It’s not often that I get to hang out with my oldest son – just the two of us. My husband swears that we are the silliest people when we are together. I think that we are that times ten when nobody is around. We were given free admission to the press screening of Alice Through the Looking Glass, so we decided to make it a mid week movie night. The trailer alone let me know that it wouldn’t work for my two youngest even though it is rated PG. It wouldn’t be too scary for the eleven year old, but there were no cars. If there are no cars… like not one… the movie is a no. That would have been almost two hours of complaining. My youngest thinks a LOT, and the premise would have her way too worried about life, death, and who knows what else. She avoids all things potentially “creepy,” and I help her.
I don’t remember seeing the first one, mainly because I tend to sleep through movies…. It’s dark, cell phones are off, and let’s face it. I have three kids – that’s a recipe for a great nap. So, I had no idea what to expect for this one beyond what I saw in the trailers. People were there in costume though, so by the time the lights started going down, I was thinking that it was going to be a big deal.
In Disney’s “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” an all-new spectacular adventure featuring the unforgettable characters from Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories, Alice returns to the whimsical world of Underland and travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter. Directed by James Bobin, who brings his own unique vision to the spectacular world Tim Burton created on screen in 2010 with “Alice in Wonderland,” 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” reunites the all-star cast from the worldwide blockbuster phenomenon, including: Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska and Helena Bonham Carter along with the voices of Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen and Timothy Spall. We are also 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.
Alice Kingsleigh (Wasikowska) has spent the past few years following in her father’s footsteps and sailing the high seas. 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.
My son and I are both big fans of movies and digital artistry, so we really enjoy sets, makeup, and special effects – and there were plenty. The story was relatively easy to follow, even though things moved a little slower than I am used to in these types of movies. Johnny Depp was great as usual, and Sacha Baron Cohen was surprisingly interesting to watch… so much so that I wasn’t sure it was him at first.
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Does it earn the PG rating? It doesn’t have any sex or real violence, but it has some situations that would be hard for a very young child to understand. As in most Disney movies, a parent has died, and the child is grieving. There’s talk of mortgages and deeds and things that most kids don’t understand, so you may find yourself explaining a lot either during or after the movie. Also, there’s a good bit of time travel, mixed in with trips back and forth from London in the 1700’s to Underland, and I could see how all of that could be confusing. There are just a few scary scenes, but overall, it should be fine for kids over 10.
Bottom Line. Should you go see it?
I don’t see why not. It is entertaining, colorful, and the story is interesting. Alice is a very strong female character – similar to the Disney Princess type, but in a Mulan sort of way. The only think I found unnerving is that there was not a single character of color. London had plenty people of color at the time that the movie was set. Even if that would have been tough to do, there were none in Underland either? I mean, they could have done what they wanted since it was a totally made up world, right? It was strange to me that no effort whatsoever was made to add visible diversity to the cast. Maybe an extra slipped by me, but it looks like we’ll have to be cool with Captain America for right now if we are looking for diversity on the screen. I stayed awake through the whole movie, as my son mentioned in the video review 🙂
Should I take the kids to go see it?
You can take the kids, or you could make it a date night. It is the kind of movie that children and adults will enjoy. It wasn’t too scary, but again, the story gets complex at times, and there’s not enough time to break everything down for little brains. I would recommend it for 10 year olds and above. The movie is rate PG and hits theaters on May 27th.