More Clips and Featurette from ‘Alice in Wonderland’ – Alice Comes for Tea and Drinks Some Pishsolver
Following up on the two clips we posted earlier today, Walt Disney Studios has provided us with two additional clips plus a five minute featurette that goes behind the scenes of Alice in Wonderland.
First up is the Tea Party in which Alice, having been brought back to the Underland by the white rabbit, encounters the Dormouse, March Hare and — of course — the Mad Hatter at the tea party where the trio debate as to whether she truly is *the* Alice.
Walt Disney Studios held a special Alice in Wonderland event last night in association with Hot Topic at the Hollywood and Highland Center in Los Angeles. The event was streamed live on the internet where tens of thousands watched Kerli, 3OH!3, Metro Station and Never Shout Never perform their respective tracks off of the Almost Alice soundtrack. In addition, the enthusiastic crowd was greeted by cast members Mia Wasikowski, Helana Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Crispin Glover, Matt Lucas, Michael Sheen and Johnny Depp as well as Tim Burton himself.
We are pleased to share with you several photos from the event, courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures, as well as interviews with the cast that took place backstage.
Walt Disney Studios has teamed up with KIIS-FM and Hot Topic to produce a free Alice in Wonderland extravaganza in Los Angeles tonight and we’re lucky enough to be offering you the opportunity to watch it all LIVE tonight!
The event is scheduled to begin at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT and will feature live performances from 3OH!3, Metro Station, Kerli and Never Shout Never. Also in attendance will be the cast of the film including Tim Burton himself. He’ll be joined by Mia Wasikowski, Helana Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Crispin Glover, Matt Lucas, Michael Sheen and Johnny Depp. You’ll also get to see some exclusive new footage from the film. All right here, tonight!
THE BIG PICTURE
- DIVINE DIGS – Director Tim Burton’s London office was once owned by Arthur Rackham, a famous English book illustrator who created the iconic color plates for the 1907 edition of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.”
- THE QUESTION IS WHO ARE YOU? – Lewis Carroll is actually a pen name for Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a lecturer in mathematics at Christchurch University in Oxford, England.
- WONDERLAND, NO UNDERLAND — Underland is the same fantastical land that Alice visited as a child, but—according to screenwriter Linda Woolverton—she misheard the word “Underland” and thought they said “Wonderland.” Woolverton says Underland is a part of the Earth, lying somewhere far beneath our world. It’s come upon hard times since the malevolent Red Queen took over the throne, but is a truly wonderful land, which might explain why the girl who mistook it for Wonderland has been called upon to help return it to its glory.
- ALMOST ALICE — “ALICE IN WONDERLAND” sparked two music CDs, including the motion-picture soundtrack, featuring an extraordinary score by composer Danny Elfman, and “Almost Alice,” a 16-song companion compilation featuring the film’s end credit track “Alice,” written and performed by Avril Lavigne, plus songs from artists who were inspired by the film, including All American Rejects, 3OH!3, The Cure’s Robert Smith, Franz Ferdinand and Shinedown. The album’s title, “Almost Alice,” comes from a line in the film. All of Underland has been awaiting Alice’s return since she first visited as a child, but when she does come back, nobody—including Alice—believes she’s the right Alice, the confident and feisty Alice they once knew. Eventually, the wise caterpillar tells her she’s Almost Alice.
- DEPP’S DESIGNS — Actor Johnny Depp goes through ample preparation for each of his roles and preparing to play the Mad Hatter was no different. Long before production began, the actor began doing watercolor paintings of what the Mad Hatter might look like, discovering later that his vision was quite similar to director Tim Burton’s.
- MAD HATTER MOOD RING — The Mad Hatter suffers from mercury poisoning, a common and unfortunate condition of many hatters of the time who used the chemical regularly for their craft. Depp and Burton elevated this Hatter’s madness by literally showcasing the character’s many mad mood swings in his makeup and wardrobe, creating a virtual human mood ring.
- CHANGES — Mia Wasikowska, who plays Alice, is five feet four inches in real life but Alice changes size throughout the course of her adventures in Wonderland, ranging from six inches to two feet to eight-and-a-half feet, to a maximum of 20 feet tall. The production worked hard to use practical methods rather than special effects and often it was a case of putting Alice on an apple box to make her taller than everyone else.
- DRINK ME — The potion Alice drinks to shrink is called Pishsolver. The cake she eats to grow is called Upelkuchen.
- SWEET AND SOUR — Actress Anne Hathaway, who portrays the White Queen in “ALICE IN WONDERLAND,” decided that her representation of the character wouldn’t be completely vanilla. The White Queen comes from the same gene pool as the evil Red Queen, after all, so Hathaway envisioned a “punk rock vegan pacifist” and was inspired by Blondie, Greta Garbo, Dan Flavin and Norma Desmond.
- FUTTER-WHAT? — Futterwacken is the term used to describe the Underlanders’ dance of unbridled joy. Composer Danny Elfman was stumped when it came to creating the music for the dance. He wrote four different pieces for the director, each fun, unique and, as Elfman says, “pushing the bounds of what could be acceptable.”
