‘Alice In Wonderland’ Teaser Gives A Generous Glimpse Of Tim Burton’s Excellence

WOW. As a longtime fan of all things “Alice in Wonderland“-related, I’ve been looking forward to Tim Burton’s take on Lewis Carroll’s stories with something that far exceeds “great interest.” It’s more like “rabid enthusiasm,” or “release more content before I go postal.” And now that the first in-motion look at the movie has arrived, I find my vocabulary pared down to a single word: WOW!

For those of you fretting and raising eyebrows over this new Alice’s (Mia Wasikowska) age or Johnny Depp’s (he plays the Mad Hatter) star billing, know that Burton’s story is a sort-of sequel to the Carroll original. You’ll see all sorts of familiar characters and locales of course, but things have changed — and quite a bit — since Alice’s first visit to Wonderland.

UPDATE: Apparently a certain website got a little overexcited about the “Alice” trailer and decided to run it a day early. These things happen. We’ve been asked to pull it down, and will of course comply out of respect for Disney, Burton and his talented team.

Keeping reading for some thoughts on the shiny newness.

Man does that look badass. Helena Bonham Carter’s not-quite-real/not-quite-CG Red Queen has officially shoved Depp’s Hatter aside for top billing in my nightmares. The way her head moves on her body in that too-brief clip… terrifying.

The Cheshire Cat, his head at least, is exactly what it should be. A little bit menacing and a little bit whimsical. You’re not really sure where you stand with him, and you’re not supposed to. Now imagine that face with Stephen Fry’s purring voice.

I don’t know what to make of Tweedledee and Tweedledum (both Matt Lucas). I’m guessing they’re going to provide comic relief, as they should. The character design freaks me out though. Maybe it’s just my natural tendency to fear any digitally altered child image — the main reason I don’t do J-horror — but they’re going to have to be pretty damn funny for me to get past that.

The only downer in this trailer is the total absence of Caterpillar shots. Alan Rickman is an inspired bit of casting for the role. He can do bored disinterest like few others. Remember Marvin the Paranoid Android in “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”? I also can’t wait to see what Burton has his crazy, hookah-addled CG counterpart spelling out in mid-air with exhaled smoke.

Chills people, real actual chills. That’s what I get from this teaser. Last time I felt this way about a literary adaptation, it was when I saw the first images from “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” The story could be drek and I wouldn’t care. Burton clearly has a strong idea of what a new “Alice” on film should look like; in a single stroke, he’s erased any doubts I may have had.

There’s only one question that matters right now: what do you think of the trailer?