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Alice Through the Looking Glass Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by on Oct 19, 2016
Rating: 3 Star Rating

Check out Kidzworld’s Blu-ray review of Alice Through the Looking Glass. Would this fantasy film make a great addition to your home collection?

By: Lynn Barker

In Alice Through the Looking Glass, a sequel to the 2010 Tim Burton film, an accomplished, grown up Alice longs for her days in Underland (Wonderland). How is her dear friend the Mad Hatter? Is the Wicked Red Queen still causing havoc and misery? When she goes through a magical mirror back to Wonderland, Alice learns the answers and tangles with Time himself!

In the villageIn the villageCourtesy of Disney

Worldly Alice

Alice Kingsleigh (Mia Wazikowska) is living her dream as the captain of her dad’s ship. Returning from China, she encounters pirates and outsails them in a spectacular escape. On getting home she learns that her stuffy ex-fiancé Hamish (Leo Bill) holds the deed to her family home! He won’t finance another voyage of discovery and expects Alice to be a clerk at his family firm and sign over her ship to him if she wants her home back. Her mom just tells her that women, sadly, can’t do the impossible.

Alice comes home from the seaAlice comes home from the seaCourtesy of Disney

A Very Sick Hatter

When caterpillar/butterfly Absolem (voice of the late Alan Rickman) arrives to tell her that, in Wonderland, the Hatter (Johnny Depp) is wasting away and may die, Alice goes to the rescue through a mirror/portal (the looking glass) in her dad’s old study. She finds that Hatter is sure that his supposedly dead family is indeed alive! He must find them or die but he needs Alice’s help.

Can Hatter ever best Red Queen?Can Hatter ever best Red Queen?Courtesy of Disney

Going Back in Time

Thinking that travelling back in time to prevent the death of Hatter’s family is the way to go, Alice goes to the Grand Clock where she meets Time himself (Sacha Baron Cohen). When he warns her that she can’t change the past and won’t help her, Alice steals the Chronosphere, a device that runs the clock and controls time and she’s off to the past. She doesn’t know that the banished Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) wants the device to reshape her own past.

Time confronts the HatteTime confronts the HatterCourtesy of Disney

Timeless Adventure

With the White Queen (Anne Hathaway), the Hatter and other friends in tow, Alice sets off for the past using the Chronosphere to make things right while Time chases her to regain what is his and Red Queen is determined to get the device for herself. Can Alice save Hatter’s family before all Wonderland is disrupted and disintegrates due to her time meddling? Will Red Queen fix her own messy past that stems from a childhood incident with her sister White Queen? Will Alice return to London to save her family home or her ship?

White Queen, Hatter and Alice confront Red QueenWhite Queen, Hatter and Alice confront Red QueenCourtesy of Disney

Special Extra Features

All extras are quite short. Behind the Looking Glass is a “making of” featurette that travels back to the beginning of production and talks of adapting the film from the “Alice” books. The director is English and remembers reading the Alice novels as a kid. All of the major actors talk story and combining story ideas from the Alice books into one sequel narrative. There are a lot of origin stories for the characters and some working on set against blue screen. We see info on adding Time played by Sacha Baron Cohen, ad-libbing to the confusion of Johnny Depp on set and see production design. A short but fun extra.

Red Queen in her chamberRed Queen in her chamberCourtesy of Disney
  • A Stitch in Time: Costuming Underland features Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood on changing the costumes since the original 2010 Alice movie. We learn about Alice’s Chinese-inspired outfit, Red Queen’ more tattered dress, Hatter and Time’s outfits and we see close up details of embroidery and little touches we didn’t notice in the film. Really enjoyed this extra.
  • Scene Peelers gives us a unique look at split screen comparisons of various actions Mia Wazikowska performs on set against blue screen with the finished CGI product. This is really interesting! We see which props and people were actually on set for her and what she had to imagine.
  • Time on….features Sacha Baron Cohen in his Time costume spinning yarns about rooming at college with Alice author Lewis Carroll and talking more about his character. Silly, short but funny.
  • Characters of Underland – filmmakers talk about the Cheshire Cat, The Tweedles, Doormouse, Absolem the butterfly and more. Sweet. Since Absolem was voiced by the late Alan Rickman, this feature is dedicated to him.
  • Music Video “Just Like Fire” by Pink – You get the video, then a “making of” behind the scenes feature. Very cool, especially if you are a fan of the musical artist who appears as several characters from the movie.
  • Deleted Scenes were mostly left out for time (as the director says in his commentary). Most are quite fun with extra scenes for Mia and a lot between the Red Queen and the Time character. Worth a watch.
  • Audio Commentary –Director James Bobin comments alone but with nobody else to bounce his ideas off of there is a lot of boring dead air. Not the most exciting commentary.

Alice in her Chinese-influenced outfitAlice in her Chinese-influenced outfitCourtesy of Disney

Wrapping Up

All of the extra features are quite short. There are some nice ones; costuming, Pink’s video and one that shows the actors against blue screen compared with final product but nothing earth shaking, no gag/blooper reel to laugh at and a kind of boring commentary.

The film looks and sounds amazing if you are just into the visuals but, without Tim Burton’s unique touch (as in the first film in 2010), there is something lacking here. As I mentioned in an original theatrical review, Johnny Depp’s Hatter is more wacky and child-like than ever and it isn’t pretty.

Hatter presents Alice with a bonnetHatter presents Alice with a bonnetCourtesy of Disney

Alice, as played by Mia, is more mature and self-assured that in the last film but It’s too bad that the rest of the film doesn’t live up to an amazing opening sequence in which, as a sea captain, Alice is able to cleverly guide her ship through shallow waters…sailing on its side, to escape pirates. When she is told what she attempts is “impossible” she retorts to her crew “You know my views on that word!” Now that is a movie I want to watch. This isn’t it.

Alice and White Queen solve a mysteryAlice and White Queen solve a mysteryCourtesy of Disney

As we did for the original film we will go three stars although, if you love the Alice tales, you might more strongly want to add this to your collection. 

Alice Through the Looking Glass Blu-ray Rating:3

Alice Through the Looking Glass Blu-rayAlice Through the Looking Glass Blu-rayCourtesy of Disney

Alice Through the Looking Glass is now available on Blu-ray & DVD!


Have Your Say

Did you see this new “Alice” movie in theaters? Do you like that a more grown up Alice has a lot of girl power? Leave a comment.