While he follows the Red Queen's every order, he is the only one capable of calming her dramatic mood swings. Glover said, "The Red Queen has a fair amount of short-tempered reactions to things that people do, and so [the Knave] has to be quite diplomatic." The Red Queen believes that the Knave of Hearts is her lover, but this proves to be false.
- Matt Lucas as Tweedledee / Tweedledum: Burton commented on the mixture of animation and Lucas, saying that "It's a weird mixture of things which gives his characters the disturbing quality that they so richly deserve." The characters are portrayed through a combination of CGI and live-action, with Lucas's face digitally composited to a full animated body. While performing the character, Lucas had to wear a teardrop-shaped motion capture suit and walk on stilts. In order to play both characters, Lucas was doubled by Ethan Cohn.
- Frances de la Tour as Imogene: Alice's aunt. She is suffering from severe delusions and is constantly awaiting her fictional fiancé whom she believes to be a prince.
- Leo Bill as Hamish Ascot: Alice's would-be fiancé.
Marton Csokas makes a cameo appearance as Alice's deceased father in the film's opening scene and Alice's mother is played by Lindsay Duncan. Lord and Lady Ascot are played by Tim Pigott-Smith and Geraldine James, respectively. Eleanor Tomlinson and Eleanor Gecks play the Cathaway sisters, who bear a strong resemblance to Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Jemma Powell appears briefly as Alice's sister, Margaret, while Margaret's unfaithful husband Lowell is played by John Hopkins.
- Michael Sheen as Nivens McTwisp / White Rabbit: Sheen said the character "is such an iconic character that [he] didn't feel like [he] should break the mold too much." Burton said the quality he wanted most in his clock-watching bunny was a twitchiness, also commenting that "[in] any incarnation of the [White Rabbit] through the years, there's that sort of nervousness of a rabbit."
- Alan Rickman as Absolem the Caterpillar: Rickman was originally going to have his face composited onto the animated Caterpillar. He was filmed recording his voice in the studio, but the idea was eventually scrapped. The animators did, however, try to give Absolem's face characteristics similar to Rickman's.
- Stephen Fry as Cheshire: Burton stated that the character had a creepy quality in addition to tapping into his own hatred of cats. The role was intended to be played by Michael Sheen but he changed his role to the White Rabbit due to scheduling conflicts.
- Barbara Windsor as Mallymkun the Dormouse: Burton said that he sought after Windsor for the role because he was a fan of her character in the TV show EastEnders. Her voice sealed the deal for her role as the character.
- Timothy Spall as Bayard Hamar / Bloodhound: Although Bayard does not appear in the book, a similar character named The Puppy is likely the inspiration for the character.
- Paul Whitehouse as Thackery Earwicket / March Hare: Burton stated that because Whitehouse is a great comedic actor, a lot of his lines came from improvisation.
- Michael Gough as Uilleam the Dodo: Burton said that Gough was the first person he thought of for the role of Uilleam because he has "a full life quality to his voice". The character only speaks three lines, that Gough recorded in a day. This would be Gough's final acting role; he died a year after its release, aged 94. Gough had previously portrayed the March Hare in the 1966 TV play of the book.
- Christopher Lee as The Jabberwocky: While it only had two lines, Burton said that he felt Lee to be a good match for the iconic character because he is "an iconic guy". For the character, Lee had originally tried to make his voice "burble" (as described in the poem "Jabberwocky"). However, Burton convinced him to use his actual voice, as he found it more intimidating and aggressive.
- Imelda Staunton as The Talking Flowers: Though there are many flowers that appear around Underland, only one of them speaks and one of them is clearly a caricature of Staunton. Staunton only speaks three lines that are heard very briefly at the beginning of the film.
- Jim Carter as The Executioner: The Executioner only speaks one line and appears extremely briefly, though Carter also voiced several other servants to the Red Queen.
