I realize Lewis Carroll’s Alice is not the most dynamic and proactive heroine in all of literary canon, but it seems as if in Burton’s take of her famous adventures in Wonderland, she was barely fucking there.
The new trailer, which should be showing up prior to any epic, blue-cat-people adventures you might witness this weekend, gives us the most in depth look so far at the expectantly rich and textured Wonderland Burton has created, and yet barely features its protagonist at all. She does show up to be tossed, dropped, and surprised, but the vast majority of the trailer is her being talked at or about.
It’s obvious that Johnny Depp would be the biggest selling point for this film and he is (and has been) featured as heavily as one would expect. Smaller characters get a line here and there while Helena Bonham Carter gets a few moments to shine in her role as the Red Queen (or the now frequently used Red Queen/Queen of Hearts amalgamation). While a trailer is simply a tool to get asses in seats, truly effective marketing campaigns manage to at least plant the seeds of a relationship between protagonist and audience. We get virtually no meaningful idea about Alice or who shes is and, as it is, I think viewers will be tapping their feet for however long it take the film to introduce the Hatter.
At any rate, moving beyond the questionable marketing decisions…
Burton taking on Wonderland has been derided as obvious and unoriginal, but it’s undeniable that his sensibilities fit the environment like a glove. I’m slightly encouraged by the film’s apparently original(ish) route into the story- the film is an extension of the source material that has Alice being summoned back to Wonderland without remembering her initial trip. There is a serious Charlie And The Chocolate factory vibe to this trailer however, and it betrays the dangerous potential of the film being another Depp-led paint-by-numbers tour through an old story re-coated in Burton’s production design aesthetic. March 5th, 2010 shall tell the tale.
Give it a look yourself in your choice of many delicious P’s.