Movie Review: Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Alice in Wonderland Trailer

Alice in Wonderland Summary

The story begins in London with Charles Kingsleigh trying to sell his project to some men. His talk is interrupted by his 6-year old daughter Alice, who had that nightmare again. She tells her father she saw many strange creatures including a dodo bird, a white rabbit wearing a waistcoat, a smiling cat, and a blue caterpillar. Alice wonders if she has gone mad, which Charles responds she is. He tells her that all the best people are mad. Thirteen years later, after her father’s death, Alice attends a party with her mother at the Victorian State. Alice learns that it’s an engagement party for herself and Hamish, a snobby man Alice dislikes. Alice begins to see a Rabbit in a waistcoat and during Hamish’s proposal, Alice follows the White Rabbit. Alice falls down a rabbit hole, full of objects floating in the air, into a room full of many doors. Trying each one, she finds only the smallest door can be opened with the key. Alice notices on the table a “Drink Me” bottle. Believing it to be a dream, she drinks some and shrinks down to 2 feet tall, enough to fit through the door. But the door is locked and she left the key on the table. Alice attempts to retrieve it while unknown voices comment if she’s the wrong or right Alice. Alice finds the “Eat Me” cake. She takes a bite and grows to 20 feet. Alice picks up the key and drinks the whole “Drink Me” bottle. She shrinks again and unlocks the door.

Alice enters the door into a vast garden residing in Underland. Exploring it, she runs into the White Rabbit, the Dormouse, Tweedledum, Tweedledee, and the Dodo. The group take Alice to Absolem the caterpillar, where they consult a calendar like scroll detailing the every day in Underland known as the Oraculum. Eventually, on Frabjous day, Alice has to slay the Jabberwocky, but Alice–not wanting to slay the dragon–attempts to consult them she’s not the one. Absolem comments that Alice is “Not hardly Alice.” Before they can return Alice to her home, the group is ambushed by the Bandersnatch and cards. The White Rabbit and Uilleam the Dodo get captured along with several flamingos. Alice, who’s pursued by the Bandersnatch, stands her ground. Mallymkun, the Dormouse, saves Alice by stabbing out the Bandersnatch’s eye, but it manages to scar Alice’s arm. Alice and the Tweedles carry on until the ‘Jubjub Bird’ captures the Tweedles.

Meanwhile, the Red Queen screams out in anger that someone stole her tarts, like the rhyme. After finding out it was one of her Frog-Footmen, he is later to be executed. The Queen informs a Fish-Footman to choke the frog’s children so she can eat them on a meal with caviar. She is informed by the Knave of Hearts that Alice has returned to Underland, the Red Queen assigns Bayard Hamar, the Bloodhound, to pursue Alice for his imprisoned wife and pups, and his own freedom.

The wandering Alice encounters the Cheshire Cat who bandages her arm and escorts her to the tea party. Alice arrives with Chessur and meets Tarrant Hightopp, the Mad Hatter, along with Thackery Earwicket, the March Hare and Mallymkun. Ilosovic Stayne, the Knave of Hearts, arrives at the tea party. The Hatter quickly shrinks Alice to 6-inches tall and hides her in a teapot. Tarrant manages to persuade Bayard to not reveal Alice’s location. Bayard leads the Knave and his troops away. Tarrant begins his journey with Alice on his hat.

On their way, Tarrant tells his sad story on how he lost his clan and the beginning of the Red Queen’s reign known as the Horunvendush Day with the loss of the Vorpal Sword. The cards begin to approach cornering Tarrant and Alice at a river and as a last resort, Tarrant throws his hat with Alice on it across the river. Tarrant is captured without resistance and Alice decides to sleep under the hat.

Alice is found by Bayard and in repayment for the events that lead to the capture of Hatter, Alice is taken to the Red Queen’s castle and crosses the moat full of severed heads. Bayard throws Tarrant’s hat over the wall. While the Queen is playing croquet, Alice is found by Nivens McTwisp, the White Rabbit who gives her some more Upelkuchen cake to make her grow again, but Alice eats too much and grows to 8.5 feet. The Red Queen sees Alice and to avoid suspicion, Alice tells the Queen her name is Um from Umbridge and that people make fun of for her height. The Queen accepts Alice’s story and welcomes her to her court. Alice soon finds herself at the Red Queen’s side and the Mad Hatter’s trail, which eventually the Red Queen is persuaded by Tarrant to become her hatter. Alice is able to retrieve Tarrant’s hat and returns it to him.

Bayard manages to arrive at the White Queen’s castle and is greeted by the White Queen herself. Bayard delivers the news that Alice is currently residing in the Red Queen’s castle.

