REVIEW: ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS (2016)

CAST

Mia Wasikowska (Crimson Peak)
Johnny Depp (Into The Woods)
Helena Bonham Carter (Sweeney Todd)
Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises)
Sacha Baron Cohen (Grimsby)
Rhys Ifans (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Matt Lucas (Bridesmaids)
Richard Armitage (The Hobbit)
Alan Rickman (Harry Potter)
Stephen Fry (Sherlock Holmes 2)
Michael Sheen (Underworld)
Barbara Windsor (Eastenders)
Timothy Spall (Vanilla Sky)
Matt Vogel (Muppets Most Wanted)
Hattie Morahan (Mr. Holmes)

Alice Kingsleigh has spent the past three years following in her father’s footsteps and sailing the high seas. Upon her return to London from China, she discovers that her ex-fiancé, Hamish Ascot, has taken over her father’s company and plans to have Alice sell him her father’s ship in exchange for her family home. Unable to make a choice, Alice runs away, and comes across her butterfly friend Absolem, who disappears through a mysterious mirror on one of the upstairs rooms, returning to Underland.
There, Alice is greeted by Mirana of Marmoreal, the White Queen, Nivens McTwisp, the White Rabbit, the Tweedles, Mallymkun, the Dormouse, Thackery Earwicket, the March Hare, Bayard, and the Cheshire Cat. They inform her that Tarrant Hightopp, the Mad Hatter is in poor health because his family is missing following the Attack of the Jabberwocky. The attack occurred shortly after his father, Zanik, a hat retailer, seemed to reject Tarrant’s gift of a hat creation.
The White Queen persuades Alice to convince Time himself to save the Mad Hatter’s family in the past, believing her to be the only one who can save the Hatter. However, she cautions Alice about time, and that if her past self sees her future self, everything will be history. As Alice sets out, she ends up in a dreary palace, where Time himself, a demigod that is part-human, part-clock, resides. As Alice tries to consult Time, she finds the Chronosphere, an object that powers all time in Underland and will allow her to travel to any time in the past.

Alice ignores Time’s warning that the past is unchangeable, and steals the Chronosphere, shortly after finding Iracebeth of Grims, the exiled Red Queen, in the care of Time. Alice accidentally flies to the day of Iracebeth’s coronation, where a younger Mad Hatter/Tarrant Hightopp mocks the Red Queen/Iracebeth of Crims when the royal crown doesn’t fit on her abnormally large head. This causes Iracebeth to melt down and her father deems her emotionally unqualified to rule and passes the title of queen to her younger sister, the White Queen/Mirana of Marmoreal.

Alice learns of an event in Iracebeth’s and Mirana’s past that caused friction between the two and travels back in time again, hoping it will change Iracebeth’s ways and stop the Jabberwocky from killing the Hatter’s family. She learns that the hat that the Mad Hatter thought his father threw away was actually treasured by him. Meanwhile, she meets the White Queen and the Red Queen as sisters. Mirana steals a tart from her mother and eats it. When confronted by their mother, Mirana lies about eating the tart, and Iracebeth is accused, causing her to run out of the castle. Alice sees that Iracebeth is about to run into a clock, thinking that’s the event that deforms her head and personality. Alice prevents that collision but fails to change the past, as Iracebeth trips and slams her head into a stone wall instead.

A weakened Time then confronts Alice after relentless searching, and scolds her for putting all of time in danger. Out of panic, Alice runs into a nearby mirror back in the real world, where she wakes up in a mental hospital, diagnosed with female hysteria. As Dr. Addison Bennett, a psychiatric doctor, tries to inject her with a sedative, she escapes and returns to Underland via the mirror, where she travels to the Attack of the Jabberwocky Day. Alice discovers that the Mad Hatter’s family was captured by the Red Queen instead and never died. Returning to the present however, Alice discovers that the Mad Hatter is on the brink of death.

