Tag Archives: Alice in Wonderland

My Thoughts on: Terminal (2018)

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If you watch enough films, you’ll realize that there are some films that cannot be explained; they have to be experienced. After last night, I’m convinced that Terminal is one of those films. The film can best be described as an extremely twisted take on Alice in Wonderland (as the film is permeated throughout with references to the book). Terminal is mostly set in a train station late at night and follows a mysterious woman named Annie (Margot Robbie); a dying English teacher (Simon Pegg); two contract killers (Dexter Fletcher and Max Irons); and the peculiar cleaner that works at the station (Mike Meyers) as their paths converge in unexpected ways.

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One undeniable positive about Terminal is that it looks amazing from start to finish. Based on the noir style, the scenes contain vibrant pops of color set against dark backgrounds (my particular favorite is Annie’s bright red coat). There’s also a wonderful use of neon lighting. On the other hand, I spent most of the film watching this beautiful display of color and wondering what on Earth I was watching. The film’s biggest weakness is it takes a very long time to connect the dots and reveal how these characters are all connected. Now, that being said, once the film does reach this point, things begin to make sense very quickly.

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The final twenty minutes of the film are where things really get crazy (and that’s saying something in a film that’s full of crazy moments). Several twists are revealed in succession, from the expected (I pegged one twist about halfway through the film) to the “oh my god I did not see that coming.” In fact there are so many reveals at the end that it’s almost like watching a mini-movie separate from everything that just happened. There was probably a more straightforward way to incorporate these last twists but I can’t complain too loudly because the film made sure to cover every loose end.

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If you’re willing to wait for the payoff, Terminal is a very enjoyable film. It’s not perfect by any means, but the flaws aren’t big enough to ruin the experience. If you’ve seen Terminal, what did you think about it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

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Film/TV Reviews

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Alice in Wonderland “Very Good Advice” (1951)

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Alice in Wonderland “Very Good Advice” (1951)

After being tossed from one silly situation to the next and believing she’s forever lost the way to get home, Alice has had quite enough of Wonderland. Not only that, she finally understands that she’s only here through her own actions: if she hadn’t followed the White Rabbit AND crawled down the rabbit hole, she never would have entered Wonderland in the first place and this knowledge makes her very upset. Surrounded by the silly looking creatures, Alice plops down and begins to cry about how she never takes her own good advice (this is the set up for “Very Good Advice”).

I give myself very good advice
But I very seldom follow it
That explains the trouble that I’m always in
Be patient, is very good advice
But the waiting makes me curious
And I’d love the change
Should something strange begin
Well I went along my merry way
And I never stopped to reason
I should have know there’d be a price to pay
Someday, someday
I give myself very good advice
But I very seldom follow it
Will I ever learn to do the things I should
Will I ever learn to do the things I should

As Alice cries, her tears seem to shatter the illusion of Wonderland around her. One by one, the silly creatures listening to her song begin to cry and disappear, until Alice is alone. Even the landscape melts away into blackness. It has always seemed to me that Wonderland is a world that only exists so long as you deny certain realities. Once you give in to them, it begins to fade away. This is a pretty sad and subdued moment compared to what comes before and after, but that’s good because it also serves as a moment for the viewer to catch their breath and get ready for the story to reach its conclusion. I have to admit, as a kid I never liked this part because it felt too slow to me.

And those are my thoughts on “Very Good Advice.” What do you think about this song? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day 🙂

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See also:

Disney Films & Soundtracks A-Z

Alice in Wonderland “In a World of My Own” (1951)

Alice in Wonderland “All in the Golden Afternoon” (1951)

Alice in Wonderland “The Un-Birthday Song” (1951)

Alice in Wonderland “The Walrus and the Carpenter” (1951)

Alice in Wonderland “Painting the Roses Red” (1951)

Alice in Wonderland “The Walrus and the Carpenter” (1951)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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Alice in Wonderland “The Walrus and the Carpenter” (1951)

When you break Alice in Wonderland down, it’s obvious that the film is really a series of isolated stories tied together by the narrative of Alice exploring Wonderland. One such story is “The Walrus and the Carpenter” as told to the wandering Alice by Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum. I’ve been tempted several times to include this scene in my Disturbing Disney series because of one particular moment, but for now I’ll let you decide for yourselves if it’s disturbing or not.

As Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum narrate: A Walrus and a Carpenter are walking along a beach one day, which could be cleared of all its sand in half a year (the carpenter says) as long as you don’t mind the work involved that is.

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Work!!? (the Walrus is clearly averse to doing any work whatsoever) In fact, whenever the subject of work (or any kind of labor) is mentioned, the Walrus launches into this tune:

The time has come to talk of other things
Of shoes and ships and sealing wax
Of cabbages and kings
And why the sea is boiling hot
And whether pigs have wings
Calloo-Callay
No work today!
We’re cabbages and kings

The carpenter then spots a bed of oysters in the ocean nearby, and being dreadfully hungry, points them out to the Walrus, who wants them as well. Thus, he marches into the ocean (while the carpenter builds a restaurant from scratch) and entices the oysters to follow him saying:

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Oh, uh, Oysters, come and walk with us
The day is warm and bright
A pleasant walk
A pleasant talk
Would be a sheer delight

Even though Mother Oyster advises all her oyster children to remain in their beds, the Walrus wins out by blustering on:

Yes, yes, of course, of course, but, uh, ha, ha!

The time has come, my little friends
To talk of other things
Of shoes and ships and sealing wax
Cabbages and kings
And why the sea is boiling hot
And whether pigs have wings, ha ha
Callo-Callay
Come, run away
With cabbages and kings!

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And so the oysters march off behind the Walrus and this is where it starts to get disturbing. For the oysters aren’t just oysters, they now run along the beach like little girls in dresses and bonnets (with happy smiling faces), which makes what happens next all the more menacing. The Walrus marches the oyster girls straight into the ready-made restaurant, and after sending the Carpenter away on a wild goose chase, draws the oyster girls in ever closer

Well, yes, yes, splendid idea, ha ha!
Very good, indeed
Now, if you’re ready, Oysters, dear
We can begin the feed

(Oysters): FEED??

Oh, yes…

The time has come, my little friends
To talk of food and things

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We don’t see what happens next but you know what’s going to happen. By the time the Carpenter comes back with the bread and sauce for the oysters, it’s too late, they’ve all been eaten by the Walrus!! This is too much for the Carpenter who chases the Walrus back down the beach in a rage over being swindled out of an oyster dinner. But what I’d like to get back to is this scene with the Walrus alone with the Oysters: it is downright menacing I think! Just go back and look at that picture of the Walrus with his evil grin as it dawns on the oysters what’s about to happen. I think it’s pretty disturbing, but what do you think? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

This review was actually posted a day in advance on the blog’s Patreon page. Patrons of the blog will have early access to my newest film and soundtrack reviews. The first tier for becoming a patron is $2/month which grants early access. The second tier is $5/month and gives you the right to commission one written film or soundtrack review from me per month (provided it’s one I haven’t reviewed already) as well as early access. The $10 reward grants the earlier rewards as well as commissioning one YouTube review of a film of your choice.

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You can become a patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

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See also:

Disney Soundtracks A-Z

Alice in Wonderland “In a World of My Own” (1951)

Alice in Wonderland “All in the Golden Afternoon” (1951)

Alice in Wonderland “The Un-Birthday Song” (1951)

Alice in Wonderland “Painting the Roses Red” (1951)

Alice in Wonderland “Painting the Roses Red” (1951)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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Thoroughly tired of all the silliness in Wonderland, Alice wants more than ever to go home. Fortunately (maybe), the Cheshire Cat has returned with one last piece of advice. if Alice really wants to go home, then she needs to talk to the Queen.

“All ways here you see, are the Queen’s ways.”

“But I’ve never met any Queen!”

“You haven’t? You HAVEN’T? Oh, but you must! She’ll be mad about you, simply mad!”