Frank Welker provided additional voices and vocal effects; including roars of the Jabberwocky and Bandersnatch, squawks for the Jubjub bird, and Bayard's barking. Rickman, Windsor, Fry, Gough, Lee, Staunton and Carter each took only a day to record their dialogue.
Tim Burton signed with Walt Disney Pictures to direct two films in Disney Digital 3D, which included Alice in Wonderland and his remake of Frankenweenie. Burton developed the story because he never felt an emotional tie to the original book.
|We wanted somebody who had... it's hard to put into words, but just had a gravity to her, an internal life, something that you could see the wheels turning. It's just a simple kind of power to her that we really liked. Not flamboyant, not very showy, but just somebody that's got a lot of internal life to her. That's why I picked her.|
|—Burton on casting Mia Wasikowska as Alice|
He explained "the goal is to try to make it an engaging movie where you get some of the psychology and kind of bring a freshness but also keep the classic nature of Alice." On prior versions, Burton said "It was always a girl wandering around from one crazy character to another, and I never really felt any real emotional connection." His goal with the new film is to give the story "some framework of emotional grounding" and "to try and make Alice feel more like a story as opposed to a series of events." Burton focused on the poem "Jabberwocky" as part of his structure, and refers to the described creature by the name of the poem rather than by the name "Jabberwock" used in the poem. Burton also stated that he does not see his version as either a sequel to any existing Alice film nor as a "re-imagining". However, the idea of the climax of the story being Alice's battle with the Queen's champion, the Jabberwocky, was first added in the video game American McGee's Alice, and the landscape, tower, weapons and appearance of Alice in those scenes of the film are very reminiscent of the same scenes in the game.
This film was originally set to be released in 2009 but was pushed back to March 5, 2010. Principal photography was scheduled for May 2008, but did not begin until September and concluded in three months. Scenes set in the Victorian era were shot at Torpoint and Plymouth from September 1 to October 14 (Mia Wasikowska's birthday). Two hundred and fifty local extras were chosen in early August. Locations included Antony House in Torpoint, Charlestown, Cornwall and the Barbican, however, no footage from the Barbican was used. Motion capture filming began in early October at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California, though the footage was later discarded. Filming also took place at Culver Studios. Burton said that he used a combination of live action and animation, without motion capture. He also noted that this was the first time he had filmed on a green screen. Filming of the green screen portions, comprising 90% of the film, was completed after only 40 days. Many of the cast and crew felt nauseated as a result of the long hours surrounded by green, and Burton had lavender lenses fitted into his glasses to counteract the effect. Due to the constant need for digital effects to distort the actors' physical appearances, such as the size of the Red Queen's head or Alice's height, visual effects supervisor Ken Ralston cited the film as being exhausting, saying it was "The biggest show I've ever done, [and] the most creatively involved I've ever been."
Sony Pictures Imageworks designed the visual effects sequences. Burton felt 3D was appropriate to the story's environment. Burton and Zanuck chose to film with conventional cameras, and convert the footage into 3D during post-production; Zanuck explained 3D cameras were too expensive and "clumsy" to use, and they felt that there was no difference between converted footage and those shot in the format. James Cameron, who released his 3D film Avatar in December 2009, criticized the choice, stating, "It doesn't make any sense to shoot in 2-D and convert to 3-D".
|Alice in Wonderland: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack|
|Film score by|
|Released||March 2, 2010|
|Genre||Orchestral, Classical, Pop|
Almost Alice is a collection of various artists' music inspired by the film. The lead single, "Alice" by Avril Lavigne, premiered on January 27, 2010 on Ryan Seacrest's radio program. Other singles include "Follow Me Down" by 3OH!3, "Her Name Is Alice" by Shinedown, and "Tea Party" by Kerli. The album was released on March 2, 2010.
