Where do I even begin with this movie? Visually its eye candy, it’s also rather clever in the fact it’s almost nothing like the book. Instead the story is retold as a plot where Alice helps to find the Mad Hatter’s family. The movie opens up into another universe for Alice in Wonderland and establishes important lesson we all should learn, that nothing is impossible.
Through the Looking Glass explores the notion that you cannot change the past, yet you can learn from it. Alice journeys through the history of Wonderland allowing the audience to learn the backstories of the Mad Hatter, Red Queen and White Queen. It also answers questions we have always had about Wonderland, from why the Red Queen became so bratty to where the Mad Hatter found his craft. We get to watch Alice go through a journey that helps her make a huge decision in her own world. The lessons taught to the audience by the end of the movie are learning from your past, believing in yourself, and to be innovative, strange and independent.
The color packed into this movie is outstanding. The imagination it must have taken to bring this movie to life with costumes, ideas, CGI, and more is compelling and extraordinary. Disney has really done it again in establishing that they are indeed the explorers of the world of imagination. The designs of the costumes fit each character perfectly as we get to watch Alice years after the last movie (I still can’t get enough of her sea captain outfits that she wears in the beginning and end of the movie). Although not as colorful as the past movie, we do get to see Alice travel through the seas of time with the Chronosphere (whose design reminds me of the time traveling device used in 2002’s The Time Machine). Overall the movie is cleverly put together to open your mind into a new world.
Anne Hathaway, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter also have outstanding performances in this movie. Seeing Anne Hathaway flutter her hands as she portrays the White Queen really emphasizes the strangeness of Wonderland. Helena, with her incredible over the top facial expressions on her giant head, makes us start to love the Red Queen. Yet, nevertheless the 180 degree range of emotions Johnny Depp had to exaggerate in the movie, from the sweet laughing hatter to the dark gloomy one, was the icing on the cake. The greatest part about this movie is that you fall in love with more than just Alice. It’s easy to instead identify yourself with one of the other characters. For me the Mad Hatter was indeed the character I attached to as he tried to make his father proud even when he believed his father was dead. I also was able to identify with him because of his creativity and fun loving personality that easily became sullen when he realized his friends didn’t believe in him. I absolutely love the Mad Hatter.
Overall, I highly recommend this movie to anyone who loves Alice in Wonderland or enjoys movies that keep your mood uplifted.
Through The Looking Glass gets 5 impossible things out of 5 … before breakfast.