It shouldn't have been this way. Given the cast involved, given the director's knack for the grotesque and the surreal, to say nothing of the source material, this Alice in Wonderland
should have been a marvel, a milestone in the development of fantasy cinema. After all, the logical games and off-the-wall situations presented by Lewis Carroll in both Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There
parallel much of the nonsense language and narrative dissociation one sometimes feels living in this first decade of the twenty-first century. It is also, in a way, the movie Tim Burton has been preparing to make since Frankenweenie
. Whether or not his movies have taken place in Pee Wee's Playhouse or Gotham City, whether or not he has followed such characters as Edward Scissorhands or Sweeny Todd, he has always taken his audience to some zip code deep in his own Wonderland.