By Courtney Potter
The colorful world of Alice in Wonderland came to life in 2010 in a whole new, live-action way—chock-full of all the whimsy and eye-popping visuals that director Tim Burton (The Nightmare Before Christmas) is known for.
When last we fell down the rabbit hole, our titular golden-haired heroine Alice (Mia Wasikowska) escapes a tedious garden party—and an unwanted proposal of marriage—by following a mysterious white cottontail in a blue waistcoat into what initially appears to be a hole at the base of a tree. She’s confronted by a host of curious characters, including the aforementioned White Rabbit (voice of Michael Sheen) and Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum (Matt Lucas)—and she’s surprised to learn she’s been lured to this magical realm (Underland) for a purpose: According to wise Absolem the Caterpillar (voice of Alan Rickman), Alice is to defeat the evil Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) by slaying the mystical Jabberwocky, restoring the White Queen (Anne Hathaway) to power in the process.
Alice, as you might imagine, is thoroughly befuddled—and the Cheshire Cat (voice of Stephen Fry) only makes things delightfully worse when he introduces her to the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp). The Hatter helps Alice elude capture by allowing himself to be seized instead… only now, Alice is faced with finding a way to slay the Jabberwocky and save her new friend. Not yet realizing Alice’s true purpose, the Red Queen invites the Underland newcomer to the palace; while there, Alice learns of the Vorpal Sword, the only weapon capable of taking down the Jabberwocky. She risks life and limb to acquire the sword and delivers it to the White Queen… Later, just as a war between the Red and White Queen’s armies is about to commence, Alice takes measures into her own hands and fights the Jabberwocky—ultimately beheading it, and allowing the White Queen to send the Red Queen and her equally malicious Knave (Crispin Glover) into exile. Using some of the Jabberwocky’s enchanted purple blood, Alice chooses to return to the real world, and winds up charting her own course of adventure by following her late father’s international trade-shipping footsteps.
So… what makes us so excited for Alice Through the Looking Glass? Directed by James Bobin (Muppets Most Wanted) and executive-produced by Burton, the film will feature the return of Alice (back from sailing the high seas); the Red Queen (can’t have a true fairy-tale adventure without a villain or two); the White Rabbit (who better to act as Alice’s guide?); Absolem (in what would become the late Alan Rickman’s final film); and, of course, the daffy Mad Hatter. But we’ll also meet several intriguing new characters, including the Hatter’s father, Zanik Hightopp (Rhys Ifans, Notting Hill), and even Time (Sacha Baron Cohen)—a peculiar creature who is part human, part clock.
Upon Alice’s return to London, she comes across a magical looking glass and finds herself in Underland once more… where she learns that poor Hatter has lost his “muchness.” The White Queen sends Alice on a quest to borrow the Chronosphere—a metallic globe, from inside the chamber of the Grand Clock, that powers time. Returning to the past, Alice meets friends—and enemies—at different points of their lives, all while trying to save the Hatter (and escape the clutches of Time himself) before it’s too late.
Look for Alice Through the Looking Glass in theaters—in Digital 3D™, Real D 3D, and IMAX® 3D—on May 27!