On February 12, 2010, major UK cinema chains, Odeon, Vue, and Cineworld, had planned to boycott the film because of a reduction of the interval between cinema and DVD release from the usual 17 weeks to 12 (possibly to avoid the release of the DVD clashing with the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which was Disney's pretext for cutting short Alice's theatrical run but UK exhibitors protested that Alice would be less threatened by the World Cup than other titles). A week after the announcement, Cineworld, who has a 24% share of UK box office, chose to play the film on more than 150 screens. Cineworld's chief executive Steve Wiener stated, "As leaders in 3D, we did not want the public to miss out on such a visual spectacle. As the success of Avatar has shown, there is currently a huge appetite for the 3D experience". Shortly after, the Vue cinema chain also reached an agreement with Disney, but Odeon had still chosen to boycott in Britain, Ireland, and Italy. On February 25, 2010 Odeon had reached an agreement and decided to show the film on March 5, 2010. The Royal premiere took place at the Odeon Leicester Square in London on February 25, 2010 for the fundraiser The Prince's Foundation for Children and The Arts where the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall attended. It also did not affect their plans to show the film in Spain, Germany, Portugal, and Austria. The film was released in the U.S. and UK, in both Disney Digital 3D and IMAX 3D, as well as regular theaters on March 5, 2010.
On June 22, 2009, the first pictures of the film were released, showing Depp as the Mad Hatter, Hathaway as the White Queen, Bonham Carter as the Red Queen and Lucas as Tweedledee and Tweedledum. A new image of Alice was also released. In July, new photos emerged of Alice holding a white rabbit, the Mad Hatter with a hare, the Red Queen holding a pig, and the White Queen with a mouse.
On July 22, 2009, a teaser trailer from the Mad Hatter's point of view was released on IGN but was shortly taken down because Disney claimed that the trailer was not supposed to be out yet. The teaser was also planned to premiere along with a trailer of Robert Zemeckis' film adaptation of A Christmas Carol on July 24, 2009 for G-Force. The following day, the teaser trailer premiered at Comic-Con but the trailer shown was different from the one that leaked. The ComicCon version didn't have the Mad Hatter's dialogue. Instead, it featured "Time to Pretend" by MGMT, and the clips shown were in different order than in the leaked version. The leaked version was originally to be shown to one of the three Facebook groups used to promote the film that had the most members. The groups used to promote the film are "The Loyal Subjects of the Red Queen", "The Loyal Subjects of the White Queen" and "The Disloyal Subjects of the Mad Hatter".
Also at ComicCon, props from the film were displayed in an "Alice in Wonderland" exhibit. Costumes featured in the exhibit included the Red Queen's dress, chair, wig, glasses, and scepter; the White Queen's dress, wig and a small model of her castle; the Mad Hatter's suit, hat, wig, chair and table; Alice's dress and battle armor (to slay the Jabberwocky). Other props included the "DRINK ME" bottles, the keys, an "EAT ME" pastry and stand-in models of the White Rabbit and March Hare.
On July 23, 2009, Disney Interactive Studios announced that an Alice in Wonderland video game, developed by French game studio Étranges Libellules, would be released in the same week as the film for the Wii, Nintendo DS, and Microsoft Windows. The soundtrack was composed by video games music composer Richard Jacques. The Wii, DS, and PC versions were released on March 2, 2010.
Disney Interactive released in 2013 the game Alice in Wonderland: A New Champion for iOS.
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released a three-disc Blu-ray combo pack (which includes the Blu-ray, DVD and a digital copy), single-disc Blu-ray and single-disc DVD on June 1, 2010 in North America and July 1, 2010 in Australia. The DVD release includes three short features about the making of the film, focusing on Burton's vision for Wonderland and the characters of Alice and the Mad Hatter. The Blu-ray version has nine additional featurettes centered on additional characters, special effects and other aspects of the film's production. In some confusion, a small number of copies were put on shelves a week before schedule in smaller stores, but were quickly removed, although a handful of copies were confirmed purchased ahead of schedule.
