The meaning of the movie “Alice in Wonderland” by Tim Burton
The book as a semantic basis
Alice in Wonderland and its sequel have been filmed many times. Sometimes, the creators of films and cartoons clearly follow the text of the original source, and sometimes they make copyright edits, changing the plot twists for the sake of entertainment. The controversy surrounding the secret semantic messages of the works of Lewis Carroll did not subside and will not subside. The reason for this lies in the author’s unusualness, his rich imagination and ability to combine the incompatible. However, among the theories, there are more and less probable ones. To talk about the latter is to shake the air, the former have actual ground under them.
The writer had a craving for childish spontaneity. He tried to look at the world with someone else’s eyes, and he did not want to see it ordinary. Communication with children during the lifestyle of an inveterate bachelor gave rise to rumors about Carroll’s unhealthy hobbies, which did not find further evidence. So why in such a dangerous, albeit magical adventure, he sent an unintelligent girl? The answer lies on the surface: Alice has not yet become prim and practical, has not lost faith in magic and is impartial to the madness happening around. For her, the head of a cat hovering in the air, food that enlarges and shrinks people, as well as anthropomorphic animals are phenomena, albeit atypical, but not wild in nature.
As for the humorous side of the work, here already the leading role is assigned to many of Carroll’s hobbies. The jokes and allusions here are built on the basis of his knowledge of mathematics, philosophy and linguistics. He did not write a single line into the void: external confusion and avant-garde are subject to strict internal rules.
Its versatility allows the book to remain relevant and to be liked by different generations. For this reason, it is brought back to the screen over and over again. Such an outstanding director as Tim Burton, famous for his extravagance, also could not pass by. Naturally, he offered his own interpretation of the original source, making a number of changes.
Alice in Wonderland – Tim Burton’s version
It is worth noting that the director never had any special feelings for Carroll’s work as a whole. He really liked the characters, the fantasy component, the biting words, but not the relationship of all of the above. Burton believed that Alice wanders from one new acquaintance to another, but there are clearly not enough connecting elements that make history a single canvas.
That is why the filmmaker does not consider his film to be an adaptation or a remake of previous works. He brings adaptation to the audience, and nothing else. Hence the new semantic meanings of some scenes and plot twists.
Alice got older
The heroine was made a marriageable bride not just for the sake of change. First, it made it possible to start from the book and fantasize about the topic: there was no need to reproduce the story inside and out. As a result, there are past adventures of Alice, perceived by her as a child’s dream, and the current “failure” into the rabbit hole is already the second chapter of the story. Second, Burton wanted the audience to empathize with the traveler, not worry about her. Still, a child in a gloomy, albeit with comedy inserts, world is a sketch for an amateur. That only is the crossing of a wade over human heads. And thirdly, the original idea did not suffer. Certain character traits of the matured Alice make her the same dreamer, thinking outside the box, sincere, easy-going. A certain childlike spontaneity remained with her.
Doubts of all those involved in the “authenticity” of Alice
It would seem, well, what is the probability that another Alice will fall into the rabbit hole at the right moment? But, no, the characters, including the girl herself, for a good half of the film are not sure that this is the “original” in front of them. And such a move is a connecting link in the web of events. If we initially discarded doubts, then the story would have turned out to be scanty. The bottom line: some speech and visual flashbacks are thrown overboard, and the disclosure of characters is reduced in timing, which means that the meaning is gone. Alice would have walked the intended path from point A to point B. And no side effects that adorn the film. And so – a variety of colors. From the very beginning, it is clear to the viewer that we are facing the same girl who has matured, a little confused and forgot about her damask, however, it is she. And the rest – the search for truth by the companions of the liberator – is just a frame for adventure.
Fear and love
The Red Queen’s entourage is ready to wear false ears, noses and bellies, just to be among the close ones. Their unanimity – the silence of the crowd – is shattered by the call of one daredevil who challenged the established system. The same thing happens at the moment of the battle between the red and white armies: as soon as Iracibeta loses his impressive weapon, no one wants to fight for the crown. This suggests that fear is certainly a strong motivator, only extremely fragile. If you lose the mechanism of influence, then there will be no one to control – everyone will scatter. On the other hand, Mirana has long been out of power, and is still adored by the people. Love for her is one of the reasons why many believe in the success of Alice’s mission. They know: after the overthrow of the current tyrant, a kind and wise queen will sit on the throne, and for her sake you can risk it.
One in a fairy tale is not a warrior
Burton makes an interesting move, deliberately contradicting himself. Initially, the inhabitants of the wizarding world are completely inert. Their lives are going downhill, but no one is doing anything. Everything has been decided long ago: there is an oracle on hand – the complete calendar annals of the kingdom. There, in black on papyrus, it is painted how Alice on a gallant day defeats the Jabberwocky with the sharp sword. It remains only to wait for the fulfillment of the prophecy. The heroine is the only one who does not act according to a given scheme. She is looking for answers, acts outside the box, even if in the end she ends up at the specified point, getting ready to cut “heads off shoulders.” However, the director makes a sharp maneuver in the finale. The Hatter and company come to the rescue at the moment of the battle, allowing Alice to gather strength and return the lost blade. Thus, prediction is a prediction, and someone has to fulfill the predestined.
In contrast to the book, where it is not completely clear whether the adventures influenced Alice, the conclusion in the film is obvious. The girl understood the value of her out-of-the-box thinking. Yes, she pushed the fairy-tale characters to change, but they also made the guest bolder. In the last shot, another Alice is on the ship, ready for real-world challenges. And a special touch is the appearance of Absolem – a caterpillar that has become a butterfly. His rebirth coincides with a new beginning for the heroine.