‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ teaches valuable lessons

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Ninotchka Valdez, Editor-in-Chief

After almost six years, those who enjoyed the 2010 film “Alice in Wonderland” will finally get to see what became of Alice in the cinematic universe. The sequel “Alice Through the Looking Glass” follows a timeline a plot almost entirely separate from the novel, and panders towards those who enjoyed the first movie, instead of avid fans of the novel. In any case, Alice is back just in time for tea. 

In the movie, Alice has taken over her late father’s ship and has taken to sailing the world for years. However, she returns to find that her mother has decided to sell her father’s ship to the same man whose marriage proposal she had refused. In a flurry of panic, Alice follows Absolem, an old friend, through a mirror, and once again finds herself back in Underland. This time, Alice’s quest involves traveling through time and finding the Mad Hatter’s family in order to save him.

Visually, Disney does not fail to give the audience the same Wonderland that they saw through Alice’s eyes years ago, despite the change of director. The colors are vibrant and saturated, and Alice tumbles through the movie in the same fashion that people have grown to love. Fans of the Mad Hatter and the Red Queen will find that “Alice Through the Looking Glass” is indulging, as the movie revolves more around them more than any other character, aside from Time. Overall, the movie is playful enough, with pun after pun, and at times, almost dry humor. Yet, the film is also just dark enough that those above the age of ten might still find themselves jumping from time to time; there are always just the right amount of characters appearing at the most unexpected moments to keep audiences “curiouser” and on their toes. The film also does not skimp on classic lines from the novel, and those who are fan of the novel, despite their disposition towards the film’s plot, may still find themselves smiling and mouthing some of the quotes along with the characters.

Unfortunately, as a whole, “Alice Through the Looking Glass” does not have the same tension as the novel, nor is it on par with the first movie. While Tim Burton’s shots in the first movie were overwhelming and brought everyone to wonder in awe at their childhood dreams come to life, director of “Alice Through the looking Glass” James Bobin mirrors the techniques closely, but rarely introduces his own unique touches to the film. The scenes seem to just move from one point on the timeline to the next, as opposed to making way to a more gripping climax. There’s one too many moments where the characters almost do not succeed in their quest, but because of the atmosphere of the movie and the lack of any permanent damage to anyone in Underland, those watching will rarely find themselves questioning if the moment will be a time in which goodness fails. There is no uncertainty. On top of that, the somewhat tragic backstories of characters like the Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts are reduced to simplified cliches, like children who always wanted something as simple as approval from a parent, but never got it.

Still, the movie is an amusing mix of jokes and action scenes. Parents might find that the film provides an opportune moment to lecture their young ones about the ephemerality of their loved ones, or instead use the exaggerated turn of events to teach their kids never to lie to their parents. Whatever reason the older crowd might have of turning up to see the film, it’s best to keep in mind that logic has no place in a world like Underland; the movie becomes significantly more enjoyable with its eccentric characters who deliver their lines with the conviction of a four year old. Some may find that watching the movie is almost like looking through a looking glass of their own, and that the fantasies executed in the film are not too far from daydreams they might have had when they were younger.