Alice, close to tears, says that she believes him, and Tarrant transforms back to his normal self. The Underlandians go to the Red Queen’s new organic plant castle, where the Mad Hatter finds his family shrunk and trapped in an ant farm. However, the Red Queen apprehends them and steals the Chronosphere from Alice. Ignoring Time’s warning, she takes her sister back to the day she lied about the tart. By the time the Mad Hatter and Alice get there, the Red Queen and her younger self have seen each other. Time becomes irrelevant, and Underland begins to freeze in rust. At a powerless Time’s pleas, Alice and the Mad Hatter, using the Chronosphere race back to the present, where Alice places the Chronosphere in its original place in time.
With the Chronosphere stabilized, Underland reverts to normal. The Mad Hatter reunites with his family and the White Queen and the Red Queen make amends while Time forgives Alice for the trouble she caused. Alice bids farewell to her friends and returns to the real world through another mirror. She finds her mother is about to sign over Alice’s ship to Hamish. Her mother decides to support her daughter instead. Hamish gets the Kingsleigh family home but not the ship. Alice and her mother set out to travel the world together with their own shipping company.A wonderful follow up to the first film, with all your favorite characters returning for the adventure and some amazing new ones too. A film the whole family can enjoy.

 

REVIEW: ALICE IN WONDERLAND (2010)

CAST

Mia Wasikowska (Crimson Peak)
Johnny Depp (Into The Woods)
Helena Bonham Carter (Cinderella)
Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises)
Crispin Glover (Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter)
Matt Lucas (Bridesmaids)
Frances de la Tour (Mr. Holmes)
Marton Csokas (Xena)
Michael Sheen (Underworld)
Alan Rickman (Harry Potter)
Stephen Fry (Sherlock Holmes 2)
Barbara Windsor (Eastenders)
Paul Whitehouse (Corpse Bride)
Timothy Spall (Rock Star)
Michael Gough (Batman)
Christopher Lee (The Hobbit)
Imelda Staunton (Paddington)
Frank Welker (The Simpsons)
Lucy Davenport (Gangster Squad)

Troubled by a strange recurring dream and mourning the loss of her beloved father, nineteen-year-old Alice Kingsleigh attends a garden party at Lord Ascot’s estate. There she is confronted by an unwanted marriage proposal to Hamish Ascot and the stifling expectations of the society in which she lives. Unsure of how to proceed, she pursues a rabbit wearing a blue waistcoat and accidentally falls into a large rabbit hole under a tree. She emerges in a forest where she is greeted by the White Rabbit, the Dormouse, the Dodo, the Talking Flowers, and Tweedledee and Tweedledum. They argue over her identity as “the right Alice” who must slay the Red Queen’s Jabberwocky and restore the White Queen to power, as foretold by Absolem the Caterpillar and his prophetic scroll. The group is then ambushed by the Bandersnatch and a group of playing-card soldiers led by the Knave of Hearts. Alice, Tweedledum and Tweedledee escape into the woods. The Knave steals the Caterpillar’s scroll. The Dormouse leaves the others behind with one of the Bandersnatch’s eyes in her possession. Tweedledum and Tweedledee are then captured by the Red Queen’s Jubjub bird.

The Knave informs the Red Queen that Alice threatens her reign, and the soldiers and Bayard the Bloodhound are ordered to find Alice immediately. Meanwhile, the Cheshire Cat guides Alice to the March Hare and the Hatter. The Hatter helps Alice avoid capture by allowing himself to be seized instead. Later, Alice is found by Bayard the Bloodhound; but Alice insists upon helping the Hatter. At the Queen’s citadel, the Red Queen is unaware of Alice’s true identity and therefore welcomes her as a guest, named Um from Umbridge. Alice learns that the Vorpal Sword, the only weapon capable of killing the Jabberwocky, is locked inside the den of the Bandersnatch. The Knave crudely attempts to seduce Alice, but she rebuffs him, and a jealous Red Queen orders Alice beheaded. Alice obtains the sword and befriends the Bandersnatch by returning its eye. She then escapes on the back of the grateful Bandersnatch and delivers the sword to the White Queen. The Cheshire Cat saves the Hatter from the executioner, and the Hatter calls for rebellion against the Red Queen. The rebellion is quickly put down by the Jubjub bird, but the resistance flees to the White Queen’s castle, and both armies prepare for battle. Former caterpillar Absolem advises Alice to fight the Jabberwocky just before completing his transformation into a pupa.