- TWO TWEEDLES — Actor Matt Lucas was tapped to play both Tweedles, rotund twin brothers who constantly disagree with each other and whose confusing chatter makes little sense to anyone but themselves. Lucas, however, was unable to play Tweedledee and Tweedledum at the same time (for some reason). Actor Ethan Cohen was called on to portray Dum to Lucas’ Dee (or vice versa) during filming, but will never actually appear on screen.
- BANDERSNATCH? — This disgusting, drooling, foul-smelling creature has a big filthy body and the squashed, teeth-baring face of a rabid bulldog. The creature leaves Alice with a rather painful reminder of the Red Queen’s horrible reign.
BEHIND THE SCENES
- MEASURING UP — Costume designer Colleen Atwood had her work cut out for her when it came to creating the costumes for Mia Wasikowska’s ever-changing Alice. The character wears a variety of different garments, including one purportedly made from the Red Queen’s curtains and even armor. Atwood had to find fabric in different scales, and construct costumes for Mia that would help illustrate her size changes.
- ON WITH HIS HEAD — Crispin Glover portrays Stayne, the Knave of Hearts, in the film, but only his head appears on screen. The body of the character, who’s seven-and-a-half feet tall, is computer generated. On set, Glover wore a green suit and a pair of stilts to make him taller. His face was fully made up for the role (complete with an eye patch and scar). For the final film, Stayne’s entire costume, body and even his cape are CGI. Only his face is real.
- ON WITH HER FACE — Helena Bonham Carter endured three hours of makeup each morning to transform into the fiery Red Queen. With the help of makeup pro Vallie O’Reilly, the actress was decked out in white powder, lots of blue eye shadow, painted eyebrows and perfect, heart-shaped bow-mouth lips. The special effects team enlarged Bonham Carter’s head in post production, creating the final look for the big-headed Queen.
- SOLE SURPRISE — Costume designer Colleen Atwood added a red heart to the soles of the Red Queen’s shoes, visible when the pampered royal places her feet on a live pig-turned-footrest.
- STILT TROUBLE — After Crispin Glover, who spent much of his time on stilts during production, twisted his ankle filming one particular scene, he was often followed on set by stuntmen all dressed in green who were there solely to catch him in case he fell again.
- CARROT CAPPERS —Tim Burton wanted the animal characters in Wonderland to appear real rather than cartoony. So before creating the White Rabbit, animators spent a day at a rabbit shelter for abandoned rabbits, observing the animals and shooting photo reference footage to ensure they captured the nuances of rabbits chewing and wriggling their noses.
- 2D to 3D — Director Tim Burton decided to shoot the film in 2D and convert it later to 3D. The director was so impressed with the results of the conversion of his film “The Nightmare Before Christmas” to 3D, he opted to go a similar route for “Alice.”
- SUPER SFX SUPERVISOR — Tim Burton turned to legendary special effects guru Ken Ralston and Sony Imageworks to create the wondrous world of Wonderland and its inhabitants. Ralston (whose credits include the original “Star Wars,” as well as “Forrest Gump” and “The Polar Express”) and his team completed more than 2,500 visual effects shots in total. While the team used a combination of live action, animation and a host of other effects techniques, motion capture technology was not tapped for the film.
- IN THE GREEN — To represent the digital characters on set, the production used either cardboard cut outs, full-size models or else resorted to men in green with eyes stuck to various parts of the anatomy to help the actors with their eyelines and to give them something real to react to.
- HAIR-RAISING — When the animators were looking at reference photography of real caterpillars, they noticed they had hair on them. So Absolem the Caterpillar was treated to his very own CG fuzz.
- THE REAL STUFF — Very few real sets were built for Wonderland. In fact, only three versions of the Round Hall (where Alice ends up after falling down the rabbit hole) and the Red Queen’s dungeon were practical sets. The rest were created digitally.
- EYES HAVE IT — The Mad Hatter’s eyes were slightly enlarged making them between 10 and 15 percent bigger than Johnny Depp’s own.
- HIT THE NET — When the animators began to design the Dodo, their first port of call for reference was Google Image Search, followed by London’s Natural History Museum.
- BIG HEAD — A special 4K hi-def camera called a Dulsa with 4,000 lines of resolution was used to shoot Helena Bonham Carter’s Red Queen to enable her head to be blown up to twice its size in post-production without losing any image quality.
Not quite mad as a hatter with anticipation for Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland yet? You will be.
Beginning January 31, Walt Disney Studios will begin offering 60-second first looks across three networks, each providing its own exclusive sneak peek at the film, all culminating to a spectacular ad during the Super Bowl titled Tick-Tock.
You can catch ABC’s version during Desperate Housewives on January 31 and The Bachelor on February 1; ESPN’s version during the 2010 NFL Pro Bowl on January 31 and during the NBA Nuggets-Lakers game on February 5; and ABC Family’s during Greek on Febuary 1 and The Parent Trap on February 6.
And, of course, during the Super Bowl on February 7.
