Growing up, I hated the Alice franchise. I though the Disney movie was weird and boring and entirely too colorful. My mom had an illustrated Alice book that I rather liked, though, and it was that book that kept Alice in the back of my mind. For years.
I didn’t read (I’m talking read here, not look at pictures) Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland until sophomore year of college. I started writing a story, spontaneously, called Absolutely Mad and knowing my childhood reluctance against the franchise, I figured it would be a good time to pip into the children’s section of the college library and check out the books. For research purposes, you understand.
Enchanting. I know that Carroll wrote the stories as a series of adventures to entertain the young Alice Liddell, and therefore, no definitive plot can be found, but I found the idea just as enchanting as the strange and curious stories inside. I read both Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass in the matter of a day, and my imagination was overflowing. I sought more.
Previously ignorant, I was not aware of the expanse of the Alice franchise. It turns out that beyond the Disney animated feature (which, for those who are curious, Walt Disney himself was incredibly disappointed in), there are a gazillion movies and games and other inspired products. Many hearts and imaginations have been captured by the little girl who falls into a make believe world and embarks in a series of misadventures. I think the favorite film version I saw, (prior to the latest Tim Burton masterpiece-ish) was one starring both Martin Short and Whoopie Goldberg. Curiouser and curiouser!
Then, later that year, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland came out.
You either liked it or hated it. I chose to look past Burton’s flaunting of his two favorite actors – Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter – and focus on the fact that he had created a new, beautiful world for Alice, and quite frankly, I thought the actress who played her was delightful. Imagination inspired again!
After that, there was the SyFy miniseries Alice that not only continued my love of the franchise (and brought in new and different aspects that many of the other cinematic attempts had chosen to ignore… I guess that’s the perks of a miniseries!) but inspired me to watch Primeval, because lets face it, how can you not absolutely fall in love with Andrew-Lee Potts? By the time I discovered the miniseries, everyone who was friends with me on Facebook was getting tired of hearing about That Amazing and Wondrous Thing That is Alice in Wonderland and probably hoping I would become obsessed with something normal… like the Twilight Series (never gonna happen).
By this time, I had already abandonned the story Absolutely Mad. Or, at least, I am hopelessly stuck in it… the kind of stuck that makes you want to throw away the fifteen thousand words you’ve managed and go back to the beginning and start again. So I could do that. OR.
It turns out there is a somewhat fabulous Alice in Wonderland-themed computer game. Two, actually, but I haven’t played the original. I am a sad person and put out the full amount to buy the sequel (Alice: Madness Returns) off Steam when it became available because it just seemed too darn cool that there actually is an Alice in Wonderland video game. And I play it more frequently than any of my other video games.
So, I think in short… I have this thing about the Alice in Wonderland franchise. Basically, I think it is brilliant. The idea of escaping through “betweens” to a magical world is enough to tickle and reader’s imagination, and that is why Lewis Carroll’s books have become literary classics.
What classic story continues to capture your time, passion, and imagination… even as an adult?