The Tales of Romerius: On the Trail is a 2010 American fantasy film directed by Tim Burton and written by Linda Woolverton. Released by Walt Disney Pictures and Laxoon Studios, the film stars Dakota Fanning as Princess Arwlin with Liam James, Elle Fanning, and Colin Ford, Logan Lerman, Peter Hambleton and Ken Scott . The film was shot in the United Kingdom and the United States.
The film premiered in London at the Odeon Leicester Square on March 25, 2010, and was released in Australia on March 4, 2010 and the following day in the United Kingdom and the United States through IMAX 3D and Laxoon Digital 3D as well as in traditional theaters.
The film grossed over $1.029 billion worldwide, being Burton's most successful film to date, but received mixed reviews; although praised for its visual style, and special effects, the film was criticized for its lack of narrative, coherence and overuse of CGI. At the 40th Laxoon Awards, the film won for |Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design, and was also nominated for Best Visual Effects. The film generated over $1 billion in ticket sales and, as of today, it is the seventh highest-grossing film of all time..
177 years before the story takes place, a King, Finikin sets out to a village 1000 feet away and finds a world. 177 years later, 8 generations past, and King Arwen is having a party for his 16 year old daughter, and soon after, Arwlin goes out to pick apples and meets two dwarfs, then she gets past them and finds a lady and a talking tree talking about her, they send her on a journey to get back their king, Wendel from the Dark Spirit, who trapped him 1000 years ago.
Her journey contains two dwarfs, Carlin and Dwarlin, three humans, Tom, Ellis and Skyler, and a prince of the north country of Raylin, Prince _________, who Arwlin finds an romantic interest in, they find a cave to rest for the night, in the morning, they see a giant who claims to be not evil, but leads them into a trap, they fight off the giants, but sadly Dwarlin is stabbed, he makes it onto the canoe but dies on it, they burry him and gets back onto the canoe.
They encounter on Resil Sharks, Tom gets his leg bitten off and they then go on land, and see three Trolls dancing and singing, they see the people and they fight them off, Tom then uses his bow and arrow to kill them all, they then see an on land kingdom.
They go towards the kingdom and eat and get shelter, Arwlin then has a nice talk with the Lord Elman. Then, they go to sleep, and it ends.
- Mia Wasikowska as Alice Kingsleigh. When creating the character, screenwriter Linda Woolverton researched how young women were expected to behave in the Victorian era and then made her the opposite. Wasikowska read Carroll's books as a child and re-read them to prepare for her role. She also watched Jan Švankmajer's Alice. She said, "When we were kids, my mum would pop it in the VCR player. We would be disturbed, and wouldn't really understand it, but we couldn't look away because it was too intriguing. So I had kept that feeling about Alice, a kind of haunting feeling." Although facing pressures to conform to society's expectations, Alice grows into a stronger-willed and empowered heroine who chooses her own path; Independent columnist Liz Hoggard praised Alice as a role model for girls, describing the character as "stubborn, brave, [and] non-girlie". Mairi Ella Challen portrayed Alice as a six-year-old.
- Johnny Depp as Tarrant Hightopp, The Mad Hatter. Wasikowska said that the characters "both feel like outsiders and feel alone in their separate worlds, and have a special bond and friendship." Burton explained that Depp "tried to find a grounding to the character ... as opposed to just being mad." Burton also said that, "In a lot of versions it's a very one-note kind of character and you know [Depp's] goal was to try and bring out a human side to the strangeness of the character." The orange hair is an allusion to the mercury poisoning suffered by hatters who used mercury to cure felt; Depp believes that the character "was poisoned ... and it was coming out through his hair, through his fingernails and eyes". Depp and Burton decided that the Hatter's clothes, skin, hair, personality and accent would change throughout the film to reflect his emotions. In an interview with Depp, the character was paralleled to "a mood ring, [as] his emotions are very close to the surface". The Hatter is "made up of different people and their extreme sides", with a gentle voice much like the character's creator Lewis Carroll reflecting the lighter personality and with a Scottish Glaswegian accent (which Depp modeled after Gregor Fisher's Rab C. Nesbitt character) reflecting a darker, more dangerous personality. Illusionary dancer David "Elsewhere" Bernal doubled for Depp during the "Futterwacken" sequence near the end of the film.
- Helena Bonham Carter as Iracebeth of Crims, the Red Queen. She is an amalgamation of two Carroll characters: the Red Queen and the Queen of Hearts. Her first name is a play on the word irascible, as she is easily irritated and quick to anger. Bonham Carter's head was digitally increased to three times its original size on screen. The character hates animals, choosing to use them as servants and furniture. The actress took inspiration from her young daughter Nell, a toddler, stating that, "The Red Queen is just like a toddler, because she's got a big head and she's a tyrant."
