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Alice in Wonderland: A Comparison between the Novel by Lewis Carroll and the Film Adaptation of Tim Burton

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Alice in Wonderland: A Comparison between the Novel by Lewis Carroll and the Film Adaptation of Tim Burton Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is the story of a girl named Alice that falls down a rabbit hole and finds herself in a fantasy world inhabited by many peculiar creatures. Ever since the book was published in 1865 there have been various adaptations made after it, the most recent being the Disney film Alice in Wonderland directed by Tim Burton (2010). The Disney film is based on the Lewis Carroll novel and its sequel Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice found there (1871). Both works are very similar and have been viewed as something unique and intriguing by fans and critics worldwide. In my own opinion; the book was often difficult to understand at time because the wording was quite different than the vocabulary that we use today. I found the film adaptation to be much easier to follow but enjoyed the novel just as well. Despite the extended time period of over a century between the film and novel both begin using almost the same plot. The novel is off to a quick start that immediately gauges the readers attention to what is happening to Alice as she falls down a very deep rabbit hole. The author goes into great detail to describe all of the different pieces of furniture and object that the main character passes on her long journey to Wonderland (Carroll 1). ...read more.


While the film Introduces almost all of the other characters at once the novel only brings the White Rabbit and Mouse into the plot. Carroll doesn't fully say how Alice got through the small locked door, but instead writes that after she swam through her own tears with the mouse they end up on 'shore' and venture into the garden (8). The third chapter of the book is where most of the characters are introduced, the film follows a similar timeframe. We meet and begin to learn about Absolem the Caterpillar, Chessur he Cheshire Cat, and Uilliam the Dodo Bird; all of which can speak and understand Alice clearly in both works. The three characters introduced are very different from each other and have such unique qualities that each of them have something to offer Alice throughout her journey in Wonderland. In the novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Tweedledee and Tweedledum are featured because they were both from Carroll's second book Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice found there. The film seems to have left out some characters from the author's first book and replaced them with characters from his second book instead. There are only a few scenes of the movie adaptation that relate to the novel after the third chapter. The tea party where Alice is introduced to the Mad Hatter is one of them and the film's script was almost identical to that of the book on this event in both of the works especially when the Mad Hatter asks "Why is a raven like a writing desk?" ...read more.


In a review of the film for (Starnes par. 4.) Joshua Starnes stated: "There's nothing wrong with putting your own spin on a classic story. In fact, a lot of classic stories are crying out for modernizing or a little bit of re-working to fix problems with narrative flow or characterization" This is true because the film was more of a twist on the original story than an adaptation. Referring to Lewis Carroll novel (Starnes par. 4) the film critic also goes on to say: "Overflowing with imagination as it is, it's also extremely episodic with little connecting the episodes and no particular conclusion. It just sort of stops." I agree with this critic because I thought the book was oversaturated with characters and event as well I felt that the Tim Burton's vision of the film played out more smoothly and was easier to understand. In a review for the novel by James Schellengburg (Schellengburg par. 2) he said: "The novel was very exciting and full of episodes of laughter" I slightly disagree with Schellengburg because although I thought the book was funny it got to be boring after the sixth chapter. Both the novel by Lewis Carroll and film by Tim Burton stimulated my imagination. Overall I enjoyed them both and welcomed the differences that they had from one another. These works are a great example of how a writer's work can be transformed into something completely different on screen but still enjoyable and intriguing. ...read more.

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