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To escape Wonderland, Alice has to power up her escape potion by being among mad people. As she goes madder, the things she sees start to make less and less sense. She even begins to succumb to the most dangerous type of madness - love. Her literal biological clock is ticking and she must leave before she gets too entangled with Wonderland or her many suitors.
A Boring and Uninspired Take on Lewis Carroll's World
I sat down to watch this because I am a HUGE fan of Wonderland. It doesn't always get the treatment it deserves, but when the studio gets it right, it is magnificent to behold.
This is not one of those cases.
Perhaps it's because the filmmakers don't understand what makes Carroll's characters so enjoyable, maybe the blame rests with the manga this movie was based on, but for whatever the reason this movie is BORING.
Oh, it's weird and makes little sense, but not in the same way that Carroll's Wonderland was weird and makes little sense. The movie itself has weird editing choices like Alice being inside a House of Mirrors, and then suddenly she's inside a garden maze, then at a circus tent, and then Boris Airay (who would have us believe he's the Cheshire Cat even though he resembles the Cat in name only) pulls Alice away from the tent and then turns into a balloon, and then suddenly Alice is inside the "Drink Me" vial attached to the balloon filling up with liquid and-
There's "weird" and there's "random". This movie mistakes the latter for the former. Weird is Jack Nicholson's Joker talking and laughing with a man he just barbecued with an electric hand buzzer. Weird has a certain feel to it that this movie desperately wants to believe it knows. But it doesn't.
The movie's biggest sin, however, is its characters. Now, I know this is based on a manga and as such the characters won't be EXACTLY like they are in Carroll's books or the Disney animated film, but what sets these knock-offs apart from those classics is that Carroll's and Disney's had ENERGY. The Mad Hatter and March Hare were a pair of wide-eyed lunatics with an obsession for tea and unbirthdays, Alice was polite and kind but still very expressive, the White Rabbit was frantic and nervous on his way to the Queen of Hearts, and the Queen of Hearts herself was a loud, obnoxious child in an adult's body.
In THIS anime, The Mad Hatter is the bland leader of some Wonderland mafia (if you think that sounds stupid, that's because it is), The White Rabbit is a cold, bland stooge to the Queen of Hearts, and The Queen of Hearts herself looked as bored as I was whenever she was on screen. Even if you removed the link to Wonderland and had these characters be their own, they'd still be unappealing. They lack life. The Queen of hearts says, "Off with their heads," as if she took her sleeping pills right before sitting down to judge her victims.
"Energy" is the word of the day here. The movie moves at what feels like a slow pace as pointless scenes drag on and on and even though it cuts from odd scene to odd scene, those odd scenes lack the enthusiasm that made even "Care Bears in Wonderland" feel like it took place in Wonderland. Plus, they make the story, if there even is one, incredibly hard to follow.
I think this movie suffers from a need to be artsy taking priority over the need to tell a good story with good characters, or a lack of understanding of the source material. Regardless, it failed to appeal to me both as a fan of anime and as a fan of Lewis Carroll. There are far better anime out there for you to enjoy, and the Disney animated version remains the best adaptation of Carroll's work that I've seen.
So give this snorefest a miss unless you absolutely HAVE to find out how boring it is for yourself.
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