Family Movie Night Column for June 16, 2010

 Now that family movies are all being made in 3D, I have to say I do not like it. Gives me a headache and adds little to the visual.

 We went to see Alice In Wonderland when it came to the movie theaters

Movie Poster from

in 3D. I hated the glasses, hated the way the color became murkier and thought the pop-outs were not that great.

 Here is the thing – a director such as Tim Burton does not need to do a 3D movie to make his movies more real, more alive. If you are a fan of his work of the last 20 years, then you know how he can make a person reach into their heart for every emotion.

 Perhaps you saw Beetlejuice(1988) or Batman (1989) or Edward Scissorhands (1990) and realized the depth of emotion that was in theses movies that also hi-lighted the strangeness of life that exists in our world.

 These elements are a part of Burton’s recent movies as well. Alice in Wonderland may have talking creatures, weird heads, and unnatural make-up but the characters are all people working through troubles,

Alice and the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland. Picture from

working through a problem and trying to find a solution. While some might be destructive (off with their heads) or filled with denial, at some point one must deal with the decisions they make.

 “Wait, wait, this is a kid’s movie, right? How can you see all of this in a kid’s movie?”

 Here is what I am saying. Deeper thought can be always be found in any movie – adult, family, kid. Alice In Wonderland may have been marketed for kids but there is a message. The story is a familiar one of a girl falling down a hole into another world. But she has a task in this underground world, just like she has in the top world.

 In the story, Alice does not believe herself to be the right Alice and wants to find a way back home. But in that journey she learns she has a task that no one else can do. With the help of the rabbit, the Mad Hatter and Blue Caterpiller, Alice finds the answer she needs for both worlds.

The Mad Hatter before the big battle. Picture from

 Masked in the fun and the hurly burly of the adventure and magical creatures we see the story of a young woman who sees how others have made their choices. She is not sure they were the right choices and wants to make sure hers for her life are the right ones.

 Still, rent this movie for the fun of it, for the journey Alice has to make. There are times when the situation may be too scary for the youngest members of the family. But those who are 8 and up should be able to understand what is happening with fewer problems.

 Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

 Let the world, or at least St. Anne, know about your latest pick for Family Movie Night and drop a note to P.O. Box 306, St. Anne, IL 60964 or become my friend on Facebook.