The Oscars: Ralston Talks Alice in Wonderland
Bill Desowitz: How special was Alice in summoning all the tricks of the trade?
Ken Ralston: At least for me, that's why it was such a cool project to be on. It really did need me to have all that prior experience before showing up, or I would've been having a bad time. Plus you could come up with ideas about creating characters like the Tweedles or the Red Queen that would look interesting and maybe have a slightly different quality to them.
BD: And having the confidence in your colleagues at Imageworks to try something new and accomplish it.
KR: And we're just lucky that we were given so much freedom by Tim to try new things and really the mandate was to try and keep as much of the real actors in the movie as possible that were supposed to be humanoid or semi-humanoid. The Tweedles was an extreme case. There's not much left of Matt but his face and using his performance as the basis for the animation. But everything, in between, from the Red Queen to Stayne; and the White Queen -- Anne Hathaway -- always seemed to be brighter than anything else. And for the Hatter, why would we do it any other way? We wanted to keep the actors we hired in the movie.
BD: It's all about creating a fantasy world in the spirit of Lewis Carroll that's visually exciting and believable and consistent.
KR: Exactly what you're saying is, for me, the most difficult thing about it. All effects movies are challenges, but Alice was extremely complex in just the mechanics. And to try to create the world, like you say, with the consistency and the look -- whether it was realistic or fantasy, or an interesting combination of both -- but felt like everyone really was in this spot at the same time.