Believe it or not, I've never seen the animated 1951 Disney version of Alice in Wonderland. I've seen Tim Burton's 2010 re-imagining a few times, and I even did my own twist on a Mad Hatter costume for Halloween this year. (I would add that I won 3rd place in a costume contest for that, but that would be rather indulgent of me, wouldn't it?) I've been meaning to read Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland for a while, so the final stretch of my 2010 reading list seemed like a great place to squeeze it in.
I have to say, I'm pretty surprised at how different it is from the movie. Granted, I haven't read Through the Looking Glass, which continues Alice's adventures, so I could be missing some elements there. I'm not sure how closely the animated version sticks to the book, but I really expected the general idea I had of the story to be more similar to what I read. Let me tell you, I'm fully aware of how sad it is that I'm comparing a book to a movie instead of the other way around. It's even sadder that there are a billion children in the world that probably don't even know the movie(s) are based on a book. The kids I teach love the 2010 version of the movie, and I guarantee you that if I walked in today and told them it was a book written over 100 years ago, they would all be floored.
That's unfortunate, because it's really a fabulous little tale. It's pretty short -- if you speak Kindle-ese, it's only about 1,100 "locations" long. If you don't speak Kindle-ese, too freakin' bad. Go pick up a hard copy and see how long it is.
My favorite thing about this book was Carroll's plays on words and the whimsical feeling of the story. It's no wonder this is a kids' classic. It's also no wonder he chose to call the world he created "wonderland." He paints some amazing pictures, and his characters are so entertaining. Weird, but entertaining.
It was, however, written in the 1800s, so it does have a different writing style than what most kids today are probably used to. It's kinda like trying to read Dickens... There are just some things that didn't seem to flow, but that's just modern writing messing with my head. I would certainly recommend picking up this classic when you get a chance, and for goodness' sake, make sure every child you know knows that the movie has some deep roots.
Read from December 3, 2010 to December 5, 2010