And so, the Cheshire Cat reveals a shortcut to the gardens surrounding the Queen’s castle (which also happen to be the same gardens Alice saw through the keyhole when she first arrived in Wonderland). It’s a very pretty garden, but there are some odd things going on. For instance…there’s a bunch of cards running around, and they’re busy painting the roses. When Alice asks the cards what on earth they’re doing, they are all quick to explain (and this is the setting of “Painting the Roses Red”:

Alice in Wonderland “Painting the Roses Red” (1951)

Painting the roses red
We’re painting the roses red
We dare not stop
Or waste a drop
So let the paint be spread
We’re painting the roses red
We’re painting the roses red

Oh, painting the roses red
And many a tear we shed
Because we know
They’ll cease to grow
In fact, they’ll soon be dead
And yet we go ahead
Painting the roses red
Painting the roses red
We’re painting the roses red

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Alice: Oh, pardon me,
But Mister Three,
Why must you paint them red?

Cards: Huh? Oh!
Three: Well, the fact is, Miss,
We planted the white roses by mistake,
And…

Cards: The Queen she likes ’em red
If she saw white instead,
Two: She’d raise a fuss
Ace: And each of us
Cards: Would quickly lose his head

Alice: Goodness!

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Cards: Since this is the part we dread
We’re painting the roses red

Alice: Oh, Dear! Then let me help you!

Alice: Painting the roses red
We’re painting the roses red
Don’t tell the Queen what you have seen
Or say that’s what we said
But we’re painting the roses red
Alice: Yes, painting the roses red
Two: Not pink
Ace: Not green
Alice: Not aquamarine
All: We’re painting the roses red!

It’s a hilarious song with a ridiculous concept: the Ace, Two and Three of Clubs have mistakenly planted white roses instead of red ones, and because the Queen hates white roses, they’re hastily covering their mistake by painting the roses red (even acknowledging in their song that this will kill the roses entirely). But the Cards figure that killing the roses in the short term is better than losing their heads so, they continue to paint. Alice is happy to help in the work, but it’s ultimately not going to do the Cards any good, because here comes the Queen!!

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Alice meets the Queen of Hearts

After the Hearts line up in formation, the White Rabbit reappears to announce: “Her Imperial Highness, Her Grace, Her Excellency, Her Royal Majesty, the Queen of Hearts!”

Unfortunately for the cards, they left one rose only half painted, causing the completely mad Queen to bellow “Whose been painting my roses red??” The guilty cards plea for mercy but the Queen only shouts “OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!!” The cards are then dragged away as the others sing:

“They’re going to lose their heads, for painting the roses red!”

I absolutely love this song: it’s short and to the point and serves as a nice piece of filler to introduce the Queen of Hearts to the story. Despite only appearing in this last part of the film, the Queen of Hearts is considered one of the iconic Disney villains. I hope you enjoyed listening to “Painting the Roses Red.”

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See also:

Alice in Wonderland “The Un-Birthday Song” (1951)

Alice in Wonderland “All in the Golden Afternoon” (1951)

Alice in Wonderland “In a World of My Own” (1951)

Alice in Wonderland “The Un-Birthday Song” (1951)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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Alice in Wonderland- The Cheshire Cat

After a series of nonsensical encounters, Alice makes her way further into Wonderland and encounters the Cheshire Cat. Still determined to find the White Rabbit, Alice asks the Cheshire Cat if he knows where to find him. While the Cat doesn’t know himself, he advises Alice to ask either the Mad Hatter or the March Hare, who is also mad. When Alice objects at the idea of “going among mad people” the Cheshire Cat remarks that “Oh you really can’t help that, most everyone is mad here.” Knowing this, Alice decides to take a chance and visit the March Hare on the grounds that maybe he’s not quite as mad as a Mad Hatter.

