Adventures in Burtonland

The first trailer that Betty saw for Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland movie was, sad to say, a little underwhelming. Though he has gone to town with the visual lunacy for which he is justly famous, there were distinct hints of lazy Disney remix syndrome going on. With this longer and more revealing trailer, however, Betty begins to feel that there may still be something there. Please, Mr Burton, please let there be something there…

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Thomas has autism and Alice is a goth

Speaking of cult status, which we were — try to keep up — there are several luminous examples among the screen media — among literature in general, in fact — of titles with especial resonance for certain niche groups. Let me be precise: groups which are obviously united by their neurology or their response to societal norms are often, in ways that are sometimes only loosely intuitive to the outside observer, drawn to specific works of literature. It’s true.

alice-burton-wonderlandFor example, it’s fairly easy to understand why those who identify as Gothic would also identify with, say, Tim Burton. It’s all the black scary things. Simple. But the part that is actually intriguing is the fact that goths everywhere (a certain type of goth, anyway) have an uncannily strong affinity with Alice, adventurer in Wonderland. Crazy blonde hair, powder-blue frock, poor self-control — it is easy to imagine her appealing to some groups. Pre-teen Disney fans, yes; socially inept bookish children, yes; lonely mathematicians with questionable motives, indeed. But the fact remains: dive into the world of Alice appreciation and you’ll inevitably find yourself rubbing shoulders with a gaggle of Gothic fans. Some will be delightful whimsigoths hanging out at Gorey Details; some, enterprising artists sharing their Tenniel hairpieces on Etsy; some lining up to see (and note the felicitous congruence here) Tim Burton’s adaptation, or Erich Hoeber’s, or one by Marilyn Manson too ghastly to link.

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