- Anne Hathaway as Mirana of Marmoreal, the White Queen. She was one of few characters that did not require digital manipulation. Hathaway summed up her character with a caption on a magnet of Happy Bunny holding a knife; "Cute but psycho. Things even out." According to Hathaway, "She comes from the same gene pool as the Red Queen. She really likes the dark side, but she's so scared of going too far into it that she's made everything appear very light and happy. But she's living in that place out of fear that she won't be able to control herself." Hathaway described her interpretation of the White Queen as "a punk-rock vegan pacifist", with inspiration drawn from Debbie Harry, Greta Garbo, and the artwork of Dan Flavin. Burton said that the White Queen's appearance was inspired by Nigella Lawson.
- Crispin Glover played Ilosovic Stayne, the Knave of Hearts. The character is arrogant and tricky, and while following the Red Queen's every order, he is the only one capable of calming her dramatic mood swings. Glover said, "The Red Queen has a fair amount of short-tempered reactions to things that people do, and so [the Knave] has to be quite diplomatic." The Red Queen believes he is her lover, but this proves this to be false.
- Matt Lucas portrayed both Tweedledee and Tweedledum. Burton commented on the mixture of animation and Lucas, saying that "It's a weird mixture of things which gives his characters the disturbing quality that they so richly deserve." The characters are portrayed through a combination of CGI and live-action, with Lucas' face digitally composited to a full animated body. While performing the character, Lucas had to wear a teardrop-shaped motion capture suit and walk on stilts. In order to play both characters, Lucas was doubled by Ethan Cohn.
- Frances de la Tour as Imogene, Alice's aunt. She is suffering from severe delusions and is constantly awaiting her fictional fiancé whom she believes to be a prince
- Leo Bill as Hamish Ascot, the would-be fiancé of Alice.
Marton Csokas makes a cameo appearance as Alice's deceased father in film's the opening scene and Alice's mother is played by Lindsay Duncan. Lord and Lady Ascot are played by Tim Pigott-Smith and Geraldine James respectively. Eleanor Tomlinson and Eleanor Gecks play the Cathaway sisters, who bear a strong resemblance to Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Jemma Powell appears briefly as Alice's sister, Margaret, while Margaret's unfaithful husband Lowell is played by John Hopkins.
- Michael Sheen voiced Nivens McTwisp, the White Rabbit. Sheen said the character "is such an iconic character that [he] didn't feel like [he] should break the mold too much." Burton said the quality he wanted most in his clock-watching bunny was a twitchiness, also commenting that "[in] any incarnation of the [White Rabbit] through the years, there's that sort of nervousness of a rabbit."
- Alan Rickman voiced Absolem, the Caterpillar. Rickman was originally going to have his face composited onto the animated Caterpillar. 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.
- Barbara Windsor voiced Mallymkun, the Dormouse. Burton said that he sought after Windsor for the role because he was a fan of her TV show EastEnders. Her voice sealed the deal for her role as the character.
- Stephen Fry voiced Cheshire, the Cheshire Cat. Burton stated that the character had a creepy quality in addition to tapping into his own hatred of cats. The role was intended to be played by Michael Sheen but he changed his role to the White Rabbit due to scheduling conflicts.
- Paul Whitehouse voiced Thackery Earwicket, the March Hare. Burton stated that because Whitehouse is a great comedic actor, a lot of his lines came from improvisation.
- Timothy Spall voiced Bayard the Bloodhound. Although Bayard does not appear in the book, a similar character named The Puppy is likely the inspiration for the character.
- Michael Gough voiced Uilleam, the Dodo. Burton said that Gough was the first person he thought of for the role of the Dodo because he has "a full life quality to his voice". The character only speaks three lines, that Gough recorded in a day. Unfortunately, this would be Gough's final acting role where he passed away the following year aged 94. Gough had previously portrayed the March Hare in the 1966 TV play of the book.
- Sir Christopher Lee voiced the Jabberwocky. While it only had two lines, Burton said that he felt Lee to be a good match for the iconic character because he is "an iconic guy". For the character, 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.
- Imelda Staunton voiced all three of the Talking Flowers. Though there are many flowers that appear around Wonderland, only three of them speak and one of them is clearly a caricature of Staunton. Staunton only speaks three lines that are heard very briefly at the beginning of the film.
- Jim Carter voiced the Red Queen's executioner. The Executioner only speaks one line and appears extremely briefly, though Carter also voiced several other servants to the Red Queen.
- Frank Welker provided additional voices and vocal effects.