On the appointed day, the White and Red Queens gather their armies on a chessboard-like battlefield and send Alice and the Jabberwocky to decide the battle in single combat. Encouraged by the advice of her late father, Alice fights the Jabberwocky among the ruins surrounding the battlefield and finally jumps from the remains of a spiral staircase onto the Jabberwocky’s neck and beheads it. The White Queen sends the Red Queen and the Knave into exile. After the Hatter performs a celebration dance called Futterwacken, the White Queen gives Alice a vial of the Jabberwocky’s purple blood whose power will bring her whatever she wishes. She decides to rejoin the everyday world. Back in England, Lord Ascot takes Alice as his apprentice with the idea of establishing oceanic trade routes to Hong Kong. As the story closes, Alice prepares to set off on a trading ship. A light-blue butterfly lands on her shoulder, and Alice recognizes him as Absolem.

This film is a modern take on the traditional tale of Alice in wonderland, it is absolutely brilliant I cannot recommend it enough. It is highly entertaining and definitely extremely enjoyable for families as well as any aged disney fan.

REVIEW: ALICE IN WONDERLAND (1999)

CAST

Tina Majorino (Veronica Mars)
Miranda Richardson (Sleepy Hollow)
Martin Short (Mars Attacks)
Whoopi Goldberg (Star Trek: Generations)
Simon Russell Beale (Into The Woods)
Ken Dodd (Hamlet)
Gene Wilder (willy Wonka)
George Wendt (Cheers)
Robbie Coltrane (Harry Potter)
Richard Coombs (Labyrinth)
Christopher Lloyd (Back To The Future)
Elizabeth Spriggs (Impromptu)
Ben Kingsley (Iron Man 3)
Peter Ustinov (Animal Farm)
Pete Postlethwaite (Solomon Kane)
Donald Sinden (the Day of The Jackal)
Jason Flemyng (From Hell)
Joanna Lumley (Corpse Bride)

The film follows the storyline of the book closely, save for adding some scenes from Through the Looking-Glass. It also changes the opening real world scene from Alice and her sister sitting at a riverbank to Alice in her bedroom, reluctantly practicing the song “Cherry Ripe”, which she is expected to perform at a garden party. (The party guests are played by the same actors as the Wonderland characters, and are shown as resembling them in appearance and personality, in a similar manner to the MGM version of The Wizard of Oz. The toys in Alice’s room also reflect the residents of Wonderland). Thanks to stage fright, and constant nagging from her confident governess (Dilys Laye), Alice runs out of the house and hides herself in the woods nearby until the party has ended. However, an apple floats down from the tree and seems to hover in Alice’s face. She is suddenly distracted by a human-sized White Rabbit (voiced by Richard Coombs) rushing by. Curious, Alice follows the White Rabbit, falling down his rabbit hole and ending up in Wonderland.

Alice travels throughout Wonderland, meeting a large number of bizarre people and challenges. Alice first has problems keeping her size the same while attempting to go through a small door leading to a beautiful garden, eventually she grows massively tall and floods the room she is in with her tears before shrinking to the size of a mouse. She then meets Mr. Mouse (Ken Dodd) and his avian friends who participate in a Caucus Race, where everyone wins. Alice encounters the White Rabbit again who directs her to his house. There, Alice comes across a bottle of liquid that makes her enormous and trapped in the house. The White Rabbit and his gardeners Pat (played by Irish comedian Jason Byrne) and Bill attempt to remove Alice by going down the chimney, but Alice shrinks again. Wandering in a forest, she encounters Major Caterpillar (Ben Kingsley) who advices her to not be afraid before transforming into a butterfly. Alice grows back to normal size by eating part of a mushroom. She ventures to a nearby manorhouse where she meets the musical Duchess (Elizabeth Spriggs), her baby, her pepper-obsessed plate-throwing cook (Sheila Hancock), and the Cheshire Cat (Whoopi Goldberg). The baby is left in Alice’s care but it turns into a pig and is released. The Cheshire Cat advices Alice to visit the Mad Hatter and his friends the March Hare and the Dormouse.

