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★ BEHIND THE SCENES of Alice in Wonderland | Tim Burton ★
My Personal Movie Review
I've been a fan of Tim Burton for a long time - ever since Edward Scissohands was released. He has such a dark and unique imagination, and his films are always recognisable due to the striking aesthetics and eccentric characters. Plus, of course, he usually has Helena Bonham-Carter and the lovely Johnny Depp in starring roles, who are two of my favourite actors. Tim, Helena and Johnny must certainly be the most unusual trio in showbiz!
But the thing I love most of all about his films is the look and style of everything from the set design to -especially- the costumes. This film certainly doesn't disappoint on that front - I spent a lot of the film wishing I had Alice's red dress!
I went to see Alice in Wonderland in 3D, and it was the first film I had ever seen in 3D so it was certainly a different experience from that point of view - I jumped at everything that 'flew' out of the screen!
There is a great contrast between the bright sunshine, corsets and smart dresses at the beginning and the darkness, CGI effects and bold colours of 'Underland'. I had read a not-too-great review beforehand so I was prepared to be disappointed but I really enjoyed the whole thing. I think it has more widespread appeal than a lot of Tim Burton films, and is suitable for families and people who weren't fans of Tim Burton previously. I think this might be why some Tim Burton fans were a bit disappointed - because they were expecting, and wanted, the dark/creepy side to shine through. I was surprised at the lack of freaky singing plants and a smug, creepy Cheshire cat, but frankly I'm glad there wasn't these things because a) the freaky things in the Disney version scare me and b) it made the film and a lot more lighthearted and fun.
I think the actors/actresses in the film were brilliant - Johnny Depp was (as always) great as the insane character (!), but I think the real star of the show was Helena Bonham-Carter as the big-headed Red Queen.
The story was quite simple, but I was never bored. I would have liked to see more of the Caterpillar (voiced by the awesome Alan Rickman) and the Cheshire cat (voiced by the equally awesome Stephen Fry), and I didn't much like the white queen for some reason, but all-in-all I'd definitely recommend this film just don't expect it to be a particularly creepy/dark film.
Oh, and one more thing. There seem to be quite a few people who really hate the 'funderwhacking' dance the Mad Hatter does at the end, but I'm not really sure why it's such a big deal. It was just a very short bit of fun at the end - I think the mistake Tim Burton made was to build up the dance into something worth looking forward to at the end, so it was a bit of an anticlimax, but to me it did nothing to spoil the film. If you don't appreciate the dance, I'm sure your kids will!
The Red Queen
Played by the fantastic Helena Bonham Carter - who steals the show.
Tim Burton Films
These 5 selections are my favorites out of all the Tim Burton movies available:
This version of Alice in Wonderland is directed by Tim Burton, written by Linda Woolverton, and stars Mia Wasikowska as Alice, Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, Helena Bonham Carter as The Red Queen, Anne Hathaway as The White Queen, Crispin Glover as the Knave of Hearts, Michael Sheen as The White Rabbit, Stephen Fry as The Cheshire Cat, Alan Rickman as the Caterpillar and Matt Lucas as Tweedledee and Tweedledum....plus many more names besides.
It is an extension of Lewis Carroll's novels Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, so it is sort of a sequel to the first film, without following The Looking Glass's storyline. I think it would be best to view it as a standalone film, although it helps to know that Alice went to Wonderland when she was very young but has forgotten she ever went - instead she has dreams about it and believes that's all they are - dreams, not memories.
In the film, Alice is now 19 years old and accidentally returns to Underland (or 'Wonderland') and is told it is her destiny to slay the Jabberwocky monster, which is controlled by the Red Queen. Burton said the original Wonderland story was always about a girl wandering around from one weird character to another and he never felt a connection emotionally, so he wanted to make it feel more like a story than a series of events. The basis of the film is a war against good and evil - between two sisters: the wicked Red Queen, and the good White Queen.
Behind The Scenes
Apart from the start and end of the film, which is set in the 'Real World', the film was filmed mainly in a studio using the green screen technique - where everything is green (apart from the 'live action' characters), so that the CGI animation effects and graphics can be added in later. Even the people who move the props mid-filming are dressed all in green!
I think it's fun and interesting to watch how un-glamorous the filming is if you are using green screen.
You can see some close-ups of the costumes in the videos below as well, including my favourite red dress that Alice wears. However, if you don't want spoilers, it's probably best you watch these videos after the proper film at the cinema :-)
Tweedledee and Tweedledum
Alice in Wonderland Fun Links
Below are lots of Alice in Wonderland lenses, products, jewellery and fun information for you to get your teeth into!
- Alice in Wonderland Tattoos
Fun ideas for tattoos
- Mad Hatter Make-up Tutorial
Great video on looking like Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter.
- Red Queen Make-up Tutorial
Great video on looking like Helena's Red Queen
- Alice in Wonderland Quiz
Lens full of polls, plus a quiz.
- Make a Mad Hatter Hat
All about the Hatter's hat, and how to make one for yourself.
- Fun Facts
Interesting and fun facts about the film and behind the scenes, plus how The Red Queens big head was created.
- Photos Galore
Lots more photos of the film.
Tim Burton and Johnny Depp on 'Friday Night With Jonathan Ross'
Being interviewed about Alice and Wonderland and their lives in general.