Whatever you think of Tim Burton's new, hugely successful 3-D animated version of Lewis Carroll's venerable 150+ years old fantasy story "Alice In Wonderland", looking closely at the adaptation seems transparently useful as a way of understanding contemporary tastes and the needs of commercial cinema today.
From the aging up of the title character and turning the plot of her adventures in this underland into a "recovered memory" narrative of when she'd visited the more innocent wonderland as a child, to the kick-ass attitude of this furious bandersnatch, to the place of prominence given to the vorpal sword and Alice's dungeons and dragons style final battle with the jabberwocky, this is not Uncle Walt's Alice, nor the more imaginative 1933 black and white film version designed by the protean William Cameron Menzies.
The need to attract all four quadrants of the modern moviegoing audience meant pumping up the action for the young males who might otherwise have shunned this most female-driven tale. Burton's mordant wit and unique ability to create beautiful fantastic worlds meant there was more than enough eye-candy for baby boomers.
It's more than $250 million dollar gross attests to the successful choices made in 're-booting" this most enduring of fantasy stories for the 3rd dimension and the 21st Century, and have made this spring most frabjous days indeed at the box office.