Alice’s All New Wonderland-Tim Burton’s Playground

Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland poster

I have this poster, from Sid Cahuenga's at Disney's Hollywood Studios...

Those who know me offline know I am rather obsessed with Alice in Wonderland. If I could, my entire house, or at the very least a room, would be themed to Alice in Wonderland. Shockingly, I was never TOO into the Disney animated film when I was little – it just always seemed too long. But as I got older, I grew to love Disney’s Cheshire cat and Alice herself. Tom Petty’s Don’t Come Around Here No More video is still one of my favorites. In college I may have owned a tie-dyed t-shirt featuring the iconic caterpillar, but I don’t think I was wearing if for the same reason everyone else was. {I did go through an innocent phase of tie-dyed shirt-crystal-necklace wearing in college…Stacy and Clinton would’ve had a field day with me. Ok, they probably still would. But I digress…}

John Tenniel's Mad Hatter

The Mad Hatter stamp from John Tenniel's illustrations

Also back then, I was into rubber stamps and making my own note cards {this was WAY before “Stampin Up” and scrap-booking came on the scene} and discovered this adorable little shop in Harvard Square called “Good Good the Elephant“. Don’t bother googling, it’s long since closed down, sadly. The store was in a tiny house, with the front room full of unique and whimsical collectibles, while the back room was full of different paper, stamps, inks, embossing powder, etc. So I was able to start my rubber stamp collection with a full Alice in Wonderland set of the original Tenniel illustrations, which I still have and use to this day.

I also collected a couple of framed mirrors. The larger one was 8×10 and featured Alice holding a flamingo, with the Cheshire Cat in the top corner. Inscribed on the bottom is “…and the Cat only grinned.” The smaller one featured the White Rabbit and said “…and the Rabbit scurried away.” They were like frames, so you could stand them up on a table. There was a whole set; the Queen of Hearts, The Mad Hatter, the cards…I longed to collect them all but being at the time a poor high school student never got around to completing the set before they stopped carrying them. I just googled prior to writing this, and they appear to be nowhere and I can’t find anything about the company. Anyway. I have them displayed in my bathroom, and that’s really the extent of my Alice decor.

In addition to my interest in Alice, I have always been a Tim Burton fan. Veering off into all things unusual is just sort of the way I grew up and still am. My parents fostered my interest in musicals and theatre, my sister is an artist, my brother was always playing non-main-stream music. All of that just led to me having a penchant for black and white striped tights, listening to Robyn Hitchcock and a million other bands not played on the radio, and falling in love with Tim Burton movies.

Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter

Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum

Of course I was delighted when his first full-length animated feature paired him back with Disney again. The Nightmare Before Christmas is such a work of art, I was happy my kids ended up loving it too. I wasn’t really too into Corpse Bride, but I had his other live-action movies to keep me entertained. Now that Alice in Wonderland is set to release tomorrow, I couldn’t be more excited. The fantastical world Lewis Carroll created seems to be the perfect playground for the mind of Tim Burton. I’m a little wary of how crazy Johnny Depp looks {but then he is a MAD hatter after all…} and I’m hoping Alice grows on me once I see the film {she seems a bit shy from the previews} but I’m confident the backgrounds, the tiny details and the world the audience will be immersed in, will be Burton at his finest.

I’ll be sure to write a review once I see it, but I’d love to hear what you’re expecting {or not} from this version of the classic Alice in Wonderland story. What is your favorite interpretation?





About Suzannah Mitchell

Boston girl living and blogging in Walt Disney World's backyard. Mom of 3, coffee addict, oh and Princess of course!