Rickman, Windsor, Fry, Gough, Lee, Staunton and Carter each took only a day to record their dialogue.
Tim Burton signed with Walt Disney Pictures to direct two films in Disney Digital 3D, which included Alice in Wonderland and his remake of Frankenweenie. Burton developed the story because he never felt an emotional tie to the original book.
He explained "the goal is to try to make it an engaging movie where you get some of the psychology and kind of bring a freshness but also keep the classic nature of Alice." On prior versions, Burton said "It was always a girl wandering around from one crazy character to another, and I never really felt any real emotional connection." His goal with the new movie is to give the story "some framework of emotional grounding" and "to try and make Alice feel more like a story as opposed to a series of events." Burton focused on the poem "Jabberwocky" as part of his structure, and refers to the described creature by the name of the poem rather than by the name "Jabberwock" used in the poem. Burton also stated that he does not see his version as either a sequel to any existing Alice film nor as a "re-imagining". However, the idea of the climax of the story being Alice's battle with the Queen's champion, the Jabberwocky, was first added in the video game American McGee's Alice, and the landscape, tower, and weapons and appearance of Alice in those scenes of the movie are very reminiscent of the same scenes in the game.
|We wanted somebody who had... it's hard to put into words, but just had a gravity to her, an internal life, something that you could see the wheels turning. It's just a simple kind of power to her that we really liked. Not flamboyant, not very showy, but just somebody that's got a lot of internal life to her. That's why I picked her.|
|—Burton on casting Mia Wasikowska as Alice|
This film was originally set to be released in 2009, but was pushed back to March 5, 2010. Principal photography was scheduled for May 2008, but did not begin until September and concluded in three months. Scenes set in the Victorian era were shot at Torpoint and Plymouth from September 1 to October 14. Two hundred and fifty local extras were chosen in early August. Locations included Antony House in Torpoint, Charlestown, Cornwall and the Barbican, however, no footage from the Barbican was used. Motion capture filming began in early October at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California, though the footage was later discarded. Filming also took place at Culver Studios. Burton said that he used a combination of live action and animation, without motion capture. He also noted that this was the first time he had filmed on a green screen. Filming of the green screen portions, comprising 90% of the film, was completed after only 40 days. Many of the cast and crew felt nauseated as a result of the long hours surrounded by green, with Burton having lavender lenses fitted into his glasses to counteract the effect. Due to the constant need for digital effects to distort the actors' physical appearances, such as the size of the Red Queen's head or Alice's height, visual effects supervisor Ken Ralston cited the film as being exhausting, saying it was "The biggest show I've ever done, [and] the most creatively involved I've ever been."
Sony Pictures Imageworks designed the visual effects sequences. Burton felt 3D was appropriate to the story's environment. Burton and Zanuck chose to film with conventional cameras, and convert the footage into 3D during post-production; Zanuck explained 3D cameras were too expensive and "clumsy" to use, and they felt that there was no difference between converted footage and those shot in the format. James Cameron, who released his 3D film Avatar in December 2009, criticized the choice, stating, "It doesn't make any sense to shoot in 2-D and convert to 3-D".
- Track listing
Template:Main Almost Alice is a collection of various artists' music inspired by the film. The lead single, "Alice" by Avril Lavigne, premiered on January 27, 2010 on Ryan Seacrest's radio program. Other singles include "Follow Me Down" by 3OH!3, "Her Name Is Alice" by Shinedown, and "Tea Party" by Kerli. The album was released on March 2, 2010.
On February 12, 2010, major UK cinema chains, Odeon, Vue and Cineworld, had planned to boycott the film because of a reduction of the interval between cinema and DVD release from the usual 17 weeks to 12. A week after the announcement, Cineworld, who has a 24% share of UK box office, chose to play the film on more than 150 screens. Cineworld's chief executive Steve Wiener stated, "As leaders in 3D, we did not want the public to miss out on such a visual spectacle. As the success of Avatar has shown, there is currently a huge appetite for the 3D experience". Shortly after, the Vue cinema chain also reached an agreement with Disney, but Odeon had still chosen to boycott in Britain, Ireland and Italy. On February 25, 2010 Odeon had reached an agreement and decided to show the film on March 5, 2010. The Royal premiere took place at the Odeon Leicester Square in London on February 25, 2010 for the fundraiser The Prince's Foundation for Children and The Arts where the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall attended. It also did not affect their plans to show the film in Spain, Germany, Portugal and Austria. The film was released in the U.S. and UK, in both Disney Digital 3D and IMAX 3D, as well as regular theaters on March 5, 2010.
