First Look at Disney, Burton's Alice Through the Looking Glass

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Alice Through Looking Glass Disney Tim Burton

In Disney’s ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, an all-new spectacular adventure featuring the unforgettable characters from Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories, Alice returns to the whimsical world of Underland and travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter. Directed by James Bobin, who brings his own unique vision to the spectacular world Tim Burton created on screen in 2010 with ALICE IN WONDERLAND, the film is written by Linda Woolverton based on characters created by Lewis Carroll and produced by Joe Roth, Suzanne Todd and Jennifer Todd and Tim Burton with John G. Scotti serving as executive producer. ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS reunites the all-star cast from the worldwide blockbuster phenomenon, including: Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska and Helena Bonham Carter along with the voices of Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen and Timothy Spall. We are also introduced to several new characters: Zanik Hightopp (Rhys Ifans), the Mad Hatter’s father and Time himself (Sacha Baron Cohen), a peculiar creature who is part human, part clock.

Alice Kingsleigh (Wasikowska) has spent the past few years following in her father’s footsteps and sailing the high seas. Upon her return to London, she comes across a magical looking glass and returns to the fantastical realm of Underland and her friends the White Rabbit (Sheen), Absolem (Rickman), the Cheshire Cat (Fry) and the Mad Hatter (Depp), who is not himself. The Hatter has lost his Muchness, so Mirana (Hathaway) sends Alice on a quest to borrow the Chronosphere, a metallic globe inside the chamber of the Grand Clock which powers all time. Returning to the past, she comes across friends – and enemies – at different points in their lives, and embarks on a perilous race to save the Hatter before time runs out. Presented in Digital 3D™, Real D 3D and IMAX® 3D, Disney’s “Alice Through the Looking Glass” opens in U.S. theaters on May 27, 2016.

I've been a longtime fan of all things Alice, and am always happy to see a new version of the character's adventures. Burton's dark-yet-whimsical ALICE IN WONDERLAND took its liberties and told a different story from the Carroll classic, but still had all the elements of phantasmagoria to it that made it distinctly Wonderland. Visually, it appears that LOOKING GLASS will do the same, despite an even wilder deviation from the story. If anything, this returning to Wonderland to put things right is far more an adaptation of American McGee's videogame than the Carroll sequel. (And if you Disney folks reading this are looking for inspiration to draw upon for a third film in this franchise, there are several other Alice books out there, including Jeff Noon's AUTOMATED ALICE, and (my personal favorite for obvious reasons), ALICE'S JOURNEY BEYOND THE MOON.

Grade: 
4.5 / 5.0