On 24 February, 2010, the British Library held an event celebrating not only the release of Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland (in cinemas today), but also the legacy of Alice herself.
Having painstakingly restored the first ever Alice film from 1903, with a little help from their BFI friends, the Library unveiled the restored footage for the very first time (you can watch it online for free).
Directed by Cecil Hepworth and Percy Stow, the 12-minute film was made just 35 years after Lewis Carroll’s original book was published, and a tiny eight years after the birth of cinema.
There to celebrate the restoration was writer Will Self along with a few members of Burton’s cast, including Michael Sheen (who voices the White Rabbit), Christopher Lee (lending his inimitable tones to the fearsome Jabberwocky) and legendary Hollywood producer Richard Zanuck.
We were lucky enough to nab time with them, along with Helena Bonham Carter, in order to discuss their take on the classic tale. What was it like to recreate such iconic characters? What are their thoughts on the original novel? What does it mean if you’re suffering from The Greens?
“I’ve not seen it,” Lee tells us of his CGI monster. “Nothing at all. I don’t even know what my character looks like... probably rather nasty." Still, we're not going to let that stand in our way. "Tim asked me if I’d do it, and I really would do anything for him.”
Sounds magical. Let’s go...
Next: Down The Rabbit-Hole