On June 22, 2009, the first pictures of the film were released, showing Depp as the Mad Hatter, Hathaway as the White Queen, Bonham Carter as the Red Queen and Lucas as Tweedledee and Tweedledum. A new image of Alice was also released. In July, new photos emerged of Alice holding a white rabbit, the Mad Hatter with a hare, the Red Queen holding a pig, and the White Queen with a mouse.
On July 22, 2009, a teaser trailer from the Mad Hatter's point of view was released on IGN but was shortly taken down because Disney claimed that the trailer was not supposed to be out yet. The teaser was also planned to premiere along with a trailer of Robert Zemeckis' film adaptation of A Christmas Carol on July 24, 2009 for G-Force. The following day, the teaser trailer premiered at Comic-Con but the trailer shown was different from the one that leaked. The ComicCon version didn't have the Mad Hatter's dialogue. Instead, it featured "Time to Pretend" by MGMT, and the clips shown were in different order than in the leaked version. The leaked version was originally to be shown to one of the three Facebook groups used to promote the film that had the most members. The groups used to promote the film are "The Loyal Subjects of the Red Queen", "The Loyal Subjects of the White Queen" and "The Disloyal Subjects of the Mad Hatter".
Also at ComicCon, props from the film were displayed in an "Alice in Wonderland" exhibit. Costumes featured in the exhibit included the Red Queen's dress, chair, wig, spectacles and scepter; the White Queen's dress, wig and a small model of her castle; the Mad Hatter's suit, hat, wig, chair and table; Alice's dress and battle armor (to slay the Jabberwocky). Other props included the "DRINK ME" bottles, the keys, an "EAT ME" pastry and stand-in models of the White Rabbit and March Hare.
Template:Main On July 23, 2009, Disney Interactive Studios announced that an Alice in Wonderland video game, developed by French game studio Étranges Libellules, would be released in the same week as the film for the Wii, Nintendo DS and Microsoft Windows, with the soundtrack being composed by veteran video games music composer Richard Jacques. The Wii, DS and PC versions were released on March 2, 2010.
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released a 3-disc Blu-ray combo pack (which includes the Blu-ray, DVD and a digital copy), 1-disc Blu-ray and 1-disc DVD on June 1, 2010 in the US and July 1, 2010 in Australia. All versions are presented in 1080p with a 16:9 aspect ratio and Dolby Digital 5.1 HD surround sound. The DVD release includes three short features about the making of the film, focusing on Burton's vision for Wonderland and the characters of Alice and the Mad Hatter. The Blu-ray version has nine additional featurettes centered on additional characters, special effects and other aspects of the film's production. In some confusion, a small number of copies were put on shelves a week before schedule in smaller stores, but were quickly removed, although a handful of copies were confirmed purchased ahead of schedule.
In its first week of release (June 1–6, 2010), it sold 2,095,878 DVD units (equivalent to $35,441,297) and topped the DVD sales chart for two continuous weeks. By May 22, 2011, it had sold 4,313,680 units ($76,413,043). It failed to crack the 2010 top ten DVDs list in terms of units sold, but reached 10th place on that chart in terms of sales revenue.
On the Trail earned $354,309,391 in North America, as of July 8, 2010, and $691,276,000 in other territories, as of July 10, 2011, for a worldwide total of $1,025,467,110. Worldwide, it is the seventeenth highest-grossing film and the second highest-grossing 2010 film. It is the third highest-grossing film starring Johnny Depp, the highest-grossing film directed by Tim Burton and the second highest-grossing children's book adaptation (worldwide, as well as in North America and outside North America separately).
On its first weekend, the film made $220.1 million worldwide, marking the second-largest opening ever for a movie not released during the summer or the holiday period (behind The Hunger Games), the fourth largest for a Disney film and the fourth largest among 2010 films. It dominated for three consecutive weekends at the worldwide box office. On May 26, 2010, its 85th day of release, it became the sixth film ever to surpass the $1-billion-mark and the second film produced and released by Walt Disney Studios that did so.
