Alice in Wonderland (2010) Poster

(I) (2010)


Michael Sheen was originally cast as the Cheshire Cat, but backed out due to scheduling conflicts.
Jump to: Cameo (1) | Director Trademark (2) | Spoilers (3)
Before Tim Burton was involved with the project, Anne Hathaway was offered the titular role of Alice, but she turned it down because it was too similar to other roles she had previously played. However, she was keen to work with Burton, so was pleased to be cast as the White Queen. She shot all her scenes in two weeks.
Helena Bonham Carter's Red Queen is a combination of two characters from the books. The Red Queen from Through the Looking Glass is a chess piece who competes with the White Queen. The Queen of Hearts from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is a playing-card with anger management issues, decapitation mania, and fondness for flamingo-and-hedgehog croquet. Thus, while the White Queen's army is chess-themed, the Red Queen's army is playing-card themed.
Johnny Depp, who says that he likes "an obstacle" while filming, admitted that he found the process of filming on a green screen "exhausting", and that he felt "befuddled by the end of the day".
This film marks the seventh time Johnny Depp has worked under the direction of Tim Burton, and the sixth time for Helena Bonham Carter.
Alan Rickman was originally going to have his face composited onto the animated Caterpillar Absolem. He was filmed recording his voice in the studio, but the idea was eventually scrapped. The animators did, however, try to give Absolem's face characteristics similar to Rickman's.
Tim Burton and Johnny Depp worked hard to give the Mad Hatter more depth and presence than in past portrayals. In fact, the pair swapped sketches and themes for the character prior to creating this new version.
Both the Red Queen and White Queen's palaces were designed to resemble Cinderella's Castle at Walt Disney World.
Helena Bonham Carter stated on a February 17, 2010 The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (2005) show that two weeks before its premiere, Tim Burton was still working on the movie.
Every person in Wonderland/Underland has a proper name. These names were invented for this movie, as in the books and most other movie versions, they are referred to only by descriptive titles. In this version the Hatter's name is Tarrant Hightopp, The White Rabbit is McTwisp, The Dormouse is Malyumkin, The March Hare is Thackery, The Caterpillar is Absolem, The Chesire Cat is Chessur, The White Queen is Mirana Crimms, The Red Queen is Iracebeth Crimms, and the Knave of Hearts is Ilosovic Stayne. The size-changing potions are likewise named for the first time: The cake that makes Alice grow is called Upelkuchen, and the liquid that makes her shrink is called Pishalver.
The Mad Hatter asks Alice several times, "Why is a raven like a writing desk?" This is directly from Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland." Carroll admitted that there never was an answer to the question; he made it up without an answer. He did provide one possible answer years later after many requests from his fans for the answer: "Because it can produce a few notes, tho they are VERY flat; and it is nevar put with the wrong end in front." ("Nevar" = "Raven" spelled backwards. Carroll's deliberate misspelling is often erroneously "corrected", obscuring the point of the joke.) Another answer, from the American puzzler Sam Loyd: "Because Edgar Allan Poe wrote on both." Over the years, numerous others have come up with possible answers as well.
The battle scene at the end resembles a chess scene from afar to pay tribute to the chess game that Alice is playing all throughout the original text, "Through the Looking Glass".
The first film Tim Burton has directed for The Walt Disney Company since leaving the studio in the 1980s (he wrote and co-produced Disney's The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)). He worked as an animator there before becoming a director.
This movie unites several actors from the Harry Potter film franchise, including Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange), Alan Rickman (Severus Snape), Paul Whitehouse (Sir Cadogan), Timothy Spall (Peter Pettigrew), Frances de la Tour (Madame Maxime), and Imelda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge).
The Los Angeles Times reports that Tim Burton based Anne Hathaway's White Queen on a television cook who writes cookbooks. "There's this very beautiful cooking show host in England named Nigella Lawson, and I quietly had her as my image for this character," Burton said. "She's really beautiful and she does all this cooking, but then there's this glint in her eye and when you see it you go, 'Oh, whoa, she's like really ... nuts.' I mean in a good way. Well, maybe. I don't know."
Despite the fact that there have been many other Alice in Wonderland films, Tim Burton has said he never felt an emotional connection to it and always thought it was a series of some girl wandering around from one crazy character to another. (In fact, the original books by Lewis Carroll are part of a once-popular fantasy genre in which the character does nothing except wander around from one crazy encounter to another. Those films which replicated this were being true to the spirit of the original books.) So with this, he attempted to create a framework, an emotional grounding, which he felt he never really had seen in any version before. Tim said that was the challenge for him - to make Alice feel like a story as opposed to a series of events.
The Red Queen and Stayne decide that it is better to be feared than loved. This paraphrases a famous quote from Niccolò Machiavelli's 'Il Principe' (The Prince): "It may be answered that one should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, it is much safer to be feared than loved."
For the character of the Jabberwocky, Sir Christopher Lee had originally tried to make his voice 'burble' (as described in the poem "Jabberwocky"). However, Tim Burton convinced him to use his actual voice, as he found it more intimidating.
In the scene where the Hatter is making hats, there are two pictures next to the door where the Knave of Hearts enters. One picture is the Mock Turtle from "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and the other is the Walrus from "Through the Looking-Glass".
When The Hatter undergoes one of his personality changes, not only does his voice become deeper and gains a Scottish accent, but the make-up around his eyes changes, and the color of his eyes become darker as well.
