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‘Alice’ ain’t so wonderful

Tim Burton is back with Disney - and that couldn’t be worse news for his fans.

Sure, “Alice in Wonderland” has kooky characters and nifty special effects but it lacks the one thing that defines every Burton film - a creepy crawly factor.

By teaming with Walt Disney Pictures, where Burton got his start as an animator, the popular filmmaker created a sequel to the classic “Alice in Wonderland” story.

In this 3-D tale, Alice is a young woman literally running from a ghastly suitor. (Fortunately, she still has a cute blue dress.)

She falls down a long, winding hole and meets a toothy cat, dimwitted twins, a talking rabbit, yada, yada, yada.

Um, hate to break it to you Burton, but you made the right decision by kicking Disney to the curb.

In Mickey’s world, movies are sugary sweet and wrapped up in a shiny bow. It appears that Disney tried to allow Burton to put his odd spin on things - but just a little. While Disney seemingly believed this would give “Alice” an edge, it had the opposite effect.

The film is so sanitized that it becomes downright predictable and, I hate to say it, boring. Yeesh. I never thought those words would be used to describe a Burton project.

There are a few fine individual performances in “Alice” (Helena Bonham Carter’s evil Red Queen and Johnny Depp’s freaky Mad Hatter) but they’re not enough to make fans forget how far Burton has fallen down his own Disney rabbit hole.

If you want to experience true Burton style, check out an exhibit of his sketches, paintings and figurines at MoMA.

Standing face-to-face with Jack Skellington or a life-sized Edward Scissorhands, or even the sharp blades used in “Sweeney Todd” is enough to push “Alice” from your mind and bring back the Burton fans know and love.

“Alice in Wonderland.” Rated PG. Runtime one hour, 48 minutes. Directed by Tim Burton. Starring Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter and Crispin Glover.

Buy tickets to Burton’s MoMA exhibit at www.moma.org <http://www.moma.org/>.

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