Once upon a time, a friend recced me a webcomic called Namesake. Now, I really like stories that have some kind of “stranger in a strange land” shenanigans, and Namesake, a story about a girl from our world who ends up in the classic literature story The Wizard of Oz, seemed like it would be right up my alley. But I’d already seen enough stories with this same premise—so many shoujo anime have episodes where the female protag ends up in Alice of Wonderland, for example—that I thought Namesake would almost definitely be boring or clichéd. So it took me an extremely long time to actually start reading this webcomic. Once I did, though, I found out that Namesake has way more of a plot than its premise would imply—and it’s definitely right up my alley.
I don’t remember a lot about the original 2010 Alice in Wonderland movie. I remember that I saw it during my spring break of that year, because my friends and I spent the week at Walt Disney World and we saw it at the Downtown Disney movie theater. I remember being absolutely obsessed with the costuming. And most of all, I remember… not hating it as much as a lot of people seemed to. That’s about it. So when I saw that they were making a sequel, I—unlike a lot of people I talked to—was cautiously excited about it.
Once Upon A Time In Wonderland has its origins in a cool and eminently sustainable idea: take the Once Upon A Time mythos and tell other stories that have happened in its universe that just don’t fit into the main OUAT story. To reference a similar project, it could have been to Once Upon A Time what Paradox Space plans to be for Homestuck. As Once Upon A Time seems to include, at this point, the entirety of classic speculative fiction within its parameters (as the inclusion of characters like Peter Pan, Dr. Frankenstein, and Robin Hood suggests), if the Wonderland spinoff had been successful, this could have been a launching point for a whole network of derivative series.
Unfortunately, we instead got the most boring, bland, and tropey mess I’ve seen since that one Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode. (You know the one.)
I absolutely adore the TV show Once Upon a Time. While almost every other TV show features white guys as the main protagonist, it was refreshing to see a show with a female lead and a large cast of female supporting characters. That’s not to say Once Upon a Time isn’t without its problems, but it’s still an excellent show.
One of my main disappoints with the show, however, was the lack of one character: Alice from Alice in Wonderland. Since the Mad Hatter had made an appearance in Storybrooke, I was excited to meet Alice eventually, but it never happened. I was simply holding out hope that eventually Emma and the gang would meet Alice, but the writers of Once Upon a Time did something even better: I got a spin-off all about Alice.
If the trailer is anything to go by, it looks like we are going to have a kick ass Alice for this show. I was a little worried at first when things started in an asylum. I love a creepy Alice just as much as the next girl, but it has been done before. So I’m happy to see that while things look intense in this trailer, the writers aren’t taking Alice the dark gothic route.
As far as casting goes we have a pretty phenomenal cast, so far featuring Naveen Andrews (Lost), Michael Socha (Being Human), and the amazing John Lithgow who is voicing the White Rabbit.
I’m excited to see different worlds we haven’t been able to see in Once Upon a Time. So far, from the trailer and characters it seems pretty certain that we’ll get to see more of Wonderland, Neverland, and Agrabah.
It’s also nice to see that the show will make a distinction between the Red Queen and the Queen of Hearts, which has always been a pet peeve of mine in other re-tellings of Alice. Michael Socha will also being playing the Knave of Hearts, who is in the original story, and it seems in this version, Alice stops the Queen of Hearts from killing him making him an ally of hers. It always made sense to me that should Alice return to Wonderland, that the Knave would be a friend of hers, but often the Knave isn’t featured or, as in the crappy Tim Burton film, he’s shown to be a villain. It seems then that the writers are letting the original source material inspire them while still creating their own story.
And for those of you worried about the writers potentially casting someone new as the Mad Hatter, the writers have already stated that they wouldn’t dream of replacing Sebastian Stan—so it’s likely the Mad Hatter simply won’t play much of a role in this TV show.
Usually I don’t look forward to spin-offs, but I cannot wait for this one.
I don’t know why, but lately the movie makers have been going on a spree of interpreting old folklore. I mean, we’ve already had a retelling of things like Alice in Wonderland, and a new Snow White movie is underway. On top of those we’ve even gotten retellings of Beauty and the Beast and Little Red Riding Hood, but since they ended up being cheap, unimaginative Twilight knockoffs, let’s not count them.
But what the hell, I’m not going to complain about real life adaptions of some of my favorite childhood stories—so long as they’re not based on Twilight. This movie in particular leaves me a little apprehensive. Alice in Wonderland, for example, was a terrible remake that sold itself off the fact that Johnny Depp played the Mad Hatter, and I’ve yet to see Snow White and the Huntsman, but considering that it was made by the same people, I’m more than a little worried for it, despite how promising it appears to be.
Though apprehensive, I find myself with a bit more faith in this movie. I’ve seen a couple live-action versions of Jack and the Giant Bean Stalk already, made with all the innovative ideas that the eighties and nineties brought us, so as you can guess, they weren’t very good. This newer version is brought to us by the guy behind the last X-Men movie—so I’m not sure if it should surprise anyone that the only notable girl in the trailer is a kidnapped princess—so the movie can’t be too bad.
Despite any negativity I seem to have for the film, this does look like something worth checking out, and hell, it looks like it has the potential to be a damn good movie.
It’s Trailer Tuesdays again! Let’s look at Frankenweenie!
This movie looks good fun and interesting along with awesome stop motion animation. My only problem with it is it has been done before. I know it sounds weird to say that a movie has been made about a Frankenstein dog has been done before, but it has, by none other that Tim Burton himself.
The 1984 thirty minute movie live action version of this movie was cute, fun, and entertaining a Tim Burton classic. I happen to enjoy a lot of Tim Burton’s movies, but I noticed a trend with Tim Burton. He tends to be better with his own original works than remaking classics. I honestly did not enjoy Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory or Alice in Wonderland, and many people felt the same way. Now with a remake of one Tim Burton’s old classics coming out I have to wonder if he’s maybe losing his touch, especially considering he hasn’t written anything new since Corpse Bride in 2005.
This remake of Frankenweenie looks great, but the old one was fine it didn’t need to be remade. I just wish Tim Burton would try to do something original again instead of another remake, even if it is a remake of one of his original stories.