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Read the book or watch the film? (Alice in Wonderland)

13 replies

LilloBoots · 05/12/2009 19:53

Hi everyone! I am doing a dissertation on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland , comparing the original illustrations to recent interpretations and would love to hear all your opinions and find out whether your children have read the book or not bothered and just watched one of the films(most likely Disney's) instead, or both.

It would also be interesting to find out how many girls read/watch it in comparison to boys. I think there's something in the story for everyone, reading it as an adult can be as enjoyable as a child, so your own thoughts on the book are very welcome too!

Finally, the book can be seen as quite dark, do you/your children find it scary at all?

Thanks in advance

OP posts:
BelleDameSansMerci · 05/12/2009 20:05

I have read the book (several times) although I prefer "Through The Looking Glass" to "Wonderland". I probably haven't read it since I was about 13 but can remember it very well.

So, the illustrations are a bit creepy but definitely a part of the overall experience of reading the book(s).

I loathe the Disney-fication of all the classic stories but Alice does seem particularly bad as the darkness is not as prevalent but, where it stands, doesn't make sense in the context of the rest of the story.

I haven't seen any other film adaptations.

Good luck with your dissertation.

hannahsaunt · 05/12/2009 20:14

I've read the book and think that ds1 (9) is probably too young yet but can't wait to take him to see the Time Burton / Jonny Depp 3D interpretation when it's released in the new year.

LauraIngallsWilder · 05/12/2009 20:21

I have recently read Alice in Wonderland and Through the looking glass to my ds who is 8

He preferred looking glass, I preferred wonderland. We read the new edition with illustrations by Helen Oxenbury

We enjoyed both but I wouldnt rush to read them again any time soon. TBH I find lewis carroll rather creepy (he liked young girls?) and a lot of both books read as if he enjoyed hallucinatory drugs rather too often!

We enjoyed some of the poetry a lot, jabberworky etc
And some of the jokes involving different meanings of words

We havent watched any film versions and Im not inspired to do so!

LilloBoots · 05/12/2009 20:28

Thanks for the reply, I agree about the Disney-fication, it definitely dulled the original down and interesting that you prefer the sequel, a lot of the films do like to include scenes from "Through the Looking Glass" mixing the two stories.

I can't wait for Tim Burton film either, that looks like it will be a bit creepier and more true to the original compared to Disney's.

Oh yes Helen Oxenbury's illustrations are great! the only bad thing about hers is the absence of darkness i think. But perhaps that's good for a younger age group.
haha it's good that you're sticking to the books!

OP posts:
GrimmaTheNome · 05/12/2009 20:42

DD liked both Wonderland and Looking Glass; however her introduction was better than either film or her or me reading the book. I don't know if they're still available but we had a wonderful set of audio tapes read by Alan Bennett (in addition to the Alices the set included Wind in the Willows and Pooh - brilliant!).

She's also watched the 1970s British film of Alice with Michael Crawford as the White Rabbit and many other famous names, I'm sure its better than Disneyfication though its rather dated now - takes me back to my childhood.

I don't think she found it scary, there are one or two bits esp in Looking Glass which prompt some interesting philosophic discussions.

She really likes Jabberwocky! Recites it with great relish.

GrimmaTheNome · 05/12/2009 20:49

Oh, and we saw quite an interesting play based on both the Alices at the Minnack Theatre in 2008. I'm not sure DH knew what was going on but DD enjoyed it. (That setting makes any play better though)

LilloBoots · 05/12/2009 20:56

ah yes I have heard of some audio tapes with amazingly diverse voices coming from just two people.
I think I've seen the 1970's film, it was on tv the other week, it's more musical than most which was interesting.
There is some very fun language in the Jabberwocky.
Oh Theatre, I shall have to look that up.

Thank everyone for all the replies!

OP posts:
GrimmaTheNome · 05/12/2009 21:02

The Alan Bennett tapes are still available. As the reviews say, its a pity its abridged but its still good.

Oh dear, just noticed he does a Lear collection, and theres a Just So stories read by Johnnie Morris and I'm wondering if DD (nearly 11) is too old for them now...

Takver · 06/12/2009 12:27

DD (7) has read the book & had it read to her (old copy with the Tenniel illustrations), AFAIK not seen any of the films (tho she might have done at a friends house). Possibly she read the book because of Pauline being Alice in Ballet Shoes? but can't remember for sure. I don't think she's read the Looking Glass (I'm pretty sure I've not read it to her) but it is bound in with one of my copies of Alice so she might have done.

LilloBoots · 06/12/2009 19:17

Ah I see, thanks for the info. I'm glad to hear most are reading the book regardless of the film(s) being available. It's also good that the boys get into it and that they're not put off by the main adventure character being female.

OP posts:
Takver · 06/12/2009 20:44

Mind you, I guess those of us who hang around the childrens books topics might be more likely to have children who read the books, rather than watch the film?

LilloBoots · 06/12/2009 23:00

That is a very good point. I should hopefully be asking around in other places too anyway so that I get fairer results.

OP posts:
cory · 10/12/2009 10:11

Neither is a favourite in our house. Dd has read the books (aged abou 7 I think), because it is her intention to read through the whole of English literature, but never liked it much. Ds knows the story through picture books/general knowledge soaked up in playground etc, but hasn't read it or had it read to him.

Not sure if either of them has seen the film, would have been at school if so. Tbh I am not particularly fond of Lewis Carroll though we do have the books.

Dd didn't find it scary as such, but thought the author's voice a bit nasty, there are hints of cruelty in it, not just in the characters but in the way the story is told. Didn't scare her, more a case of 'I don't particularly like this, I won't read it again'.

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