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Alice in Wonderland “The Un-Birthday Song” (1951)

As it turns out, the choice doesn’t really matter because Alice ends up seeing both anyway, as the pair are having a tea party at the  home of the March Hare (along with their friend the Dormouse). And it’s not just any kind of party either, it’s an Un-Birthday party!! The trio are gathered at a long table lined with all kinds of chairs and an eccentric collection of tea sets, all raucously wishing each other a very merry un-birthday.

The Mad Hatter was voiced by Ed Wynn (perhaps best remembered as Uncle Albert, the man who laughed so hard he kept floating up to the ceiling in Mary Poppins (1964)). The March Hare was voiced by Jerry Colonna (who also narrated the Disney shorts Casey at the Bat (1946) and The Brave Engineer (1950)). The Dormouse was voiced by Jimmy MacDonald, who also happened to be the voice of Mickey Mouse at the time (he played the world’s most famous mouse from 1948 until 1977, taking over from Walt Disney when the latter’s voice grew too hoarse to perform as Mickey.)

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As I was saying, the trio were all busy singing about un-birthdays:

A very merry unbirthday to me!
To who?
To me!
Oh you!

A very merry unbirthday to you!
Who me?
Yes, you!
Oh, me!

Let’s all congratulate us with another cup of tea!
A very merry unbirthday to you!

Alice is delighted with the song, but the Hatter and Hare are initially not pleased with her appearance (they insist there’s “no room” at the enormous table); but they’re quickly won over when Alice remarks how much she enjoyed their singing at this “birthday party.” (You’ll note a running gag in this interlude is that Alice is very nearly handed a cup of tea several times only to have it jerked away at the last possible moment). When the insulted Hare, Hatter and Dormouse insist that this is an “Un-Birthday Party,” Alice admits she doesn’t even know what that is, prompting the Hare and Hatter to explain:

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Now, statistics prove, prove that you’ve one birthday
Imagine, just one birthday every year
Ah, but there are three hundred and sixty four unbirthdays!
Precisely why we’re gathered here to cheer

Alice chimes in: Then today is my unbirthday too!

It is?
What a small world this is.
In that case…
A very merry unbirthday,
To me?
To you!

A very merry unbirthday
For me?
For you!

Now blow the candle out my dear
And make your wish come true
A very merry unbirthday to you!

An interesting detail about this film is that it was nearly entirely shot in live action to serve as reference for the animators. Fortunately for us, the live action footage of the Mad Tea Party survived to the present day, and a talented YouTuber by name of Broadway Classixs synced the two pieces of footage together to show the origins of this hysterical scene.

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The Mad Tea Party: Live Action/Animated Comparison

With the song over, Alice is eager to ask the Hatter and Hare if they know where the White Rabbit is, but it soon becomes obvious that holding any type of rational conversation is a near-impossible task. For one, the Hatter and the Hare are constantly interrupting each other (or Alice); second, the group is constantly changing places around the table so they can get clean tea cups and third…there’s no need to look for the White Rabbit because he comes running directly by! Unfortunately for the Rabbit, the Hatter and Hare decide he simply must stay for tea…and also that his pocket watch needs fixing (with butter, jam, sugar and a healthy splash of tea). The miserable Rabbit, still complaining that he’s late, hurries off and a frustrated Alice follows, thoroughly fed-up with the antics of the Mad Hatter and the March Hare. Even though Alice sang wistfully about living in a nonsense world at the beginning of the story, she’s quickly finding out that actually living in a nonsense world is quite another matter altogether.

And that’s “The Un-Birthday Song”! I hope you enjoyed it, for more Alice in Wonderland, see the links below. And also let me know if you liked this song in the comments 🙂

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For more Disney songs, see here

See also:

Alice in Wonderland “Painting the Roses Red” (1951)

Alice in Wonderland “All in the Golden Afternoon” (1951)

Alice in Wonderland “In a World of My Own” (1951)

Alice in Wonderland (1951) takes us down the rabbit hole

Alice in Wonderland “All in the Golden Afternoon” (1951)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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Alice in Wonderland “All in the Golden Afternoon” (1951)

After escaping the Dodo and his friends (who wanted to burn Alice alive in the White Rabbit’s house because they thought she was a monster), Alice continues to try and find said White Rabbit (the reason she tumbled into Wonderland in the first place) only to stumble into a large garden of talking flowers! I have to say this is one of my favorite sequences because the flowers are so beautifully animated, each with a distinct personality.