Meeting the trio at a tea party, Alice is given rather odd advice on how to avoid stagefright, the Mad Hatter (Martin Short) leaping onto the table to do his performance he previously did at a concert of the Queen of Hearts. Alice eventually leaves when the Mad Hatter and March Hare begin smashing cups and plates. They also try stuffing the Dormouse into a teapot. She comes across the small door and using her intelligence, succeeds in getting through it into the garden which is actually the labyrinth maze belonging to the Queen. The Queen of Hearts (Miranda Richardson) invites her to a bizarre game of croquet, but her love for decapitating people annoys Alice. The Cheshire Cat’s head appears in the sky and is ordered to be executed, but reasoning from Alice stops the Queen. The Duchess arrives to answer the King’s question of who the Cat’s owner is, but the Cat has vanished. Alice leaves the croquet game, meeting the Gryphon (voiced by Donald Sinden) and the Mock Turtle (Gene Wilder). The two sing with Alice, teaching her the Lobster Quadrille and encouraging her. Alice then wanders into a darker area of Wonderland, meeting a White Knight (Christopher Lloyd) who encourages her to be brave and also shows her his newest invention.

Alice meets some talking flowers: a Tiger-Lily (voiced by Joanna Lumley) who is the most sensible out of all of them, some Roses which are not too bothered about Alice being lost, and some Daisies who are rascals. Having the flowers helping her, Alice walks off. Alice then meets Tweedledum (Robbie Coltrane) and Tweedledee (George Wendt) who have some antics with her before getting into a fight over a dropped rattle. Alice is then taken to the royal court where the Knave of Hearts (Jason Flemyng) is put on trial for apparently stealing the Queen’s jam tarts. The Mad Hatter and his companions appear as witnesses but he is accused of stealing someone else’s hat and is recognized by the Queen for singing at her concert, prompting him to sing his Twinkle Song. Alice is then called to the stand but she uses some mushroom pieces to grow to great heights. She sees the jam tarts have been untouched and the trial is pointless. She openly criticizes the Queen, the King and Wonderland. The White Rabbit, who is present at the court, reveals he deliberately lured Alice into Wonderland to conquer her fears. He does so by first asking her if she is self-confident. Upon Alice answering yes, he simply states, “then you don’t need us anymore.” He then sends her back home using the same hovering apple that brought her there in the first place.

Awakening back home, Alice courageously sings in front of her parents and their guests, but instead of singing Cherry Ripe, she sings the Lobster Quadrille which she finds much more interesting. The audience enjoy her performance and applaud. Alice spots the Cheshire Cat in the audience who smiles at her in a term of congratulations. The film ends with the lobster quadrille, beautiful soup and some back ground music all during the end credits.

The acting and visual effects in this adaptation are second to none in my opinion. Just check out the actors involved. Impressive! The perfomance by the young Tina Majorino is nothing short of excellent, and I can’t imagine anyone improving on Martin Short’s Mad Hatter. It is wonderful treat to find films that can be shared with enjoyment by both children and adults. This is a film that achieves this – the difficult art of mixing “adult” an “naïve” qualities. It is only too rare to find these days. In short an excellent film!

REVIEW: ALICE (2009)

CAST

Caterina Scorsone (Grey’s Anatomy)
Andrew-Lee Potts (Primeval)
Matt Frewer (Lawnmower Man 2)
Kathy Bates (Misery)
Philip Winchester (Solomon Kane)
Colm Meaney (Star Trek: DS9)
Tim Curry (IT)
Harry Dean Stanton (The Avengers)
Zak Santiago (Caprica)
Charlotte Sullivan (Smallville)
Alessandro Juliani (Battlestar Galactica)
Teryl Rothery (Stargate SG.1)

