Posted by: sabinabw | December 1, 2010

Alice scared me as a kid…

So when I was a kid, I have to admit that Alice in Wonderland frightened me slightly.  I guess what I was afraid of was the Queen, who was always in such an awful mood and if you crossed her, well, you wouldn’t be all that happy or lucky either.

This past summer on my plane ride to Poland the airlines played Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and let’s just say, that’s exactly how I imagined the story to be when I was a kid.  It’s creepy, full of fear, and the uncertainty of what’s going to happen or not happen.  For those of you who haven’t seen it, there’s a trailer posted below, along with an article criticizing Burton for remaking children’s stories into movies for adult because they are too scary for children to watch.



  1. I’ve been reading The Mystery of Lewis Carroll and I think one of the reasons why it has those scary moments was because he wrote both of the stories during difficult periods. With Alice in Wonderland he wrote it direclty after his father’s death. Carroll was very reticent in expressing his feelings in person and even in his diaries. If you read them you notice that he doesn’t talk about personal issues which defeat the whole idea of writing diary. I always felt that he used the stories as a way to work off some of his anxieties which is why for me I always sense a dark under current in the Alice stories.

  2. I watched the Tim Burton ‘Alice in Wonderland’ over the summer with a young girl I babysit and it was definitely a not a movie for children. The 1951 Alice was whimsical, and though a little cruel, overall fun. But in Burton’s Alice there’s a real sense of fear. The girl I babysat didn’t enjoy this, she quickly picked up on it and spent most of the movie terrified. But I feel it’s, in spirit at least, much closer to the books. The fact that he wrote them while dealing with intense grief is extremely interesting. Though these books were obviously intended as children’s novels, I’ve often wondered if they’re better appreciated by adults. Though Alice has some wonderful fantasy elements these novels are so dark that it’s easy to believe they’re more about one man’s anxieties, and not a celebration of childhood.

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