I propose a moratorium on wonderland movies until someone films a fantastical forest that doesn’t involve glow-in-the-dark plants, fairies wearing flower petals for hats, and anything else you think you might see while taking hallucinogenics but also would be good in children’s entertainment because, to the kids, it’s magic, not angel dust, which still sounds like magic.
Also excluded from these movies: voice-over exposition in lieu of story, sentient tree creatures, non-British actors doing British accents and Disney.
The most-recent wonderland movie, Maleficent, despite hitting all the aforementioned things, isn’t bad; it’s just ball-and-chained by the genre. In Maleficent, the tropes are executed as deftly as they are safely. It has everything we expect and nothing we don’t.
Every magic forest looks the same, every fairy-tale creature looks the same and every enchanted castle looks the same. There’s also always that one scene when the designated non-magical human discovers the wonderland/Wonderland/dream realm/Slumberland/Oz. It’s accompanied by awe-music, dancing nymphs with light-cycle color trails and that human addled by fairy-tale euphoria.
Maleficent has that, too.