Is 'Alice in Wonderland' DVD Better for Kids?

Jeanne Sager

Alice in Wonderland
Photo from Walt Disney Home Entertainment
It seems like Alice in Wonderland was just in theaters last week, but in case you've missed the commercials, it's headed for DVD on Tuesday.

So why is Disney's decision to yank the Tim Burton flick from theaters early and push it out on Blu-Ray/DVD a good thing for parents?

Simple -- you can watch it in 2D at home.

Easier on kids' eyes, I'm finding the 2D versions of scary movies are much less so than the in-your-face 3D films.

Simply put -- they're not jumping out at you. And that's a good thing.

That was, after all, parents' chief fear when Burton took the helm -- is Alice too scary for kids?

Watching it with my 4-year-old in 2D this week, I have to say no, it's not.

At least no scarier than Coraline or Where the Wild Things Are, two recent family films that earned themselves the same "is it or isn't it" approach from parents and the media. Two films that I watched with my daughter and found she enjoyed.

If anything, the pure silliness of Wonderland (or Underland) and its return to some of author Lewis Carroll's almost nonsense language undercuts the seriousness of the situation Alice finds herself in, responsible for saving this new world from the clutches of the Red Queen.

Yes, folks, there are scary parts. And yes, my 4-year-old told me at one point, "I'm scared."

But she also had me there to cuddle her, explain away the fear, and ensure that she was OK. Which is how we watch every movie (OK, every movie she watches -- she doesn't sit down for a viewing of Inglourious Basterds with me, but that's another post), with me there as interpreter. And at the end of the film, she asked me, "Can I watch it again?"

Color me relieved, because I enjoyed it too -- enough to watch it again to catch all the Burtonesque extras you'll miss the first time around (especially if you saw it in 3D).

We've spent the time since trying to think of our six impossible things before breakfast and perfecting our best Futterwacken Dance -- which only a toddler has the flexibility to actually maneuver.

Among our six impossible things today:

  1. Falling down a rabbit hole (because, Mommy, I'm too big).
  2. Flying to the sun, and then flying to Mars. 
  3. Eating a pizza all by herself (which, fortunately, at 4 she can't do!).

What are your kids' six impossible things?

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