Watch Kids' Reviews of
ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLAD (2016)

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KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
Recommended age 8-18
111 minutes
FeatureFilm
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ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLAD (2016) cover image Click to play video trailer
Disney's Alice Through The Looking Glass is a magical fantasy adventure film in the great Tim Burton tradition. It is also a refreshing, feminist take on the classic Lewis Carroll story. This sequel to 2010's blockbuster, Alice in Wonderland, again stars Mia Wasikowska as Alice, Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter, Helena Bonham Carter as Iracebeth (Queen of Hearts) and Anne Hathaway as Mirana. New to the cast is Sasha Baron Cohen as "Time."

In the real world of 18th century England, Alice Kingsleigh is a captain of an English merchant ship. She is about to lose her commission when she re-enters Wonderland for the second time. She is given a warm welcome by all her old friends: the White Rabbit, TweedleDee and TweedleDum, the Cheshire Cat and Mirana. She learns that her best friend, The Mad Hatter, is depressed because he misses his parents and his siblings. She decides that the only way to help him is to find his family. They are presumed dead, but the Hatter doesn't believe so. She then goes in search of the chronosphere, a time travel device located at Time's castle. What follows is an epic journey in search of "The Hatter's" parents.

Alice Through the Looking Glass is very creative and colorful. Tim Burton is one of the producers, so this is not surprising. The costumes and the makeup are top notch. The special effects are inventive, especially the sequence at Time's castle. Time has an amazing castle, which is run by a group of creatures called "seconds," which are made of nuts, bolts and gears. These "seconds" can combine to make even bigger creatures called "minutes." These "minutes" can combine to make a enormous, transformer-like creature called "hours."

There is a lot of smart wordplay based on the character Time. Think of all the puns having to do with time and they are all in the movie. Sasha Baron Cohen as Time steals the whole film. He is very funny, exciting and works well with this great ensemble cast. My favorite line of the film is when The Mad Hatter exclaims "dream or reality - who's to say which is which." This sums up the message of the movie and the magic in all Tim Burton movies.

Alice Through The Looking Glass is an enchanting adventure/fairy tale for the whole family. It is appropriate for ages 8 to 18. I rate this film 4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

This film is visually amazing with a legendary cast. A few generations have grown up with the characters of this series. Based on all the details and success of the first movie, it was built up to be a fantastic film. What came out, however, was far from that.

This film mixes many elements, which makes it confusing at times. First, there is comedy. On top of that is lots of drama with some adventure and fantasy thrown in. To make things even stranger for a "Wonderland" film is the presence of sci-fi as well.

The film is just under two hours long and has a dozen different things happening. First, Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is now a grown, independent young woman. She is an extremely talented British Captain of her father's ship. However, since it is the late 1800s, that is unheard of. After a dangerous voyage, she discovers that her ship and her status are taken away. While thinking about the future, she encounters an old friend from Wonderland, which leads her through a "mirror portal" back to Wonderland. In Wonderland, she finds that her old friend, Hatter (Johnny Depp) is slowly dying from despair of losing his family and trying to find them. Alice tries to help out the Hatters and discover what happened to his family by time travelling.

This story takes up only the first twenty minutes of the movie. The film has way too many climaxes and problems. It seems like it is moving onto the next film every 10 to 20 minutes. But that's not the biggest issue. On top of that, there are so many holes that it is clear the screenwriters did not think twice about what they were writing. That makes the audience wonder, "Wait, why didn't they just do this and save so much time and problems?" Also, the effect of going from fantasy to slightly sci-fi is a bit much and confuses the viewer even further. So, the script and the storyline are weak. Then, there are the interactions between characters which I found boring and bland. I don't fault of the actors who are legendary and very experienced, but blame it on the screenplay. The writer, Linda Woolverton clearly did not do the justice to the story. Compared to Disney's Alice in Wonderland which came out in 2010 or the 1951 version, this is a disappointment. If Walt Disney ever saw this version of Alice, he'd not be happy and, most likely would make some drastic changes. It was disappointed that the storyline in this movie has very little to do with the original book by Lewis Carroll. I'm all up for being creative but, when it ventures so far astray, why not call it something else?

On the other hand, there are some positives about this film. Even though the writing has issues, the visual effects are simply spectacular. The realistic interaction between animated characters and live actors is amazingly well executed. Even the CGI characters still look a lot like something you'd expect from Alice in Wonderland. There are probably a good five to ten minutes of visual aerial shots showing spectacular buildings and contraptions, all created digitally. Throughout the shots, I stared in awe at the beautiful world created by digital designers and artists. On top of that, even though the dialogue was bland, the performance of the actors is top notch. They did all they could to enlighten the dialogues and the story. Hatter's facial impressions are priceless.

My favorite part in the movie is the eye candy of all those visual effects that made you forget the lack of story structure, or rushed script writing and just enjoy this fantasized world that has been around for so many years. Unlike the story or script, the visuals are in great detail and very fitting.

This film is filled with great acting and or spectacular visuals so I recommend it for ages 7 to 18. There are some action scenes that are too intense for younger children. Because of poor screenplay and storyline, I rate it 2 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Alice Looking Through The Glass is absolutely amazing. All of its elements make it outstanding. It's based the book by Lewis Carroll where Alice returns to Wonderland and has to help the Mad Hatter find his family. Through her journey, she must overcome multiple obstacles that try to stop her. She also experiences some personal issues herself regarding her own family in the real world. The animation of this movie is, by far, the best I've ever seen. Everything seems so real, yet has that fairytale, fantasy aspect. Most of the movie takes place in the world of Wonderland.

The movie's plot is very well done. My favorite part is when Alice confronts the Mad Hatter about him being right all along and he slowly becomes himself again. Actually, that transformation which includes a change in makeup, hair, eye color and shape is impressive. Without a doubt, that moment is very delightful and heartwarming. My favorite character is Alice Kingsleigh, the protagonist, played by Mia Wasikowska. Ms. Wasikowska represents the character as an adventurous, but still timid girl. Alice never gives up and believes in her dreams and her friend's dreams as well. Alice always keeps her word and is always there for her loved ones no matter the circumstances.

Throughout the movie, there are many morals but the one that caught my attention was how that the past cannot be changed, one can only learn from it. I find this very important since people sometimes can't get over their mistakes and really, they should just learn the consequences and move on and keep living. This film also shows how, in the 19th century, being a female leader was difficult or unheard of and one had to be strong and smart with their words.

The most redeeming quality of this movie for me is that it revolves around the meaning of having a family and doing everything for them. I recommend this film to ages 3 to 18 and I rate it a five out of five stars.

Reviewed by Giselle T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

coming soon
When Alice wakes up in Wonderland she must travel through a mysterious new world to retrieve a magical scepter that can stop the evil Lord of Time before he turns forward the clock and turns Wonderland into a barren, lifeless old world. With the help of some new friends, Alice must also uncover an evil plot to put the Queen of Hearts back on the throne.
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