“We wanted to kick off our television campaign for ‘Alice in Wonderland’ in a big way,” says David Singh, executive vice president of worldwide marketing for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. “With Tim Burton at the helm and a cast that includes Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter and rising star Mia Wasikowska, the film already has a passionate following. Fans are eager to step into the incredible 3D Wonderland that Burton has created and get a glimpse at what he’s done with these brilliant characters, and we’re ready to give it to them.”
Linda Lingle today announced that Hawai‘i will be the location for “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” the fourth installment of the highly successful Walt Disney Pictures’ action adventure film series from Jerry Bruckheimer Films. The Walt Disney Company President and CEO Bob Iger met with Governor Lingle on Friday to share the news that the islands of Kauai and Oahu will be sites for the production of the feature film, which will begin shooting this summer and is slated to be released in summer 2011. The production is expected to generate an estimated $85 million in direct and indirect spending in Hawaii, providing a needed economic boost for the state’s economy as well as creating hundreds of jobs for local residents.
“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” will star Johnny Depp, returning to his iconic role of Captain Jack Sparrow. The film is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, and directed by Rob Marshall. The writers are Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, and the executive producers are Mike Stenson, Chad Oman, Barry Waldman, Elliott, Rossio and John DeLuca.
“Disney’s long-term commitment to Hawaii – from ABC’s ‘LOST’ to the new Disney resort on Oahu scheduled to open in 2011, and now the upcoming filming of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ – is a testament to the company’s confidence in our state as a great place to do business,“ said Governor Lingle.
“The Walt Disney Company has a great relationship with Hawaii that we’re looking forward to building upon with the filming of the latest adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow and his crew,” said Iger. “I thank Governor Lingle and her team for their tremendous support of the projects Disney has underway in this great state.”
“We’ve always sought out the most extraordinary and exotic locations for the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ films,” said producer Jerry Bruckheimer, “and previously shot briefly on both Maui and Moloka‘i for ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.’ Hawai‘i provides an amazing range of both land and seascapes, and we’re delighted to return for ‘On Stranger Tides.’”
The state’s Creative Industries Division and the Hawai‘i Film Office, which are housed in the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, began working with Disney last year and organized a series of meetings and conference calls to help secure the business.
Georja Skinner, the State’s Creative Industries Division administrator who oversees operations of the Hawaii Film Office, worked collaboratively with the Governor’s office, Department of Taxation and Tourism Liaison Marsha Wienert, along with Hawaii Tourism Authority, Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, Kauai Visitors Bureau, the Kauai Film Office, the City and County’s Honolulu Film Office, The Resort Group, Ko Olina Resort and Disney Vacation Club to help secure “Pirates of the Caribbean” for Hawaii.
“Hawaii competes on a global basis for productions and to have Disney choose Hawaii over other states and countries is a huge win for us,” said Skinner. “Creative industries are by nature collaborative and what I think made a difference for us is the combination of our tax incentive as well as local film, travel and destination industry support.”
Released earlier today via the Alice in Wonderland Facebook page, Walt Disney Studios has released the first official image from Tim Burton’s upcoming film, featuring Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter.
Disney has just sent us this hi-res version of the photo which we are happy to share with you. Simply click the small version pictured here to see the image in its full size (you may also need to click the resize symbol in the corner of the image if it shows up as you hover over the image).
Coming to the big screen in Disney Digital 3D™ on March 5, 2010, ALICE IN WONDERLAND is an epic 3D fantasy adventure starring JOHNNY DEPP as the Mad Hatter and MIA WASIKOWSKA as 19-year-old Alice, who returns to the whimsical world she first encountered as a young girl, reuniting with her childhood friends: the White Rabbit, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the Dormouse, the Caterpillar, the Cheshire Cat, and of course, the Mad Hatter.
Just spotted earlier today on Big Bad Toy Store (although other importers are likely to carry them) is this set of 2 7″ tall Ultra Design Figures of Mia Wasikowska as Alice and Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland by Medicom.
Expected to ship in 2010, the set will run you about $35.
Now if something a little larger was what you had in mind, drink this one in. Medicom is also releasing a 12″ Mad Hatter doll which is sure to grab any passerby’s attention. Pricing for this crazy puppy will run you roughly $150-$200 depending on whom you buy it from.
With the aid of his legions of followers, the Mad Hatter recently unveiled a series of images on his Facebook page that — when combined — presented a mural featuring many of the characters that will appear in Tim Burton’s version of Alice in Wonderland next March. Incidentally, this image represents the first time the Caterpillar (Alan Rickman) has been pictured.
The Walt Disney Studios just can’t churn out big news fast enough. Two major projects couldn’t have had more opposite developments within the past 24 hours.
First, it’s been reported that McG’s remake of ’20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’ has been shelved and all but abandoned.
Second, POTC4 has been on shaky ground since day 1 with Gore Verbinksi, Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom jumping ship long before Dick Cook’s exit, but now it’s being widely reported that Depp, who reportedly was strongly considering leaving the project as well in light of Cook’s departure, has conceded and accepted the role with a meager paycheck of $30M (with some reported figures even higher).
In related news, it may not have a cast, but POTC4 has a director as Rob Marshall acknowledged he has taken the helm as director during a recent screening of Nine.