In its first week of release (June 1–6, 2010), it sold 2,095,878 DVD units (equivalent to $35,441,297) and topped the DVD sales chart for two continuous weeks. By May 22, 2011, it had sold 4,313,680 units ($76,413,043). It failed to crack the 2010 top ten DVDs list in terms of units sold, but reached 10th place on that chart in terms of sales revenue.
Alice in Wonderland has grossed $334,191,110 in North America and $691,276,000 in other territories for a worldwide total of $1,025,467,110 against a budget of $200 million. Worldwide, it is currently the thirtieth-highest-grossing film and the second-highest-grossing 2010 film. It is the third-highest-grossing film starring Johnny Depp, the highest-grossing film directed by Tim Burton. The second-highest-grossing film of Anne Hathaway and the second-highest-grossing children's book adaptation (worldwide, as well as in North America and outside North America separately).
On its first weekend, the film made $220.1 million worldwide, marking the second-largest opening ever for a movie not released during the summer or the holiday period (behind The Hunger Games), the fourth-largest for a Disney-distributed film and the fourth-largest among 2010 films. It dominated for three consecutive weekends at the worldwide box office. On May 26, 2010, its 85th day of release, it became the sixth film ever to surpass the $1 billion mark and the second film that had been released by Walt Disney Studios that did so.
In North America, Alice in Wonderland is the forty-fourth-highest-grossing film but out of the top 100 when adjusted for inflation. It is also the second-highest-grossing 2010 film, behind Toy Story 3, the second-highest-grossing film starring Johnny Depp and the highest-grossing film directed by Tim Burton. The film opened on March 5, 2010, on approximately 7,400 screens at 3,728 theaters with $40,804,962 during its first day, $3.9 million of which came from midnight showings, ranking number one and setting a new March opening-day record. Alice earned $116.1 million on its opening weekend, breaking the record for the largest opening weekend in March (previously held by 300), the record for the largest opening weekend during springtime (previously held by Fast and Furious), the largest opening weekend for a non-sequel (previously held by Spider-Man) and the highest one for the non-holiday, non-summer period. However, all of these records were broken by The Hunger Games ($152.5 million) in March 2012. Alice made the seventeenth-highest-grossing opening weekend ever and the fifth-largest among 3D films. Opening-weekend grosses originating from 3D showings were $81.3 million (70% of total weekend gross). This broke the record for the largest opening-weekend 3D grosses but it was later topped by Marvel's The Avengers ($108 million). It had the largest weekend per-theater average of 2010 ($31,143 per theater) and the largest for a PG-rated film. It broke the IMAX opening-weekend record by earning $12.2 million on 188 IMAX screens, with an average of $64,197 per site. The record was first overtaken by Deathly Hallows – Part 2 ($15.2 million). Alice remained in first place for three consecutive weekends at the North American box office. Alice closed in theaters on July 8, 2010 with $334.2 million.
Outside North America, Alice is the thirteenth-highest-grossing film, the highest-grossing 2010 film, the fourth-highest-grossing Disney film, the second-highest-grossing film starring Johnny Depp and the highest-grossing film directed by Tim Burton. It began with an estimated $94 million, on top of the weekend box office, and remained at the summit for four consecutive weekends and five in total. Japan was the film's highest-grossing country after North America, with $133.7 million, followed by the UK, Ireland and Malta ($64.4 million), and France and the Maghreb region ($45.9 million).
Review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes reports that 51% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 273 reviews; the average score is 5.73/10. The consensus is: "Tim Burton's Alice sacrifices the book's minimal narrative coherence—and much of its heart—but it's an undeniable visual treat". Metacritic rated it 53/100 based on 38 reviews.
