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Back down the rabbit hole

The dream team has done it again.

Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, who have worked together in Edward Scissorhands, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Sweeney Todd, recently collaborated in Burton's adaptation of "Alice in Wonderland."

The film follows a pure 19-year-old Alice, played by newcomer Mia Wasikowska, whose rebellion and curiosity leads her back to Wonderland. It is there that she is reunited with her friends whom she met during her first visit to the fantasy world as a child and learns her true destiny - to end the reign of the Red Queen, played by Helena Bonham Carter.

Alice is hesitant in her journey throughout Wonderland, but with the help of the delicate White Queen, played by Anne Hathaway, and the rest of the ragtag group of characters, she finally discovers the answers she had been questioning for so long.

In true Burton fashion, the film is dark and twisted, but the environment of Wonderland, with the bright colors and mystical aura, makes the film visually stimulating for audiences.

"Alice in Wonderland" does not stray too far from the storyline of the Disney version most are familiar with, yet it is different enough to keep you guessing what will happen next. Even better, all the favorite characters are back – the mischievous and fun Cheshire Cat, the bumbling Tweedledee and Tweedledum (whom the Red Queen refers to as her "fat boys"), the ornery Blue Caterpillar and the ever erratic and simply crazy Mad Hatter.

Depp was simply perfect as the Mad Hatter, who easily becomes the one audiences will sympathize with. However, at times Depp's voice mimicked that of his previous character of Willy Wonka and mannerisms matched those of Captain Jack Sparrow, which makes viewers question his range.

The true star in the film hands-down was the Red Queen. Bonham Carter was an ace in the hole as the malicious tyrant who provided audiences with tongue-in-cheek humor.

Overall, the film was enjoyable and makes you reignite the fire of your imagination. However, the Mad Hatter's "Fudderwack" dance at the end of the film will blow you away more than the storyline itself, so if you can't make it to theaters, the DVD will serve it justice.

Meghan St. John can be reached at

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