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Disney: Alice in Wonderland: A Visual Companion

General Information:

Media Type: Book
Type: Other
Release Date: 2010-03-30

Geek's Thoughts: This hard cover coffee table type book takes you into the world of Tim Burton's wonderland. The book features stunning full page images, concept art, as well as shots from the set as it chronicles the making of the film. I found it interesting to look at some of Tim Burton's original concept drawings for the characters and then how the final characters looked spot on in most cases. In many cases the images are full page (or nearly so) and the detail is amazing to look at.

A large section of the book looks at the casting cast. With the primary characters of Alice (Mia Wasikowska), the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp), and the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) each receiving their own chapter more or less. The other characters are shown and a description of each with some like the White Queen (Anne Hathaway) being longer than others.

Throughout the book are quotes from the actors, Tim Burton, as well as others associated with the film. These insights were enjoyable to read and added to the overall depth of the book. It is one thing to read about an experience from the outside, but another to hear what the individual involved thought.


For you tech geeks out there, like myself, there are a few chapters on the creation of the film from a technical standpoint and what went into the mixed media of live action, motion capture, and CGI filming. For example they used a higher resolution camera to capture scenes with the Red Queen since in post production they would be enlarging her head and they needed the extra detail. The scenes shot with the camera then would have the resolution decreased on everything else to match the rest of the film. I know its a visual companion but I would have liked to have seen more about the processing power and storage, the tech side, that went into bringing this film to the screen.

Also interesting to note was this mixed media. If you look at traditional motion capture films they are shot completely in a green screen environment and the actors basically where jumpsuits with markers on them. In this film the the main characters were in complete costume and make-up and there were even partial sets for several scenes. This seemed to put the actors/actresses more at ease based on the comments in the book, so they did not have to imagine everything, they just had to fill in the blanks.

Within the book there are a few minor references to the Disney film (and I do not recall any to the theme park attractions). There was some discussion of the original books and the origins of the story too.

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