Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Mad Hatter's Second Reveal + The Difficulties Of Turning Carroll's Classic Into A Film

As a follow-up to my post HERE on Tuesday this week, Mad Hatter has revealed the second Disney/Burton "Alice" poster. I think Alice and the White rabbit both look like they could a nap, otherwise it has a lovely mix of fantasy with a dark undertone (as you would expect from director Tim Burton) plus the Burton trees!

Of course, The Mad Hatter now wants 9, 000 Facebook 'likes' to unveil the third art piece...

If you want to join the madness go HERE. (Only 3, 700 'likes' to go till the next one... Ah, publicity - gotta love the stunts.)

On the subject of putting Alice in Wonderland on film, I came across this article I thought the Alice fans may find interesting. It's fairly lengthy with a lot of great detail for those interested in the challenges of adaptations of Carroll's work, as well as those interested in animation. It's aptly titled "It Would Be So Nice If Something Would Make Sense For A Change" - which is a perfect description of article, film and the film's process.For those who don't know, Walt had a long history with Alice and was keen to do a film on the classic work for many years. He kept hitting roadblocks of one sort or another until when the film was finally being developed/in production, he was so tired of it all he barely gave it any attention. I can't help but wonder what it would have been like had he still been enthusiastic and able to dedicate time and effort to the film.)Here's an excerpt:
Pick up just about any book about the history of the Disney Studios, and you're going to run into the same stories, often told in the same words, about the miserable hell that was the production of Alice in Wonderland, which eventually saw release in July, 1951. The problem seems to all boil down to a small nexus of issues: first, there was the fact that Walt eventually had to face, which is that nobody could possibly make a film of Carroll's novels and expect it to turn out like Snow White, or even Pinocchio. The books were too mired in linguistic play, and given over rather to the creation of absurd situations than the development of plot or specific conflict. To surpass this difficulty issue, it seems like he eventually conceived of the film as a sampler platter, if you will, of animation and design: let it be the cartoon version of Carroll's writing in effect, not in detail, an opportunity for the animators to cut loose and make surreal situations with beautiful artwork...
You can read the whole article HERE.

NOTE: The three illustrations are by the legendary Mary Blair who was working for Disney as a concept artist at the time of developing Alice. Her style, designs and color palette greatly influenced the whole film. You can see more of her art HERE, (scroll down for a huge gallery) and buy a book on her work HERE. A Disney Alice in Wonderland story book using Mary Blair's concept art for the illustrations, was released in September last year (and I posted an entry HERE).
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