Alice in Wonderland is one of my daughter Channing’s favorite movies. Every time it re-airs on The Disney Channel I find her transfixed in the world of Alice, The Mad Hatter and The Red Queen. That world was created by Lewis Carroll in print then brought to life on-screen by Disney Studios in 1951. It sparked the imagination like no other movie of its time. Fast forward many years later and those characters are still sending us on a wild ride through the eyes of a fiercely independent young girl named Alice. Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass is a follow-up to Tim Burton’s vision of Alice in Wonderland from 2010. And it is every bit as magical, and visually engaging as the first, if not more. Director James Bobin has not only continued this fantastic, whimsical world, he’s expanded on it.
I saw Through The Looking Glass in 3D which added to the fun of the film for me. The 3D effects were so realistic and immediately pulled me into Alice’s world. ATTLG stars Johnny Depp , Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska, Rhys Ifans with Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen. Johnny Depp is of course perfectly matched for someone as colorful, caring and crazy as The Hatter. And Mia Wasikowska plays Alice, perfectly balancing the strong-willed yet feminine and curious sides to this character. I like that she tries to solve her own problems, even though she creates them sometimes by not listening to the advice of others. She’s carving out her own path in life and that’s a really empowering message to send to young girls who will be watching this film. One of the most enjoyable parts of the movie was watching Sacha Baron Cohen as Time itself. He added humor to the movie but still managed to be imposing as the diety-like Time. In fact, the whole movie had wonderfully lighthearted moments that continued the theme of this trippy, adventurous place called Underland.
Ultimately, I felt like this was a movie about family. Yes, Alice went on an adventure through Underland (no spoilers!) and the visual effects were incredible. But at the heart of it all, I have to give kudos to the screenwriter Linda Wolverton for weaving in a through-line about the importance of our relationships with family. Sisters, mother/daughter, father/son. That’s what struck me the most as I left the theater. If a film can get me to appreciate the world they’ve created with my eyes, and also get me to feel the film with my heart, that’s a looking glass I would gladly step through.
Alice Through The Looking Glass opens nationwide May 27th.