DVD: The Animated Alice in Wonderland Helps Flush the Tim Burton Version Out of Your Brain
Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass have been catnip for filmmakers ever since the earliest days of the cinema, and over the years we've seen everything from silents to cartoons to soft-core porn versions of a little girl's adventures in a surreal parallel universe. And while no one has made the leap from episodic tale (with specific elements of late-1800s political and cultural satire) to three-act screenplay, it's Disney's animated Alice in Wonderland (now available in a 60th Anniversary Edition from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment) that's the most satisfying to watch.
Unlike last year's hideous Tim Burton reimagining -- which features a post-apocalyptic "Underland" and culminated in a muddled war of the computer-generated armies -- the cartoon is whimsical and musical, all the while maintaining a sense of dread and danger throughout Alice's journey.
(It's also legendarily trippy -- not for nothing did Disney reissue the film in the '60s with posters that looked like they had been designed for the Fillmore. It's a movie I watched a lot on video during my college years, if you know what I mean.)
If you're saving your Blu-ray budget for movies that will look significantly better in a higher definition, consider Alice in Wonderland worth the money: The film's vibrant colors pop in a way that previous DVDs haven't captured, and even if the songs aren't so hot (with the exception of the catchy "Merry Unbirthday"), there's an unending parade of visual delights to behold.