Alice Through the Looking Glass: A Review

alice review

We sat waiting, in the cinema full of expectant guests. There was an anxious anticipation of seeing the film before the rest of the world.  The lights dimmed and we followed Alice through the looking glass.  Tick Tock goes the clock – seconds became minutes and minutes, hours; but no time was wasted.

Alice Through the Looking Glass is the second in the Disney/Live Action Alice stories.  As with Alice in Wonderland, do not go in to this movie expecting the familiar vignettes of Lewis Carrol’s books – as the movie bears little resemblance to the story.  However, this movie adventure leads the viewer through the hyper-pigmented, opiate-inspired hallucination of Underland beautifully. For those who miss the classic retelling of these stories, this new story includes several of the Alice Through the Looking Glass themes including the importance of time, relationships, and smarts.  There is even a nod to the chess theme of the book.

Unlike Alice in Wonderland, this new version of Wonderland is kinder and the movie is far less dark and violent (though there are still several suspenseful scenes and ‘monsters’).  The characters are less cardboard cut outs and they are fully alive on screen.  This could be due to James Bobin’s splendid job directing the big names in this movie or to the additional time that the actors themselves have had with the characters they play.

I am not a Sacha Baron Cohen fan, so his selection as Time was contentious in my family.  However, I have to admit that he did a brilliant job bringing Time to life and easily is one of my favorite performers in the movie.

One of the favorite character from Alice in Wonderland make a brief appearance in the movie.  Absolem has transformed into a full-fledged butterfly and offers a brief vocal memory of Alan Rickman for us.  For those moved by Mr. Rickman’s untimely death, tissues might be needed for the credits of this film.

The sets, costumes, animation, and script are all excellent and meld well with one another. All in all, this was quite an enjoyable movie.

Should I take my younger child?

Every parent needs to research the appropriateness of the big screen for themselves.  Alice Through the Looking Glass is rated PG (US, United Kingdom, and Australia).  There are mild themes and some scenes may scare young children according to the ratings.  This movie does not contain the extensive battles of the first movie and the majority of the movie is lighter and brighter than the first.  The movie is 1 hour 53 minutes in the US and Australia but only 1 hour 44 minutes in the United Kingdom.  If your child has seen Alice in Wonderland and enjoyed it, then this movie is a good follow up.

Do I need to stay through the closing credits?

Spoiler alert: The next paragraph is written in white text.  If you would like to read it, please highlight it with your mouse.

The credits continue the story, so staying around for the first half of the credits is entertaining.  As noted before, there is a dedication to Alan Rickman.  For those who have been trained by Marvel to stay to the very last frame, there is a very understated end bonus.  It is nothing like what you could expect from a Marvel movie, so if you need or want to leave, you will not be missing much.

My family and I enjoyed this gentle romp through Underland.  I liked this film more than Alice in Wonderland.  So, if you are looking for a family-friendly few hours, go see Alice Through the Looking Glass and remember that time spent together is never wasted.

A tale begun in other days,

When summer suns were glowing –

A simple chime, that served to time

The rhythm of your rowing –

Whose echoes live in memory yet,

Though envious years would say ‘forget’.

~ Lewis Carroll – Alice Through the Looking Glass

and What She Found There


Have you seen Alice Through the Looking Glass? What were your thoughts?

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