I’m sitting in the press conference with Tim Burton for Alice in Wonderland, and I’ll let you know when he says cool things. Check out the Fandango report of the Disney 3-D panel!
Burton says he took on this challenge because every movie rendition of the story never connected with him emotionally, and he Lewis Carroll’s imagery speaks to mental weirdness everybody goes through. He wanted to make this feel like a story instead of just a series of events.
Burton hasn’t been to Comic-Con since he was a film student, and it’s a very different thing now. He loves Halloween, so all the costumed folks give this a good spirit to extend that.
Depp’s Mad Hatter is an iconic character, and he tries to find something to connect with his human side instead of just being mad. It’s what Depp always does working for Burton.
Oddly enough, he says he’s not so much into the motion-capture stuff that he’s often associated with, so his own personal reasons led him to just use live-action and animation blended. He had actors and he really wanted to use them.
It’s not a sequel because there are so many stories in Alice in Wonderland. The goal was taking the random elements of the book and making it a story. They don’t usually follow specific linear structure.
He likes Halloween because you can learn more about yourself when you’re in costume, because there’s an artistic freedom with that – and he’s all for it year-round, not just holiday. “Some of that is very private, though,” he says with a laugh.
Disney pitched him Alice in 3-D, and he thought that was a good mixture of elements. Gone are the days where you put on the glasses and walk out with a splitting headache. The growing and shrinking and the weird spaces and places that you’re in, 3-D helps with the experience, but it still has to work in 2-D. The gimmick elements are falling by the wayside. Nightmare Before Christmas converted to 3-D was really the way it should’ve been, he feels.
He denies the rumor that the relationship between Alice and the Mad Hatter is some kind of love story. “She’s a little girl, come on.” His next project will be Dark Shadows. For Alice, he wanted someone with a gravity to her and a simple power – not flamboyant, but a lot of internal life, and that’s why he chose Mia Wasikowski. Helena Bonham Carter has a big head, which makes her right for the queen.