Alice Hamilton is a judo sensei living with her mother Carol. Her father disappeared when she was ten, and she has spent much of her life looking for him. She invites her new boyfriend Jack Chase to dinner, but is shocked when he gives her a valuable-looking ring as a gift. Jack abruptly leaves, Alice following only to witness Jack being abducted by several men. A man (the White Rabbit) appears and finds out that Alice is in possession of the ring because he hears the click of the mechanical box that contains the ring opening behind her back. He manages to take the box from her, thinking the ring is still in it, but Alice had already quickly taken it out and resealed the box. The White Rabbit runs away and Alice chases him to find out where they had taken Jack, but falls through a giant looking glass and lands in Wonderland, which has evolved over the past 150 years. The Queen of Hearts rules over Wonderland from the Heart Casino, where people from Alice’s world (“Oysters”) are taken to, sedated and play games in the casino, their positive emotions drained from them and turned into drug-like substances for the people of Wonderland to digest, keeping them under the Queen’s control.

Alice escapes her own capture, with the ring still in her possession. Identified as an “Oyster” by the tattoo she gains, Alice is taken to the Hatter, a member of the resistance seeking to free the Oysters from the Queen’s control. The Hatter takes Alice to ask Dodo to help save Jack, but Dodo refuses, until the Hatter reveals the ring Alice wears, which Dodo recognizes as the Stone of Wonderland, able to open the Looking Glass back to the human world. Alice flees when Dodo tries to kill her, the Hatter accompanying her to the forest where they escape a jabberwock and meet Charlie, a surviving White Knight, who fled a battle years ago where Wonderland’s knights were wiped out by the Queen. The Queen has the White Rabbit executed, and has the Walrus and Carpenter revive Mad March, her favorite assassin to track Alice.

Alice deliberately allows Mad March to capture her, so she can negotiate with the Queen to free Jack in return for the ring, which Alice has hidden. Jack appears, revealed as the Queen’s son and to already be engaged to the Duchess. However, Jack passes Alice her father’s watch, implying he is alive and in Wonderland. Alice is put in the Truth Room, where Tweedledum and Tweedledee interrogate her to learn the ring’s location, but she is freed by the Hatter and Charlie, the trio escaping back to the forests, whilst Jack also escapes. In hopes of aiding the resistance and returning Alice home, Hatter uses his connections to find someone who can bring them to Caterpillar, leader of the resistance, using the ring as leverage. To their surprise, the agent who arrives is Jack, revealing him as an agent of the resistance who had originally stolen the ring as part of a ploy to initiate a coup to overthrow the queen. Trusting him, Alice retrieves the ring, and accompanies Jack to meet Caterpillar, who reveals that Alice’s father is Carpenter, but he has no memory of her. As the Carpenter has been crucial in process for extracting emotions for the Queen, Jack had deliberately approached Alice in hopes that she could help the Carpenter break away from the Queen’s control. Just as the Carpenter shows signs of regaining memories, Mad March and his minions arrive, capturing Alice and Jack whilst Caterpillar escapes.

Reunited with her ring, the Queen decides to send Alice home and execute Jack. The Hatter stages a rescue with Charlie but is captured by Mad March after Charlie loses his courage and flees. Charlie, after feeling guilty for deserting the Hatter, uses the skeletons of the extinct White Knights as a distraction to trick the Hearts into believing they are under attack. After being tortured by Dr. Dum and Dee, Hatter kills Mad March and escapes. Alice escapes again, joining up with the Hatter to snap the Oysters out of their sedations and rally them to escape. Carpenter appears, having regained his memories, but is killed by Walrus. The Oysters’ unpleasant emotions run high, causing the casino to start collapsing. Alice, the Hatter, Jack, the Duchess and the Queen escape but Winston, the loyal King of Hearts willingly perishes knowing his wife never loved him. With her followers no longer listening to or fearing her, the powerless Queen surrenders the Stone of Wonderland to Alice. Alice returns home, learning her experience may have been a dream when she awakens in hospital to find she had been found unconscious an hour after chasing Jack. However, the next day she discovers the “construction worker” who found her was the Hatter. The two share a passionate kiss in front of a looking glass, as Carol stares in shock.

Scorsone makes an excellent modern Alice — intelligent, capable and capable of butt-kicking her way out, but still vulnerable and young (“You don’t remember me!”). Potts makes a quirky, disheveled Hatter, and Frewer rounds out the main trio as a mildly insane White Knight. Winchester and Colm Meaney are also excellent, Tim Curry is brilliant but underused, and Kathy Bates absolutely rules as the casually cruel, petulant Queen. And yes, she does say “off with his head!. lots of action, a touch of romance, and just enough surreality.

