Alice in Wonderland (1) – How Tim Burton handled with the challenges of Carroll’s masterpiece

This series of posts about Alice in Wonderland has generated so much traffic in Portuguese that I’ve decided to translate. So, here is the fourth one:

Celebrating the film première today (calm down: just in the States), we go ahead with our series about “Alice in Wonderland”.

And suddenly, here it comes: the Cat. Who does not have Alice’s Cat very well entrenched in the memory? The one with that huge smile…the Cat that only appears in half, come and goes like a cloud, in a moment we see maybe only the head, or only the tail, that disappears slowly on the top of the tree. The little pads are going, then the tail, then the body, and we are left only with the head, with that smile and then the head also disappears and we have only that intriguing smile! enormous white teeth, perfectly aligned. Don’t know about you, but for me, this is one of the classic images of childhood. And now we have the Cheshire Cat on 3D! Be carefull Tim, there are millions of grown-ups that, in this case, do not want you to be an iconoclast. Not in this case!

And the Cat take part in one of the most remarkable pieces of dialog in Carroll’s book: The dialog with Alice goes more or less like this:
Alice asks: “Would you tell me, please, which way shall I take to get out of here?
to what the cat responds: “It depends heavily on where do you want to go“.
And Alice: “The place does not matter much…”
-“So it also does not matter the way you will take“, answers the cat, very, very ironically.

Brilliant! This part was extensively borrowed and used as a metaphor, specially in Corporations, in Change Management programs. But the original is the original.

And what did Tim? Well, the Cheshire Cat in the motion picture is astonishing, ironic to the deepest, smart as it should be and also magical. Point for Tim, no doubts. A translation to the big screen that respects the orginal and adds some others aspects that only contributes to make it more interesting.

That’s it! And I think I just saw a little cat……

This series continues here

P.S. > the whole series of postings comments the six more relevant pieces of Carroll’s Alice. Just drop a note if you think it is worth translating them all.


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