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"Alice" Secret: Johnny Depp Had Effects-Enlarged Eyes

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A bite of cake leaves our hero a wee underdressed for the Red Queen's liking in this sneak peek from "Alice in Wonderland." (Published Wednesday, May 30, 2012)

    The Mad Hatter's insanely large eyes are one of the first things you'll notice when "Alice in Wonderland" comes out, but don't worry: Johnny Depp hasn't gone Marty Feldman us.

    Depp got a little help in becoming the Craziest Looking Man Alive from movie wizard Ken Ralston. The overall eye look was part wacky make-up and a pinch of special effects. And the eyes were almost going to be even bigger.

    The First "Alice in Wonderland" Clip Hits the Tubes

    [NATL] The First "Alice in Wonderland" Clip Hits the Tubes
    A bite of cake leaves our hero a wee underdressed for the Red Queen's liking in this sneak peek from "Alice in Wonderland." (Published Wednesday, May 30, 2012)

    Ralston and Tim Burton decided early on to enlarge Depp's eyes to add to the mad look of the famous character. "Some of the early tests were extremely huge," Ralston told Popcorn Biz. "But if they were too big it became all about the eyes."

    Eventually they decided on a smaller but very noticeable increase. "We liked the idea of making them slightly larger to add a slight tweak to the character." The tweak works.

    Ralston says that the look was so natural that whenever he saw Depp's unaffected eyes "they looked insanely small."

    "Alice" is truly a special effects masterpiece. And it was a major challenge for four-time Oscar winner Ralston, who was on set every day and finished the final effects about a week before public screenings. "I don't even know where to start," he says, when asked to name the effect he was proudest of. "The whole movie was so hard."

    "Alice in Wonderland"

    [NATL] "Alice in Wonderland"
    Tim Burton's take on the Lewis Carroll classic stars Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham-Carter and Anne Hathaway. (Published Tuesday, Mar 9, 2010)