The Friday Fillip

I like Alice. I have a (very) modest collection of her adventures, as told by the oddman Dodgson orse Carroll (including a “Wonderland” published in Moscow in English — 1 rouble 30 kopek — with Russian commentary and illustrations). I bring this up because Disney is at it again, it seems, and, traditionalist curmudgeon that I am, I have deeply resented what Disney has done to some of the great children’s classics in the past. But this time I wonder…

For one thing, the new movie is being directed by Tim Burton. Hard to think of anyone more a directorial oddman than Helena Bonham Carter’s husband. For another (thing), he’s assembling his usual repertory company, which is to say Ms Bonham Carter as the Red Queen [pic] and Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter [pic], inter alia, all “digitally enhanced (sic)”. To avoid the scorn of people like me, Disney has shifted things this time, and it’s a 17-year-old Alice who pays a return visit to Wonderland, now in its new and improved form.

Some of what’s been deliberately leaked looks visually interesting. To see how it’s going to be, take a look at the panoramic pics that let you zoom in and pan.

If the story’s changed, I shouldn’t gripe about the art. The number of illustrators who have tackled Alice is almost beyond counting. Tenniel’s art is canonical, of course. There’s a site that gathers together all of his illustrations (now beyond copyright) and lets you view them online or download them in a zipped file. Rather than list some of his successors, I thought I’d present you with thumbnails of their various takes on Alice.

(Click on the thumbnail to enlarge the image.)

Tenniel
Tenniel
Rackham
Rackham
attwell_th
Attwell
kirk_th
Kirk
gutman_th
Gutman
jackson_th
Jackson
dali_th
Dali
russian_th
My Russian

Just in case you think that I think that the pics are the only point, let me point you to some text resources for your Wonderland reading pleasure: the marvelous Gutenberg has the whole of the book online; if you’d prefer it more in a bed-time story mode, let the voices on LibriVox read it to you; finally, for the need-to-know-it-all in you (yes, I’m looking at you), there’s Martin Gardner’s splendid Annotated Alice, of which I can only give you glimpses online, thanks to Google Books.

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