Both — James Cameron’s Avatar and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland — are winning films. All efforts to compare how they have used 3D technology, to enhance the cinematic experience of their respective stories, would be in vain. Since what both the films did, was give filmmakers and audiences around the world a new vision in terms of what to expect from 3D. While one took 3D to make the elliptical landscape of the moon, Pandora, look more real, the other made Alice’s sword swish by our noses, in her final showdown with the jabberwocky.
The use of three-dimensional technology in Alice in Wonderland helps us understand how Avatar, for the first time, used it to bring life to a story different from the other animated run-of-the-mill joy rides. The film, in those three hours, drives all its viewers to a revelation. One that suddenly makes them see that 3D could be used not only to physically entertain, but also, make believe. The fight sequence towards the end of the film brings life to the plight of the Na’vis and the creatures they rode on, on a much livelier scale. Having done that, he has been instrumental in changing the way 3D was perceived.
Alice’s adventures in the underland were as colourful, on screen, as they were in literature and the 3D in it does entertain throughout. The film looks like it intends to use the things-jumping-out-at-you gimmickry to add to its fantastic characters. And it does, when the blue caterpillar is blowing smoke into Alice’s face, you find your eyes fighting it for a second. It finds you reacting physically to obstacles that Alice hits, as she tumbles down the rabbit hole for a good minute and a half; something that an Avatar cannot do.
Most readers would remember, the role of the Cheshire cat and the Mad Hatter, to be dark in nature; they were a different shade of good in this movie. Johnny Depp (Mad Hatter) and Helena Boham Carter (Red Queen) have never, not done their best.
Many who experienced a headache while watching Avatar in the IMAX 3D screen, may find Alice in Wonderland to be an easier ride. But, while watching it in IMAX, be sure to get centre seats facing the screen to make the most of the show. Just the fact, that many months later, Avatar continues to hog the late night shows at this theatre, is proof that the audience hasn’t had enough of it.