It would appear that Tim Burton‘s Alice in Wonderland is rooted in the mid 19th Century (i.e., 1865) , when Lewis Carroll published the original book. (Which was followed by an 1871 sequel, “Through The Looking Glass.”) Hence the all-Anglo cast and lack of minorities, not to mention the possible absence of any political points or metaphors as they might apply to the present. But I don’t have the script.

Johnny Depp as Mad Hatter, Anne Hathaway as White Queen, and Helena Bonham Carter as Red Queen in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, due spring 2010 from Disney.

For any half-literate person who’s ever turned on, Alice in Wonderland isn’t just a surrealist political satire but the ultimate hallucinogenic fantasy. For boomers and older GenXers it’s always been stoner central, Owsley/Sandoz ground zero, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” in 19th Century garb, a Grace Slick anthem, etc. All of which is anathema, of course, to Disney and their antiseptic family demo. “Mommy, did grandma or grandpa ever eat mushrooms?”

Obviously not pictured above are Michael Sheen (the White Rabbit), Alan Rickman (the Caterpillar), Christopher Lee (the Jabberwock), Stephen Fry (the Cheshire Cat), Crispin Glover (the Knave of Hearts), Timothy Spall (the Bloodhound), etc.

It is little remembered that Cary Grant played the Mock Turtle in Norman Z. McLeod‘s 1933 version, or that Cary Cooper played the White Knight.