In theaters from director James Bobin and Walt Disney Pictures is a story created from the mind of writer Lewis Carroll as we join “Alice Through the Looking Glass.”
Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is the captain of her father’s ship Wonder and has been away from home for quite some time. When she returns, Alice learns that mother Helen (Lindsay Duncan) has had pressure put upon her by Hamish (Leo Bill). Either the Kingsleigh women must turn over the Wonder or lose their home.
Those aren’t her only problems as Absolem (voiced by Alan Rickman) tells Alice that her friends need her in Wonderland! Leaping through a mirror she meets Mirana (Anne Hathaway), who tells her that Hatter Tarrant Hightopp (Johnny Depp) is in trouble. Believing Alice is the only one who can reach him, she visits her Hatter friend.
Hiding at home, Hatter believes that his family might still be alive after years of thinking they had died. The only way to learn of their true fate, Alice must seek out Time (Sacha Baron Cohen) and get the object that can transport her back to the last time the Hightopp’s were seen.
There is just one big-headed problem — Iracebeth (Helena Bonham Carter) wants it as well. She has a moment in her own past in which one sister changed the fate of the other. Furious that Alice is back in Wonderland, it is once again going to be an epic battle with friendship and loyalty setting the course!
Wasikowska as Alice has truly made this character her own. It is hard to believe that the original “Alice in Wonderland” was released six years ago. My how time flies and yet Wasikowska jumps back into character as if no time has passed. For me that is what makes the film so much fun. She is still bold, strong, witty and loyal.
Depp as Hatter also seamlessly puts his hat and mad hair back on to give us a peek back into the hat maker’s history. Depp is still lively, funny, quirky and quick at delivering the clever lines that made me laugh — a lot! I adore the colorful insanity Depp brings to this character, and I wouldn’t want anyone else to play Hatter.
Carter as Iracebeth certainly does show up with a huge chip on her shoulder. Obviously once you know what that chip is and who placed it, there are a few moments of sympathy for the bulbous headed ginger. Carter embraces the cranky and still makes me laugh. Hathaway as Mirana is elegant and concerned for Hatter but she has a secret of her own! The way in which Hathaway carries herself as the White Queen is really funny. That’s talent when you can make an audience laugh without saying a word.
Cohen as Tim is just as nutty as the rest of the characters in Wonderland. He is snarky, funny, a little creepy but clever and funny at the same time. His costuming is awesome but then again the costuming for the film is epic period.
Other cast include Rhys Ifans as Zanik Hightopp, Timothy Spall as Bayard, Ed Speleers as James Harcourt, Richard Armitage as King Oleron, Andrew Scott as Dr. Addison Bennett, Geraldine James as Lady Ascot, and Matt Lucas as Tweedledee/Tweedledum.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “Alice Through the Looking Glass” four tubs of popcorn out of five. Let’s begin with the amazing special effects because, after all, you can not do a story like this without massive special effects. The CGI is bold, daring, fun and another character in the story.
Having the original cast back is so meaningful and makes the visit back to these characters so much fun. I mean who doesn’t love the Cheshire Cat or the White Rabbit? Watching the tea time exchange between Hatter and the gang with Time is hilarious!
Alice once again brings a storyline that really is full of lessons about love, family, friendship, loyalty, adventure and forgiveness. Disney has done what they are known for doing — bringing all those qualities into a story that is wrapped up in amazing fun.
Gather up the family and make sure there is enough popcorn and drink to go around, visit Wonderland again with Alice and friends in this 113 minute wild ride!
In the end — it’s time for a little madness!