Alice locates the Vorpal Sword which resides in the domain of the Bandersnatch. On her way, the Knave corners her but Alice manages to get away. One of the Red Queens followers was watching. Retrieving the eye from Mallymkun, Alice returns the eye to the Bandersnatch. Alice finds the case to the Vorpal Sword but is locked. Alice’s wound begins to burn and she falls unconscious. Nivens McTwisp retrieves the Oraculum. The next morning while Tarrant is hatting the Red Queen, she hears the news about the Knaves advancement towards Alice. Alice wakes up to find the Bandersnatch watching her. Alice notices a key to the case on its neck. Alice retrieves the key and salvages the Vorpal Sword. The Bandersnatch repays Alice by licking her wound to make it better as a sign of friendship.

The Knave attempts to lie on how it’s Um (Alice) that’s obsessed with him, which the Queen believes and orders the capture of Um. Alice returns to Tarrant and Mallymkun but right away is charged of seduction. The Knave notices the Vorpal sword and tries to snatch it. Hatter holds the Knave and cards off, but Mallymkun blurts out, “Run, Alice.” The Knave, now knowing Alice’s true identity, decides to kill her.

Alice runs out to the courtyard but is ambushed by the cards, but the Bandersnatch breaks free of its chain and escapes with Alice in tow. Alice arrives at the White Queen’s castle, presenting the Vorpal Sword to the queen. The White Queen then shrinks Alice back down to her original size. Alice meets once again with Absolem who replies about his earlier comment that she was not Alice then but is more like Alice now.

Tarrant and Mallymkum are held in a cell near Bayard’s wife and pups. Chessur morths into the cell and wonders if he can have Tarrant’s hat after the execution. On the day of Tarrant and Mallymkun’s execution, the executor severs Tarrant’s head but his body disappears with only the hat floating in the air. Tarrant was substituted by Chessur and the real Hatter is up with the Red Queen. Tarrant reveals that all of the Red Queen’s followers are phonies and Tarrant makes a speech for all those willing to rebel against the Bloody Bighead to rise and escape to the White Queen’s side. In retaliation, the Red Queen orders the release of the Jubjub Bird which terrorizes the people. Tarrant manages to escape with Mallymkun, the Tweedles, Nivens, and Bayard’s wife and pups, and the Cheshire cat returns his hat and asks Alice how her arm is. The Red Queen then tells the Knave to prepare the Jabberwock for battle as it is time to visit her sister.

To find a Champion to do battle against the Jabberwock, many propose but the calendar still shows Alice as the slayer. Alice, not wanting to fight, runs off into the castle where once again she encounters Absolem preparing to go into pupa stage. He chats with her, and Alice finds out that “Underland” is what she mistakenly heard as “Wonderland” during her first visit. Alice realizes that her dreams were really memories and Underland does exist. Frabjous day has finally arrived with both Red and White armies prepared for the epic battle. Alice dons the armor and Vorpal sword. Both armies arrive at a chessboard-like battlefield for the battle between Alice and the Jabberwock. The Jabberwock finally reveals itself to Alice. Alice strikes first slicing off the Jabberwock’s tongue, all while doing so, trying to reassure herself that it is not a dream. As the battle between Alice and the Jabberwock carries on, the Jabberwock gains the upper hand. Tarrant assaults the Jabberwock, leading both armies to battle. Alice climbs some ruins of a castle and continues to fight the Jabberwock. Tarrant faces off against the Knave, easily dominating him. Mallymkun and Bayard are assaulted by the Jubjub bird but it gets crushed by a catapulted boulder accidentally fired by one of the Red Queen’s soldiers.

Alice manages to get on the back of the Jabberwock, where she is launched into the air, and then cuts off the Jabberwock’s head while shouting “OFF WITH YOUR HEAD!” Everyone witnesses the defeat of the Jabberwock. The Red Queen orders her troops to kill Alice but they no longer follow her since the death of both the Jabberwock and Jubjub bird. Chessur crowns the White Queen as once again the queen of Underland. The White Queen banishes her sister to the outlands along with the Knave. The Knave, unable to live with the Red Queen, attempts to kill her but is quickly stopped by Tarrant. As the Red Queen and The Knave are carried off, Tarrant does the Futterwacken dance. The White Queen collects the blood of the Jabberwock which will send Alice back to the human world. Giving her final farewell and reminding them she will return, Alice drinks the blood.

Alice finds herself grasping the edge of the rabbit hole. She climbs up and out of the hole and returns to the party. Alice declines Hamish’s proposal, scolds everyone who wanted her to marry him, and chooses to become his father’s apprentice. Alice begins her voyage to China, saying goodbye to her family. A blue butterfly lands on Alice’s shoulder. Alice smiles and replies, “Hello, Absolem.” Absolem then flies off, ending the movie.

Alice in Wonderland Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

So this was one Disney film I had zero interest in watching. Something about the remakes makes me want to not watch it. Anyway, I took the leap of faith and watch it, plus the sequel Alice Through the Looking Glass. It’s slightly scary but truly enjoyable. It’s a big twist on the book and animated versions. The costuming for Alice was wonderful too. Perfect fit the while family.

what are your thoughts on it?

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