Alice Kingsleigh has returned to Underland! And I couldn’t be happier about it. After finding out that “the Hatter is the matter” she embarks on a journey to help set things right for her dear friend the Mad Hatter. Along the way she encounters some new characters. And where the first movie seemed to focus on Wonderland itself, the sequel spends more time on individual characters and their backstories.
Like The Red Queen! Or Iracebeth as she’s commonly known in these movie adaptions. We not only learn what happens to her after she is banished in the first movie, but we also learn the reasons WHY she became the way she did. And I know some people are over the whole “how villains became villains” idea, but I’m not. I love it because in real life people generally aren’t evil just for the sake of being evil. There’s usually a backstory. So why shouldn’t we teach that to our kids? Why shouldn’t they understand how Maleficent or The Red Queen came to be? I think it’s brilliant.
My favorite part of the cartoon version of Alice in Wonderland (1951) has always been the scene at the White Rabbit’s house. I just love knowing that THAT’S where he eats, sleeps, and lives. His house is amazing. So it’s great that we get to see a few of the other Wonderland character’s houses in this movie. And I like how the Mad Hatter’s house is shaped like a giant top hat! It’s perfect.
I wasn’t sure what to think about him at first, but it turns out I really LOVE the character of Time. He lives in this clockwork/Steampunk universe where he manages, well, himself. Since he is Time. He also has a number of little companions and contraptions that assist him. I was really impressed with these characters since they reminded me of Doktor A (one of my favorite Steampunk artists) and his Mechtorians.
One fun thing I noticed about Time is that he actually makes a sort-of appearance in the first movie. I mean, “time” has always been a huge part of Wonderland. But in the first movie (Alice in Wonderland, 2010) Time is actually talked about when The Mad Hatter first greeted Alice:
“Well, as you can see we’re still having tea. It’s all because I was obliged to kill Time waiting for your return. You’re terribly late, you know… naughty. Well anyway, time became quite offended and stopped altogether. Not a tick ever since.”
“Time can be funny in dreams.”
And then later on in this scene…
“Come, come. We simply must commence with the slaying and such… Therefore, it’s high time for Time to forgive and forget. Or forget and forgive, whichever comes first. Or, is in any case, most convenient. I’m waiting.”
The March Hare taps his watch, listens to it, dips it into his tea cup, listens again.
“It’s ticking again!”
Now I can think of a particular scene in the second film that COULD directly tie into this scene from the first film. I won’t say which one though because I don’t want to spoil the movie for anyone. I just thought that it was really cool and it sounds like they intended to make a character named Time from the very beginning.
There were also parts of Alice Through The Looking Glass that made me think of American McGee’s Alice and Alice: Madness Returns. Again, I can’t say which scene in particular made me think of the video games without spoiling the movie, but it definitely made me want to play the games again!
Overall, I was really impressed with this movie. And I honestly don’t know WHY it didn’t do well at the box office or WHY it’s getting so many terrible reviews. It’s not a re-telling of any of the Alice in Wonderland books. But no one should’ve expected that since the first movie was a mash-up of BOTH of the books. And yes, travelling though time has been done before in a lot of other movies. But not travelling through Wonderland. And I think it was done in a way that was true to Alice’s character and also gave US, the fans, a chance to understand those Underland characters just a little bit better.
So what did you guys think about the movie? Have you caught any other ways that the second movie was incorporated into the first movie? I’d love to hear your thoughts on it! Do you think they meant to create the character of Time from the beginning or did it just work out that way?
Visit the official website for Alice Through The Looking Glass here.
Credit for the pictures goes to fanpop.com and EA.com.