Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Why Is A Raven Like A Writing Desk?

Alice in Wonderland is more popular than ever, nowadays, thanks to Tim Burton's upcoming movie. I have mixed feelings about it after seeing the trailers. I love Tim Burton's older movies like Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice. His new movies...not so much. The Alice trailer has me worried that it is too heavy on the computer effects. I'm old fashioned in my special effects tastes. Give me costumes and stop motion animation over CGI anytime.

That was one of the things that led me to Alice by Jan Svankmajer.

Done in 1988 with a combination of live acting and brilliant stop motion animation, the story is rather loosely based on Alice in Wonderland. It is slow and dark and strange.

I can't recommend it enough.

The Netflix version that I watched also had the short piece Darkness/Light/Darkness which was even darker and stranger but also quite funny in a bizarre way.

There are plenty of snippets of his work on YouTube that are definitely worth watching.

For now, here is a clip from Alice.


  1. Congratulations for your handmade illustrations!! They are so beautiful and strong!! keep up the lovely artwork!
    Greetings from Europe!

  2. I must say I didn't find it in the usual sinister Tim Burton style at all. And to me there was nothing dark about it. In fact, it seemed ok for kids to watch, which usually is not the case with Tim Burton's stuff. Nevertheless, a fantastic movie and a must-see.

  3. I'm a huge Tim Burton fan, so I'm hoping it lives up to my expectations too. I also have to admit that having Johnny Depp in most of his movies has only made me develop a serious crush on Depp over the years...
    Burton's at MOMA right now and I wish I could see it, it's supposed to date back to his 'good ol' days...' ugh, so close, yet so far...

  4. It's so ironic that you posted this...I was recently thinking that I should watch every film adaptation of Alice in Wonderland [well, every one worth watching]. I vividly remember a TV verison from the 80's or early 90's that I loved. Thanks for the tip on this one!

  5. Vanessa-Hello! Thanks for stopping by. I agree. It was much brighter and more fun than Burton's usual style. My kids loved it!

    Celia-We saw the movie and it was amazing! You have to see it in 3D to get the full effect. So much fun! I read about Burton's show at the MOMA. It sounds amazing!

    Tara-Once again, great minds think alike! There are lots of snippets of Alice movies on YouTube. I had no idea that there were so many adaptations.