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How Did They Film 'Alice Through The Looking Glass?' It's A CGI Spectacle


The newest installment of Lewis Caroll's Alice adventures doesn't come out until this weekend, but already it's generating some lackluster reviews concerning the plot and the performances. But when you take into consideration how they filmed Alice Through The Looking Glass, Disney's latest feature film becomes all the more magical. According to Moviefone, many scenes were filmed using a blue screen (apparently green screens can be hard on the eyes for actors) and then the environments were added using CGI later. But there are some parts that were filmed on location. Pay special attention to the boat scenes — the producers apparently went to great lengths to make them feel super real.

In fact, the cast and crew pretty much took over Gloucester, England in 2014 to film scenes on boats there, although residents and workers of Gloucester Docks were not pleased at all about it. They filmed for three weeks, according to the BBC, and apparently the production company didn't give much notice. Boaters were reportedly restricted from using the facilities during that time — prime boating season — even though they had paid their fees. Still, some were happy to see big, old ships take over the docks. "This a fantastic opportunity to bring some wonderful ships into Gloucester Docks," Nick Worthington from the Canal and River Trust told the outlet in a statement.

Most of the stars, like Johhny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, and Mia Wasikowska, along with director Todd Bobin have declined to speak out much about the filming process, so it's unclear exactly how many set pieces and locations they really used and what was digitally added in post production. According to the AV Club, "This is essentially an animated film with some live-action performers dropped in and digitally augmented in eye-catchingly bizarre ways." And that sounds about right. I mean, how else do you create Underland?

Bobin reportedly had an entirely different vision for the film (which apparently racked up billions in production costs) than original Alice in Wonderland director Tim Burton. Burton still produced the sequel, but he wasn't around to give much of his trademark creative input. "We intentionally wanted the movie to be both funny and comedic in a way that the first movie wasn’t, but we also wanted some deeper emotion," He told Variety. To do that, he said they delved back into Carroll's literature for inspiration.

The only way to really recreate the craziness that Carroll dreamed up, is to make it yourself. If that means great digital editors, some blue screens, and tall ships, so be it.