Alice in Wonderland

*I’m not going to censure myself for spoilers, but if you’ve seen the trailers, you should know the plot already.  It’s not very complex or surprising.  Read at your own risk.*

The last movie I went to see in the theatre was the new Tim Burton movie, “Alice in Wonderland.”  I have to say, I am a fan of Tim Burton’s works.  I recently went to see the exhibit at the MOMA in New York of his art.  I love his humor and his imagination.  I also love that he loves women.

No, I’m not singling him out simply for being straight.  I don’t love Charlie Sheen and he certainly has his own brand of love for women, though Sheen’s love involves using women as sperm receptacles and punching bags.  I’m talking about respect and appreciation.  In his movies, women are equals.  They are strong, intelligent, and are as likely to rescue as to be rescued.

Granted, Alice in Wonderland is already a series of stories with a female protagonist, written by a pedophile to a young girl he loved.  But that’s an entirely different story.  Alice in Wonderland takes place after the events of the books, and takes a page from the school of “Pride and Prejudice” in terms of social marriage arrangements in the 1800s.  Alice is all grown up and is being pressured to marry a rather ugly, chauvinistic, disgusting, and rich man at age 19.  After Wonderland is through, *actual spoiler* she takes up where her entrepreneurial father left off in his company, rejects the man she does not love, and goes off to make adventures for herself.  While I cheered this nod to feminism, in the back of my mind I couldn’t get over how unrealistic it would be for a rich man to just accept he advice of a young woman and give her a job in that time period.  I had to remind myself that it is a children’s movie, so I’m going to instead smile at the message this sends young girls.

There’s never a moment of shock in the movie where you think, “But she’s a girl,” and there is never a moment where in Wonderland she is treated as anything but an equal.  While I thought the screenplay wasn’t terribly clever, and the movie wasn’t silly enough to be a Wonderland movie, and I thought some of the acting was questionable *coughannehathawaycough*, I think there needs to be more movies with this idea.  Women can save the day.  They can be as strong and as clever.  They can make their own destinies.  They can fight while wearing full, non-sexy armor and still look good.

Reccomended?  Yes, but don’t expect Nightmare Before Christmas.  Its fun for kids, but I won’t be buying the DVD.

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