Three Different Visual Styles in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland

December 19, 2008
Source: MoviesOnline

Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland

When we first announced that Tim Burton was directing Alice in Wonderland, we wrote that the film would feature a combination of live-action footage and performance-capture imagery all in 3D. At the time I didn't know what all that would mean, but took it as a sign we might see something visually astounding. It wasn't until I read this interview with Alan Rickman at MoviesOnline (via SlashFilm) that I realized this certainly would be an astounding combination of a total of three visual styles. Rickman explains that, "the movie is a mixture of live action, animation, and stop motion, so it's very complicated." As far as I know, and even as Rickman noted, "I don't think all three have been put together ever before."

There have been mixes of CGI and live-action before and even some stop motion and live-action mixes, but I can't think of a film that features all three. That is, unless you want to count something like Hellboy II: The Golden Army, which had a stop motion puppet scene in the beginning and featured plenty of CGI characters. Even that isn't a good reference because I'm expecting Alice in Wonderland to look like nothing we've ever seen before, a lot like the Wachowski's Speed Racer. That's good news to me, because I loved Speed Racer and I'm already very excited to see what Burton's twisted mind has come up with.

For those who are wondering why the heck Alan Rickman is talking about Alice in Wonderland, he is starring in the film as the caterpillar. And yes, he will certainly be a CGI character, not unlike what Robert Zemeckis does in his films. And to give everyone an idea of the crazy visuals we'll be seeing, Rickman explained that Helena Bonham Carter, who plays The Red Queen, is "in a costume and in makeup but her head is going to be made three times bigger than it actually is on top of the costume." If you thought Disney's Alice in Wonderland from 1951 was already visually very trippy, just wait until Burton's version. If the classic can be described as a mind trip, then this will probably be described as a full on acid trip.

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Reader Feedback - 21 Comments


This sounds great! Can't wait for some official pictures and a trailer!

viber on Dec 19, 2008


Nice. . . Double nice

Jaf on Dec 19, 2008


The last line makes no sense. A movie cannot be an acid trip

lsd on Dec 19, 2008


i now dub thee.......awsome, way to think....

fosho on Dec 19, 2008


Well it's not really like an acid trip at all. it's more like a "looking at the real world through a magical eye" kind of treatment. The best way I can describe it based on everything I've seen so far (and I've seen, read, and artworked loads), it's like imagine the WB film adaptation of The Secret Garden meets Honey I shrunk the Kids. It's basically dream-like in the real way people's dreams are. The locations are familiar, but there's something very strange and different about them. Overall though, it's just proper 'English Georgian/Victorian old-aged garden' in terms of its art direction. No Willy Wonka acid trips or Sweeney Todd goth fests here. Nope.

George on Dec 19, 2008


hope this gets pushed back to x-mas 2009

LeeMan on Dec 19, 2008


I am almost ready to take some shrums now

crabby on Dec 19, 2008


i love Tim Burton and his warped mind. Can't wait for this. More screenshots!! Vid clips! Anything!!

vanagwathiel on Dec 19, 2008


johnny depp mad hatter?

Paprika on Dec 19, 2008


One of my top films to watch right now............................. besides Tron 2

SHANEDAV on Dec 19, 2008


Triple Nice!

Tim "Cloverfield" on Dec 19, 2008


just waiting for a clip. all sounds great, though. not really digging depp's hatter, but that's ok. i'll deal.

crAziemutant on Dec 19, 2008


I can't believe that you're putting Burton next to the Wachowski! Burton is always original, and instead, Matrix was sooo like the "Ghost in the Shell" anime, Speed Racer was plain boring to me. About mixed techniques, first thing that comes to my mind is the Emilie Simon video, "Flowers", that combines drawing techniques, cgi and stop-motion. It doesn't include live action characters though, but it's a fine mix of techniques and the style resembles Burton's.

Elliot on Dec 19, 2008


I'm excited. You gotta appreciate a movie that is meant to be trippy

Dan W on Dec 20, 2008


I just hope they make this for adults, something like American Mcgee's Alice.

Shige on Dec 20, 2008


Whoa. I haven`t been paying attention to this film at all, but after I read this article, tim burton has my COMPLETE attention. a mixture of live action, animation, and stop motion?! Goddamn I can`t wait to see a trailer for this!!!! Wow this is truely going to be interesting.

buddhistwisdom7 on Dec 20, 2008


What the heck is he talking about "That's good news to me, because I loved Speed Racer" how can he say everything else is bad but he says speed racer was good. double standard, alex double standard

Paul E on Dec 20, 2008


The original British film version of Alice in Wonderland includes all three - live, animation, stop motion. But of course stop motion IS animation, so I don't quite know how you are differentiating, unless you are calling 2-D drawn/cell/CGI "animation" and 3-D models manipulated frame by frame "stop motion." In which case the British Alice is largely live & stop-motion, with just a couple moments of 2-D animation. You can't really see that film in the US very easily, since Disney buried it for their own Alice, but it played recently at the Silent Movie Theatre in Los Angeles to a sold out crowd.

Adam on Dec 20, 2008


It's my beleif that Walt Disney got into a bit of controversy for a certain Pink Elephant segment in one of his earliest animated flicks, when Dumbo drank water spiked with LSD started seeing pink elephants. Ever since then he was worried that he screwed up and started doing animated flicks without the scense of trippyness such as Cinderalla. Wich explains why Wonderland was a bit daft.

Homer on Feb 28, 2009


I Love every Tim Burton film- he is a genius and makes the best movies ever. to make this film even better two of my favouraite actors are going to be in it- Johnny Depp and helena Bonham Carter. what more could i want. i hope to work with them in the years to come..

lucy on Jun 13, 2009


Sweet, Can't wait for the showing love Jon Depp

Barry on Aug 10, 2009

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