One of the hats the Mad Hatter presents to the Red Queen is Elsa Schiaparelli's "Shoe Hat" which was designed in the 1930s in cooperation with surrealist Salvador Dalí.
Alice's father Charles Kingsleigh is named for Charles Kingsley, author of The Water Babies, a children's fantasy with similarities to the Alice stories. Lewis Carroll admired Kingsley's political views on social reform.
According to Tim Burton, it was Mia Wasikowska's gravity that won her the role.
Casting auditions for 250 extras were held in Plymouth, England on August 6 and 7, 2008. Requirements were for people with a "Victorian look" and for applicants to have no visible tattoos, piercings, or dyed hair.
This was Michael Gough's final film before his death on March 17, 2011 at the age of 94.
Michael Gough (The Dodo Bird) previously played the March Hare in Alice in Wonderland (1966).
Mia Wasikowska beat out several candidates for the role of Alice, including Amanda Seyfried and Lindsay Lohan, who lobbied for the role.
The first Tim Burton film to pass the three hundred million dollar mark in the United States.
In the opening minutes of the film, there is a shot of the moon, on which the Cheshire Cat's face is briefly visible.
Johnny Depp watched the Scottish comedy show Rab C. Nesbitt (1988) to perfect his character's Glaswegian voice.
Jim Carter speaks only one line in the entire film. Sir Christopher Lee speaks only two lines, while Michael Gough and Imelda Staunton speak only three.
A mural in the Red Queen's throne room (on the wall surrounding the entrance doors) shows the Red Queen riding on the back of the flying Jabberwock, and the Gryphon, another character from the original books. (In "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland", the Gryphon takes Alice to see the Mock Turtle, on orders from the Queen of Hearts.)
The sixth film to gross one billion dollars worldwide (after Avatar (2009), The Dark Knight (2008), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006), The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) and Titanic (1997)).
The first Tim Burton film not to have opening credits.
Danny Elfman scored the film to greenscreen footage.
The twisted tree that Alice passes after entering Underland from the room with the doors, looks almost identical to the tree of the dead from Sleepy Hollow (1999).
Jim Carter who voices the Executioner, and Imelda Staunton, who voices the Tall Flower Faces, are married in real-life.
At one point, when the Dormouse is searching for the Hatter in the Red Queen's castle, she looks in a vacant room. A caricature of Henry VIII can be seen on the far wall.
The sound effect of the JubJub bird's calls are the same as The Probe's in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986).
Tim Burton sought after Barbara Windsor for the role of The Dormouse, because he is a fan of her television show EastEnders (1985).
Although Jabberwocky is the title of a poem in Through the Looking Glass (the second Alice book), the monster itself is called simply Jabberwock in the text. This is changed for the movie.
Alice talks about her adventure being a dream ten times. She talks about waking up four times. The Mad Hatter mentions a dream twice.
This is the second Disney film, in which Timothy Spall has appeared. He previously played the role of Nathaniel in Enchanted (2007).
The year of this film's release marked the 145th anniversary of the book.
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This was Barbara Windsor's first film since It Couldn't Happen Here (1987).
The movie was released on DVD just a little over three months after it opened in theaters.
Dwayne Johnson and David Walliams were considered for the role of The Mad Hatter.
Principal photography of this movie took forty days.
Johnny Depp and Crispin Glover both portrayed Willy Wonka in different films. Depp in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), and Glover in Epic Movie (2007).
As Alice has her constant shrinking and growing sprouts through the film, her blue dress goes through 4 different transformation styles.
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All of the voice actors did their lines in one day.
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It is a touching detail that Frances de la Tour, in the role of Aunt Imogene, has been made up to look like famed comedienne Imogene Coca, who passed away in 2001. Aunt Imogene acts senile or demented, and Coca died of causes related to her Alzheimer's affliction. Aunt Imogene does not appear in Carroll's original work.
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Courtney Love revealed that her daughter Frances Bean Cobain was Tim Burton's first choice to play Alice, but she declined.
The cast includes five prominent actors and actresses from the Harry Potter franchise: Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange), Alan Rickman (Professor Snape), Timothy Spall (Wormtail), Frances de la Tour (Madame Maxine), and Imelda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge). Additionally, a few others were in the movie that played less prominent figures in the Harry Potter franchise: Paul Whitehouse (Sir Cadogan) and Stephen Fry (narrator of the Harry Potter video games and one version of the audio books).
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Tim Burton directed Batman and Batman Returns, the latter featuring Catwoman. Anne Hathaway played Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises.
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Billy Burton: Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter's children can be seen at the end of the film.

Director Trademark 

Tim Burton: [distorted female face] The Red Queen has a ridiculously shaped face, and her hangers-on wear absurd disguises to conform to her expectations.
Tim Burton: [Black and white stripes] Tweedledum and Tweedledee's shirts.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Aside from his odd color, Absolem the Caterpillar is modeled after the larva of the Monarch butterfly (which are striped in white, yellow and black). When we see Absolem as a butterfly by the end of the film, the pattern on his wings is that of a Monarch, save again for the coloration (Monarch butterflies have orange wings).
Although the Red Queen constantly attempts, and threatens her enemies with decapitation (off with his or her head!) she never actually gets to perform this act on-screen. The closest she ever came to decapitating someone, was when the Mad Hatter was about to be executed.
One of Alice's ships at the end is named the "Wonder," an allusion to Disney Cruise Line's "Wonder" ship.

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