Curiouser and Curiouser

2010-03-05 15:17

  •   Lewis Carroll is the pen name for ­Reverend Charles Lutwidge

    Dodgson, who was a lecturer in mathematics at Christchurch University in Oxford,

  •  Alice in Wonderland sparked two music CDs, the soundtrack and

    ­Almost Alice, a 16-song companion compilation featuring the film’s end credit

    track Alice. Written and performed by Avril Lavigne, it includes songs from

    artists who were inspired by the film, including All American Rejects, 3OH!3,

    Robert Smith, Franz Ferdinand and Shinedown.

  • To prepare for his role as the Mad Hatter, Johnny Depp began

    doing watercolor paintings of what the character might look like, discovering

    his vision was similar to that of director Tim Burton.

  •  Mia Wasikowska, who plays Alice, changes size throughout the

    film, 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.

  • Actress Anne Hathaway, who portrays the White Queen decided that

    her representation of the character wouldn’t be completely vanilla. So Hathaway

    envisioned a “punk rock vegan pacifist” and was inspired by Blondie, Greta

    Garbo, Dan Flavin and Norma Desmond.

  •  Futterwacken is the Underlanders’ dance of unbridled joy.

    Composer Danny Elfman was stumped when it came to creating the dance music.

  • Crispin Glover portrays Stayne, the Knave of Hearts, but only his

    head appears on screen. For the final film, Stayne’s entire costume, body and

    even his cape are CGI. Only his face is real.

  • Helena Bonham Carter endured three hours of makeup each morning

    to transform into the fiery Red Queen. The special effects team enlarged her

    head in post production, creating the final look for the big-headed Queen.

  • 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


  • 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.

  • The special effects 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.

  • 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 and give them

    something real to react to.

  • Three versions of the Round Hall (where Alice ends up after

    falling down the rabbit hole) and the Red Queen’s dungeon were the only sets

    built for the film. The rest were created digitally.

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