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The flowers seem to be led by the Red Rose, who is initially very kind to Alice. All of the flowers want to sing to Alice about how wonderful they are, but no one can agree on which flower they should sing about. The Red Rose decrees that they will all sing “All in a Golden Afternoon” because “that’s the song about all of us.” And so the flowers sing together with the Red Rose serving as the conductor (with Alice listening in wonder):

Little bread-and-butterflies kiss the tulips
And the sun is like a toy balloon
There are get up in the morning glories
In the golden afternoon
 
There are dizzy daffodils on the hillside
Strings of violets are all in tune
Tiger lilies love the dandy lions
In the golden afternoon
(The golden afternoon)

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There are dog and caterpillars and the copper centipede
Where the lazy daisies love the very peaceful life
They lead…
 
You can learn a lot of things from the flowers
For especially in the month of June
There’s a wealth of happiness and romance
All in the golden afternoon
 
All in the golden afternoon
The golden afternoon…

(Alice chimes in) 

You can learn a lot of things from the flowers
For especially in the month of June
There’s a wealth of happiness and romance
All- (voice cracks)
(All together): All in the golden afternoon!
“All in the Golden Afternoon” is a beautiful song and a reasonably sane interlude after the ridiculousness of the Dodo (though it won’t be long before we’re thrown into the insanity of the Un-Birthday Party, but I digress…). Alice loves the song, but the good time doesn’t last: the flowers are very curious to know just what kind of flower Alice is. When the naturally befuddled girl can’t give a clear answer, the flowers come to the only natural conclusion: Alice must be a weed and weeds aren’t welcome in the garden, so out she goes!
I always thought it rather silly that the flowers would think Alice was a flower too (considering she doesn’t look anything like a flower), but then again, this IS Wonderland we’re talking about, most of the inhabitants aren’t known for their common sense (just wait until we get to the Queen of Hearts).
What do you think of All in the Golden Afternoon? Let me know your thoughts on this song in the comments below 🙂
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For more Alice in Wonderland, see also:

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Danny Elfman talks Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)

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Danny Elfman talks Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)

Oh dear…I actually had some hope for this sequel at first. When Alice Through the Looking Glass was announced, I felt excited because I’d enjoyed Alice in Wonderland and I was initially up for a return to this crazy world. And then the previews started and things got…weird (and I don’t mean weird in a good way).

The more I watched and learned, the more this felt like a re-hash of the first film (with Sasha Baron Cohen thrown into the mix). I’m not ALWAYS opposed to sequels, but if the best they can do is remix the original plot…then forget it!!

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The basic plot is as follows: Alice has spent the last three years sailing on the high seas (as she said she would do at the end of the first film) but finds upon returning home that her ex-fiance has bought her father’s company and wants her ship in exchange for the family home. The Butterfly leads Alice back into Underland where things are in a right mess: the Mad Hatter is “madder” than usual, convinced his family is still alive. The White Queen asks Alice to visit Time to see if he can save the Hatter’s family in the past and from there…things get slightly screwy (okay things get royally screwy).

There are several trips back into time; we learn why the Red Queen has an abnormally shaped head (because apparently she wasn’t always like that); we learn why the White Queen is the rightful ruler and we also learn why the two sisters hate each other so much. At the end of it all, time is restored, the Hatter is reunited with his family and the White Queen and the Red Queen are friends again while Alice returns home and now sails on the high seas with her mother (somehow retaining the company? or the ship? It’s confusing…)

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That being said, Danny Elfman DID return to score the film, so that is one positive in a film that largely disappointed. I hope you enjoy this brief interview with the composer.

See also:

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

See also:

Danny Elfman talks Alice in Wonderland (2010)

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