Tim Burton took a ‘Shining’ to Tweedledee and Tweedledum

Feb. 10, 2010 | 4:55 a.m.

“ALICE IN WONDERLAND” COUNTDOWN: 24 DAYS

Are you ready for a trip down the rabbit hole? Tim Burton, Johnny Depp and Disney are adding a strange new chapter to the Lewis Carroll classic with their “Alice in Wonderland,” a film that presents a young woman who finds herself in the world of the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat and the Red Queen. She is welcomed as a returning visitor — but is she, in fact, the same Alice who roamed the trippy realm as a child? Time will tell. Here at the Hero Complex, we’re counting down to the film’s March 5 release with daily coverage. Today, Burton talks about his version of Tweedledee and Tweedledum.

Tweedledee and Tweedledum

 

Tim Burton pulled out a surprising cinematic reference when asked about his version of Tweedledee and Tweedledum for “Alice in Wonderland.”

Shining twins

“I kept thinking about the twins in ‘The Shining,’ ” Burton said, referring to the chilling Stanley Kubrick horror film that celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. “But really any kind of twins. There’s always something scary about them, in a way. Or there can be.”

Burton said the strange, corpulent version of Tweedledee and Tweedledum was shaped largely by the performance of the actor who plays both, British comedian Matt Lucas, who did a “great job” tapping into the eerie nature of the brothers.

“We didn’t want to do motion capture because I’m, personally, not really into that and since I like these actors I thought it would be really nice to use them — with actors like Matt or Johnny [Depp as the Mad Hatter] or Helena [Bonham Carter as the Red Queen] I wanted to get what they brought to it,” Burton explained. “So with Matt it’s kind of a mix of animation and him. It’s a weird mixture of things which gives his characters the disturbing quality that they so richly deserve.”

In some other versions of “Alice,” Tweedledee and Tweedledum seem to smirk more than they do in Burton’s new take. Did he notice that? “Hmm. Well, I don’t know what to say about those cute lovable little guys. Well, you can make up your own mind on that.”

– Geoff Boucher

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