Tuesday, March 9, 2010

the wonderland obsession redux

I should have talked about Alice in Wonderland, the new Tim Burton movie, much sooner, but to be honest I had no idea what to think of it.  The previews give me the impression that the movie is more about the Mad Hatter than Alice. I mean, why is it listed as starring Johnny Depp?  And why do  most of the advertising posters and merchandise appear to feature his character?  Mia Wasikowska's Alice seems to have been forgotten in the publicity for the most part.

Am I entirely insane for thinking this?

I haven't seen it yet, but the film appears to be the typical Tim Burton fare that he has delivered up in the past five years- extremely bizarre, freak-show-like tales that are (usually) Victorian and star Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter.  This film will tell whether this formula will continue to work for Tim Burton.  I've heard mixed reviews on this film, most of them negative.  But most people I've spoken to about the film seem inclined to see it, so it should do well at the box office even if it isn't very good.

What I have seen is an incredible amount of advertising and merchandising, which actually seems unusual for a Tim Burton film.  True, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) had a lot of candy-related advertising spurred by Nestle's Willy Wonka treats, but that was to be expected.

The first inkling I had had of this current Burton movie's merchandize was Hot Topic, but that is no real surprise.  Their  lines of clothes and items for the Burton cult classic The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)are still a fan favorite nearly 20 years after that movie came out, and they certainly handled all the merchandise I saw for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride (2005) and Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007).  They have sold items featuring Disney's Alice in Wonderland for years as well.

But then I walked past a Claire's, and came across an entire collection of Alice in Wonderland-inspired accessories such as these:

And these:

Then there is O.P.I. with its four-piece nail polish collection featuring outrageous colors based on the new movie called "Absolutely Alice," "Mad as a Hatter," and "Off with her Red!"

image source: All Lacquered Up
Even Bloomingdale's is hopping on the Alice bandwagon.  They are currently stocking their stores with a line of Alice-inspired fashion items created by designer Sue Wong:

image source: Disney Dreaming
image source: Disney Dreaming
Last weekend, in time with the movie's release, Bloomingdale's NYC store windows revealed the new line in a Mad Tea Party style, with displays of the Wonderland dresses and accessories:

image source: MTV.com
You can view the rest of Sue Wong's line here.

My first blog post on this topic appears to still hold true:  People are obsessed with Wonderland.

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