Thursday, December 4, 2008

New Disney retelling of Rapuzel, and Tim Burton to create new version of Alice in Wonderland


I recently discovered that Disney are working on new movie versions of Rapunzel and Alice in Wonderland! 

Rapunzel has always been a favourite fairytale of mine. . . something about the notion of having metres and metres of hair has always fascinated me. . . :D

The official title of the new Rapunzel movie is "Rapunzel Unbraided". It will be CGI animated, another Pixar/Disney collaboration - at least - I think Pixar is involved. . . it may just be Disney this time, I'm not sure.

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair. . . 

The graphics  will  take their inspriration from Fragonard's  painting The Swing. If that be the case, they should be very beautiful! The film will be visually enchanting. . . lets hope they can get the script  right. I'm not sure whether  Rapunzel Unbraided will stick with the original storyline of Rapunzel or if it will be a satire on the traditional fairy tale, similar to Shrek or Enchanted.

It's quite an exciting prospect - not counting Enchanted, it's been over a decade since we last had a proper Disney princess movie.

Oh but I forgot. . . there'll be two Disney princess films in two years. Next year, in 2009, Disney will release The Princess and the Frog. It will be - different. It's set in 1920s New Orleans, and the princess is African-American!

The Swing, by Fragonard

I am also  very excited about the new version of Alice in Wonderland. . .

In my mind Alice in Wonderland has always held a curious kind of appeal, carrying with it undertones that are. . . not dark, exactly. I'm trying to think of the right word - eccentric, quirky, bizarre. . . best summed up by Alice's words from the book, "Curiouser and curiouser. . ." Lewis Carroll's classic was meant to be taken as a nonsense story, but in spite of the nonsense, everything in it makes sense. In this way it perfectly imitates the strange, crazy dreams that we all have from time to time, in which all sorts of bizarre things happen that seemed to make perfect sense while we were asleep, dreaming.   

I think Tim Burton will recognise this aspect of the book. I can't wait to see in what direction he takes this film. . . 

From what I understand, Alice in Wonderland will combine live-action footage with animation, something like Beowulf. Also, it seems that once again the two books Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass will be patched together to make one film.

The  cast that has been assembled is interesting, to say the least!! Young Australian actress Mia Wasikowska will  play Alice, Anne Hathaway will play the White Queen, Helena Bonham-Carter the Red Queen, Alan Rickman will be the Caterpillar; Tim Pigott-Smith (Richard Hale, Margaret's father in North and South), Christopher Lee (Saruman from The Lord of the Rings), will also feature, and get this - JOHNNY DEPP IS TO PLAY THE MAD HATTER!!! Yessss!! He is absolutely perfect for the role! My anticipation of this film increased about 5oo% when I heard about that last little piece of information. . . :-)

Both Rapunzel and Alice in Wonderland are due to be released in 2010. (LOL, two more 2010 films to look forward to. . . see this earlier post about upcoming versions of My Fair Lady and Wuthering Heights.) 

And while I'm in the mood for new movies, here are three films that I think will be made in the next five years:

*A new version of The Sound of Music

*A big-screen version of Northanger Abbey

*A biography of the late Lady Diana Spencer, featuring Keira Knightley as Lady Diana

Just speculation, of course. It's fun to dream. 

Current Mood: Excited!


Mada said...

Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter? Besides the fact that Tim Burton nearly always chooses him for a leading role in his movies, what an excellent choice! He's possibly one of Hollywood's most skilled actors - he can bring to life almost any character in the movies he stars in.

I doubt that my parents will allow the rest of my family to watch it, as Mum thinks the whole Alice In Wonderland story to be very strange. Ah well, I liked reading it.

Isabella Clinton said...

Cool! I love those stories!

Livi said...

Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, that will be hilarious!! This is exciting news!!

The Editrix said...

Mada--I agree, Johnny Depp is one of the most taleted actors in Hollywood today. THe only other person who I could see playing the Mad Hatter is Jim Carey. . . but Johnyy Depp will be perfect. ;)

Livi, I'm really excited, too! Now all we have to do is wait two years. . . :-(

Theresa said...

Actually I disagree. I hope they don't stick to the original story for Rapunzel. Doesn't she get pregnant, then head shaved by the witch, the prince goes blind and she is left to give birth in the wilderness to twins? Ok, the ending is happy because the hero and her find eachother [I recall something about her tears heal his eyes or something.]

Hey, is that the real storyline? Or am I getting mixed up? Personally I like the kids version, same with the little mermaid. [Sea foam! eek! that so isn't a kids story!]

ooh... looking forward to Alice!

The Editrix said...

Theresa, did you watch the Faerie Tale Theatre version of Rapunzel? I watched it the other day - it is quite scary, not really for little children at all. . . but that's the way a lot of FTT programs were. . .

Anyway - yes, I agree with you, Rapunzel the way the Brothers Grimm told it is quite a - well - grim - story, but I think Disney will Disney-fy it, sanitize it a lot. I mean, when you think about it, most fairy tales are quite dark - but Disney have pretty much perfected the art of transforming dark, disturbing folk tales into charming light-hearted kids movies. . .

Hopefully they'll be able to strike the right balance between humour and seriousness with this one, as they did with Beauty and the Beast.

Have a look at the sneak preview (which I forgot to include in my post - silly me. . . )

Leah said...

I just about imploded with excitement when I first heard Tim Burton was doing an Alice in Wonderland, months and months ago now. Helena Bonham-Carter as the Red Queen will be AMAZING. And Alan Rickman?? Can't WAIT. I'm more excited for those two roles than Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, honestly! But don't get me wrong, I'm hanging out to see him too!

The Editrix said...

Hehe!! Oh yes, Alan Rickman will be WONDERFUL - I can't wait!! :D

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