Film review (with NO spoilers): Alice Through the Looking Glass (out on 27 May 2016)

When Disney announced Alice Through the Looking Glass as the sequel to Tim Burton’s movie Alice in Wonderland (2010) I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I thought it could not match in any way the brilliance of the first film. I am not a big fan of sequels and I went into the screening quite skeptical. Not that I would not enjoy watching once again some of my favourite stars like Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska and Helena Bonham Carter along with the voices of Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen and Timothy Spall. I was positively surprised by this movie simply because it is not a sequel. Alice Through the Looking Glass is a standalone story starring the characters from Alice in Wonderland.

Alice Through the Looking Glass mad hatter film review

This new film is actually very very good if you abandon yourself to the fantasy of a world where the impossible becomes possible and don’t expect an Alice in Wonderland sequel. Children will love it and parents can be reassured that the film is not violent and not scary as you might have thought watching the trailers that circulated on YouTube.

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Unsurprisingly I loved the original cast and the stunning performances by Johnny Depp as a more confused and emotional Mad Hatter as well as Helena Bonham Carter as a more emotionally vulnerable Queen of Hearts. I was lucky enough to attend the global press conference and ask Johnny Depp one crucial question about Mad Hatter – yes, I consider myself a lucky girl!. I won’t give you any spoilers or celebrity gossips here but will cover them in a special Alice-themed issue of the London Mums print magazine out in supermarkets from mid June 2016. Don’t miss it!

Alice Through the Looking Glass

There are a few messages coming out of this film, as in every good Disney movie – and trust me when I say that this is a very Disney movie:
– It’s never too late to ask for forgiveness even for mistakes or wrongdoing from the past.
– The past cannot be changed but we can learn from it and improve our future.
– Family and friends are precious and worth fighting for no matter what.
Kids will learn a lot while following Alice in her new adventure in a quirky time machine trying to save her dearest friend from a melancholic death.

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In this film we are 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. Time plays a very significant role in this adventure. Sacha Baron Cohen is brilliant at bringing his quirky wit and gags to a children’s story. During the press conference I debated with him about the origin of Time’s weird accent. He claimed it was Bavarian Californian while I (and Johnny Depp seemed to agree with me) thought that it was more Swiss German with elements of French dialect.

Alice Through the Looking Glass mad hatter film review Time Sacha Baron Cohen

This is a Golden year for Disney. When Zootropolis came out earlier this year, I thought Disney had reached its glorious peak. But then they brought out in quick succession other excellent films: The Jungle Book and now Alice Through the Looking Glass – if you don’t count the recent Marvel productions which are equally unprecedented with the latest Avengers movie, Captain America – Civil War on top of the list.

The story

Alice Kingsleigh (Wasikowska) has spent the past few years following in her father’s footsteps and sailing the high seas as the Captain of the Wonder where she shows heroism and courage in a time when women would not even dare undertake tasks only reserved to men.

Alice Through the Looking Glass mad hatter film review

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.

It’s not just about Alice’s colourful adventures, but more about the fight for the people we love and care for against all odds. 

Directed by James Bobin, who brings his own unique vision to the spectacular world created by Tim Burton in 2010, 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 mad hatter film review

London Mums’ rating: 7/10 for the film and 10/10 for Johnny Depp’s performance

Kids Club review vlog – Watch it here including their ratings

Monica Alice in Wonderland


The trailers

The soundtrack

Three-time GRAMMY®-winning singer/songwriter P!nk (Alecia Moore) has partners with Walt Disney Studios on Alice Through the Looking Glass. P!nk has recorded an original song featuring four-time Academy Award® nominee Danny Elfman’s score. She has also recorded a cover version of the iconic song “White Rabbit” for the film’s marketing campaign.

The origins of Alice in Wonderland

2015 celebrated the 150th anniversary (1865-2015) of Alice in Wonderland, a timeless children’s book that has captivated children’s and parents’ imagination for generations. The story of this tale begins with its creator, Charles Ludwidge Dodgson who was a natural storyteller and regularly invented new stories to entertain his friends. He knew that for the best stories to work, the child must be at the centre of the narrative so that their imagination could be led to marvellous and wonderful places. Inspired by real events and a real child, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was dreamt up on a summer’s day in Oxford. The river outing with the Liddell family on 4 July 1862, from Folly Bridge to Godstow, is now famous for the Alice story to which it led. He told the family a story about a bored little girl called Alice who goes looking for an adventure. The family loved it and at the end of that day, the daughter, Alice Liddell, asked for the story to be written down. Charles Dodgson agreed and began writing the manuscript the next day. It eventually took him two and a half years to complete.


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Presented in Digital 3D™, Real D 3D and IMAX® 3D, Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass opens in UK cinemas on 27 May, 2016.

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