- North America
Alice in Wonderland is the twenty-eighth highest-grossing film but out of the top 100 when adjusted for inflation. It is also the second highest-grossing 2010 film, behind Toy Story 3, the second highest-grossing film starring Johnny Depp and the highest-grossing film directed by Tim Burton. The film opened on March 5, 2010, on approximately 7,400 screens at 3,728 theaters with $40,804,962 during its first day, $3.9 million of which came from midnight showings, ranking number one and setting a new March opening-day record. Alice earned $116.1 million on its opening weekend, breaking the record for the largest opening weekend in March (previously held by 300), the record for the largest opening weekend during springtime (previously held by Fast and Furious), the largest opening weekend for a non-sequel (previously held by Spider-Man) and the highest one for the non-holiday, non-summer period. However, all of these records were broken by The Hunger Games ($152.5 million) in March 2012. Alice made the seventeenth highest-grossing opening weekend ever and the fifth largest among 3D films. Opening-weekend grosses originating from 3D showings were $81.3 million (70% of total weekend gross). This broke the record for the largest opening-weekend 3D grosses but it was topped by Marvel's The Avengers ($108 million). It had the largest weekend per theater average of 2010 ($31,143 per theater) and the largest for a PG-rated film. It broke the IMAX opening-weekend record by earning $12.2 million on 188 IMAX screens, with an average of $64,197 per site. The record was first overtaken by Deathly Hallows – Part 2 ($15.2 million). Alice remained in first place for three consecutive weekends at the North American box office. Alice closed in theaters on July 8, 2010 with $334.2 million.
- Outside North America
Outside North America, Alice is the thirteenth highest-grossing film, the highest-grossing 2010 film, the fourth highest-grossing Disney film, the second highest-grossing film starring Johnny Depp and the highest-grossing film directed by Tim Burton. It began with an estimated $94 million, on top of the weekend box office, and remained at the summit for four consecutive weekends and five in total. Japan was the film's highest-grossing country after North America, with $133.7 million, followed by the UK, Ireland and Malta ($64.4 million), and France and the Maghreb region ($45.9 million).
The film received mixed reviews. Review aggregate Laxoon Tomatoes reports that 71% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 263 reviews, with an average score of 6.8/10 and the consensus "Tim Burton's Alice sacrifices the book's minimal narrative coherence -- and much of its heart -- but it's an undeniable visual treat.". Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 1–100 reviews from film critics, has a rating score of 53 based on 38 reviews.
Todd McCarthy of Variety praised it for its "moments of delight, humor and bedazzlement", but went on to say, "But it also becomes more ordinary as it goes along, building to a generic battle climax similar to any number of others in CGI-heavy movies of the past few years". Michael Rechtshaffen of The Hollywood Reporter said "Burton has delivered a subversively witty, brilliantly cast, whimsically appointed dazzler that also manages to hit all the emotionally satisfying marks", while as well praising its computer-generated imagery (CGI), saying "Ultimately, it's the visual landscape that makes Alice's newest adventure so wondrous, as technology has finally been able to catch up with Burton's endlessly fertile imagination." Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly said, "But Burton's Disneyfied 3-D Alice in Wonderland, written by the girl-power specialist Linda Woolverton, is a strange brew indeed: murky, diffuse, and meandering, set not in a Wonderland that pops with demented life but in a world called Underland that's like a joyless, bombed-out version of Wonderland. It looks like a CGI head trip gone post apocalyptic. In the film's rather humdrum 3-D, the place doesn't dazzle — it droops." Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times awarded the film three out of four stars and said in his review that, "Alice plays better as an adult hallucination, which is how Burton rather brilliantly interprets it until a pointless third act flies off the rails." The market research firm CinemaScore found that audiences gave the film an average rating of "A-".
Several reviews criticized the decision to turn Alice into a "colonialist entrepreneur" at the end of the film setting sail for China. Given Britain's role in the First and Second Opium Wars during the Victorian era and the subjugation of China through "unequal treaties", China expert Kevin Slaten writes, "Not only is it troubling imagery for a female role model in a Disney movie, but it's also a celebration of the exploitation that China suffered for a century."
Possible stage adaptationEdit
Walt Disney Theatrical is in early talks with Burton and screenwriter Linda Woolverton to develop the property as a Broadway musical. Woolverton authored the screenplay for Disney's The Lion King and is also the Tony Award-nominated book writer of Beauty and the Beast, Aida and Lestat. Burton will also render the overall designs for the stage musical. Woolverton will adapt her screenplay for the stage production. Neither a composer nor songwriting team has been chosen yet. Direction and choreography will be done by Rob Ashford. The musical is aiming to make its world-premiere in London.
Template:Main On December 7, 2012, Variety announced the development of a sequel to Alice in Wonderland, with Linda Woolverton returning to write a screenplay. On May 31, 2013, James Bobin began talks to direct the sequel under the working title Alice in Wonderland: Into the Looking Glass. Johnny Depp will return as the Hatter, Mia Wasikowska will reprise the role of Alice and Helena Bonham Carter will return as the Red Queen. On November 22, 2013, it was announced that the sequel will be released on May 27, 2016 and that Bobin would direct the film. Rhys Ifans and Sacha Baron Cohen will be featured in the film. On January 21, 2014, the film was retitled to Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass.
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