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Alice in Wonderland Film Analysis

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Nicola Bain

on 15 June 2014

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Transcript of Alice in Wonderland Film Analysis

Alice in Wonderland

Symbols &

What are the
in the film?
What ideas do you think are dealt with in the film?
What about these...
Alice's identity is questioned throughout the film.
Alice and Identity
TASK: Match the correct stages of Alice's journey to the quotes about her identity
"Aunt Imogene, I think I'm going mad. I keep seeing a rabbit in a waistcoat." - Alice Kingsley
"Who are you?" - Absolum
"Alice... Of course, why didn't I see it? Well, it has been a long time and you were such a little tyke then." - Stayne - Knave of Hearts
"From the moment I fell down that rabbit hole I've been told where I must go and who I must be. I've been shrunk, stretched, scratched and stuffed into a teapot. I've been accused of being Alice and of not being Alice but this is *my* dream. *I'll* decide where it goes from here." - Alice Kingsley
"You're almost Alice" - Absolum
"I love, Margaret, but this is my life. I'll decide what to do with it." - Alice Kingsley
"You used to be much more... "muchier". You've lost your muchness." - Mad Hatter
"How's this for *muchness*" - Alice Kingsley
The idea of self is central to the Lewis Carroll books. Alice is constantly losing track of who she is, or being mistaken for somebody else.

The notion of identity is explored through Alice's constant changes in shape and size, the Wonderland character's misrecognition of her and in her own confusion about how she fits into this alien world.
Burton's Alice
Burton's Alice is similarly uncertain about who she is, but her crisis of identity relates to the world above the rabbit hole.

In this everyday world, only her father recognises who she is, whereas everyone else just sees what they want to make her into.

In contrast, when she arrives in Wonderland, Alice is filled with a kind of certain negative certainty: she is certain she is no the brave heroine the Underland characters believe her to be.
1. Even before Alice goes to Underland, glimmers of the unconventional little girl bubble to the surface. What are some of the indications that the old Alice is only inhibernation?
2. What about when Alice arrives in Underland? Clearly she has little self-confidence and believes she has lost her adventurous spirit, but don't we see more than a glimmer of the old Alice?
3. Why is Alice so reluctant to believe she is the Alice mentioned in the prophecy?
4. When 7-year-old Alice changes size and shape, he clothes adapt accordingly. The clothes of the 19-year-old Alice, however, stay the same size and need to be remade. What is the effect of the constant reclothing of Alice?
Viewing Questions
What does Alice attempt to escape in the film?
Think about the responsibilities that are put upon her. Which does she try and avoid and does she manage to avoid them?

This could include her marriage proposal, societal responsibilities, fighting the Jabberwocky etc.
Alice physically runs away, following the white rabbit down the rabbit hole, from her proposal to escape her supposed fate of marriage
Dream vs Reality
Alice tries to escape the Fate of fighting the Jabberwocky
Alive escapes her role in Victorian society by becoming and adventurer like her father
Watch the following YouTube clip to help you remember was Alice runs away from or tries to escape during the film:
How does Burton show Alice escaping?
Throughout Alice in Wonderland, Tim Burton uses "the motif of entering and leaving, of traversing and crossing -- because crossing a threshold always implies leaving a space and entering another." Alice is constantly escaping from one place in order to enter another.
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