Todd McCarthy of Variety praised it for its "moments of delight, humor and bedazzlement", but went on to say, "But it also becomes more ordinary as it goes along, building to a generic battle climax similar to any number of others in CGI-heavy movies of the past few years". Michael Rechtshaffen of The Hollywood Reporter said "Burton has delivered a subversively witty, brilliantly cast, whimsically appointed dazzler that also manages to hit all the emotionally satisfying marks", while as well praising its computer-generated imagery (CGI), saying "Ultimately, it's the visual landscape that makes Alice's newest adventure so wondrous, as technology has finally been able to catch up with Burton's endlessly fertile imagination." Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly said, "But Burton's Disneyfied 3-D Alice in Wonderland, written by the girl-power specialist Linda Woolverton, is a strange brew indeed: murky, diffuse, and meandering, set not in a Wonderland that pops with demented life but in a world called Underland that's like a joyless, bombed-out version of Wonderland. It looks like a CGI head trip gone post apocalyptic. In the film's rather humdrum 3-D, the place doesn't dazzle—it droops." Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times awarded the film three out of four stars and wrote in his review that, "Alice plays better as an adult hallucination, which is how Burton rather brilliantly interprets it until a pointless third act flies off the rails." The market research firm CinemaScore found that audiences gave the film an average rating of "A-".
Several reviews criticized the decision to turn Alice into a "colonialist entrepreneur" at the end of the film setting sail for China. Given Britain's role in the First and Second Opium Wars during the Victorian era and the foreign domination of China through "unequal treaties", China expert Kevin Slaten writes, "Not only is it troubling imagery, for a female role model in a Disney movie, but it's also a celebration of the exploitation that China suffered for a century."
Game developer American McGee, best known for creating Alice and Alice: Madness Returns, was asked in a 2011 interview about Tim Burton's interpretation of the title character since both versions share almost similar dark and twisted tone of Wonderland. McGee praised the film's visuals and audio but criticized the lack of screen time Alice had compared to the other characters. He felt Alice did not have any purpose in the story and that she was merely used as a "tool".
After the release and success of the movie, Walt Disney Pictures has announced the development of several live-action adaptations of their Animated Classics series. With the exception of Dumbo; The Lion King, Maleficent, Aladdin, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, and Christopher Robin have all followed to similar box-office results with the latter four also earning critical praise. Disney has also announced the development of live-action adaptations of Lady and the Tramp, Mulan, Pinocchio, Fantasia, The Sword in the Stone, The Black Cauldron, Peter Pan, The Little Mermaid, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Lilo & Stitch, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The company also has plans for live-action spin-offs of One Hundred and One Dalmatians, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Peter Pan along with a live-action prequel to Aladdin.
Walt Disney Theatrical was in early talks with Burton and screenwriter Linda Woolverton to develop the property as a Broadway musical. Woolverton authored the screenplay for Disney's The Lion King and is also the Tony Award-nominated book writer of Beauty and the Beast, Aida, and Lestat. Burton will also render the overall designs for the stage musical. Woolverton will adapt her screenplay for the stage production. Neither a composer nor songwriting team has been chosen yet. Direction and choreography will be done by Rob Ashford. The musical was aiming to make its world-premiere in London.
On December 7, 2012, Variety announced the development of a sequel to Alice in Wonderland. Linda Woolverton returned to write a screenplay. On May 31, 2013, James Bobin began talks to direct the sequel under the working title Alice in Wonderland: Into the Looking Glass. Johnny Depp returned as The Hatter, Mia Wasikowska reprised the role of Alice, and Helena Bonham Carter returned as the Red Queen. Several other cast members from the 2010 film also reprised their roles in the sequel. On November 22, 2013, it was announced that the sequel will be released on May 27, 2016 and that Bobin would direct the film. Rhys Ifans and Sacha Baron Cohen are featured in the film. On January 21, 2014, the film was again retitled to Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass. The title was later reworked once again to Alice Through the Looking Glass.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Alice in Wonderland (2010 film).|
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- Official website
- Alice in Wonderland on IMDb
- Alice in Wonderland title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Alice in Wonderland at AllMovie
- Alice in Wonderland at Box Office Mojo
- Alice in Wonderland at Rotten Tomatoes
- Alice in Wonderland at Metacritic