OMFG the Jungian powers of weirditude in that thing. I am kicking myself now for not seeing it on the big screen.
The entire whole story is a girl hammering out her identity through a fairly vigorous journey into the land of active imagination, in that wonderful headspace that the Sufis say is real: the third term between solid reality and pure spirit. That place where angels dwell, spirits, totems, and all that. Not real like a toothbrush, but real like love.
So much symbolism, but not intrusive enough to get in the way.
The Cheshire Cat's movements were so perfect: what a creepy yet charming smile. Since I used to draw him rather a lot, this is important to me. (They even got the image I see every time there's a crescent moon -- I always see it as the Cheshire Cat in the fall when it's tipped over slightly). Also, the Dormouse had a dash of Reepicheep, which is amusing, since I used Dormouse as a handle in middle school, and I switched it to Reepicheep in college.
And the White Queen who is supposed to be the ultimate good good good in the world is so unseelie it ain't funny. Yikes, she's scary. I wasn't entirely sure I liked that on the first watch-through, but it fits.Love this film. Adore it. I think it's my favorite Tim Burton ever, and I was quite fond of Scissorhands. My dissertation is now a Jabberwocky, and my defense will be the Frabjous Day.
There was even a shout-out to Jefferson Airplane tucked away in the lyrics during the credits: Remember what the Dormouse said.