Alicewinks and “Don’t Find Me, I’m Not Yours” (David Neal et al)

(Disclosure: the following review is the part of the IF Comp review trades. David Neal requested that I check out his work. I played a copy of Alicewinks that I bought with my own money; other work reviewed is available for free on David’s website.)

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 2.40.24 AMAlicewinks is an ebook version of Alice in Wonderland, read aloud and fully animated. The interactivity mostly focuses on mode of consumption: you can choose to read the text, flip through illustrations, or view the animations with audio — the latter option basically being a chaptered movie. The reading is pleasant to listen to, if a little less polished than some audio book performances.

The animations are made from illustrations out of many different editions of the book stitched together. The effect is a bit dizzying. Now Alice looks like a fairly young girl, and now she looks nearly grown; now she’s blonde, now brunette. Similar changes happen to the white rabbit. Sometimes the characters are made to walk or hop through a perfunctory animation of their limbs, not far off the style of Monty Python animations. Sometimes they’re squeezed or stretched to match up with elements from other illustrations. Sometimes they’re placed against backgrounds that have been upscaled or blurred to give them room for movement.

Though the individual contributing illustrations are often very beautiful, therefore, the juxtaposition and forcible animation of those illustrations is often unattractive or (at best) a bit hallucinatory. Given that it’s Alice in Wonderland, that’s not completely inappropriate.

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