REVIEW: ALICE IN WONDERLAND (1951)

CAST (VOICES)

Kathryn Beaumont (Peter Pan)
Ed Wynn (The Gnome-Mobile)
Jerry Colonna (A Pest In The House)
Richard Haydn (The Sound of Music)
Sterling Holloway (The Adventures of Superman)

On a golden spring day at the bank of a tranquil river, a young 12-year-old girl named Alice grows bored listening to her older 19-year-old sister read aloud from a history book of William I of England. When her sister chastises Alice’s daydreaming, Alice tells her kitten Dinah that she can live in a nonsensical magical land called Wonderland. While daydreaming, Alice spots a waistcoat-wearing White Rabbit passing by, exclaiming that he is “late for an important date”. Alice gives chase and follows him into a rabbit hole, and falls into a large furnished hole. Her dress catches her fall like a parachute and she floats gently down. She sees the White Rabbit disappear into a tiny door and tries to follow, but the door’s talking knob advises her to alter her size using a mysterious bottle marked “Drink Me.” The contents shrink her to a fraction of her normal size, but the door is locked and the key is out of reach. She then takes a bite of a cookie that says “Eat Me” and grows large enough to fill the entire room. She begins to weep large tears that flood the room. The doorknob then tells Alice to drink from the bottle again, which causes her to shrink once more. Alice falls into the bottle and passes through the door’s keyhole and into Wonderland. She meets several strange characters including the Dodo and Tweedledee and Tweedledum who recount the tale of “The Walrus and the Carpenter”.
Alice eventually finds the White Rabbit in his house; she is sent to fetch some gloves after being mistaken for his housemaid. She eats a cookie and grows into a giant again, getting stuck in the Rabbit’s house. She tries to pull herself out, but is too big. The White Rabbit, the Dodo, and chimney sweep Bill the Lizard believe Alice to be a monster and plot to burn the house down, but Alice escapes by eating a carrot and shrinking down to the size of an insect. She meets a garden of talking flowers who initially welcome her with a song, but then chase her away when an iris accuses her of being a weed. Alice is then instructed by a hookah-smoking Caterpillar to eat a part of his mushroom so she can grow back to her original size. Alice decides to keep the remaining pieces of the mushroom on hand.
Alice meets the Cheshire Cat who advises her to visit the Mad Hatter, March Hare and the Dormouse. The three are hosting a mad tea party and celebrate Alice’s “unbirthday”. The White Rabbit appears, but the Mad Hatter and the March Hare destroy his pocketwatch and throw him out of the party. Fed up with all the nonsense, Alice abandons her pursuit of the White Rabbit and decides to go home, but gets lost in the Tulgey Wood. Fearing she is lost forever, Alice breaks down into tears. The Cheshire Cat appears again and leads Alice into a giant hedge maze ruled by the tyrannical Queen of Hearts and her meek husband, the King of Hearts. The Queen orders the beheading of anyone who enrages her, and invites Alice to a bizarre croquet match using flamingoes and hedgehogs as the equipment.
The Cheshire Cat appears again and pulls a trick on the Queen, which she accuses Alice of doing. Alice is put on trial and unfairly judged. She then remembers she still has the remains of the Caterpillar’s mushroom and consumes both. Quickly growing to a gigantic size, Alice feels free to speak her mind and openly insults the Queen. However, she shrinks back to her normal size just as rapidly. Enraged, the Queen orders her execution. Alice flees and becomes pursued by most of Wonderland’s characters until she finally reunites with the Doorknob.
Alice begs to be let through the door. The Doorknob then tells her she is having a dream, forcing Alice to wake herself up just in time. Now realizing that logic and reason exist for a purpose, Alice walks home with her sister and Dinah for tea.
Very enjoyable movie, remastered to give it a much crisper image. Great for any age, a much higher quality version of the original movie.

REVIEW: ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS (1998)

CAST

Kate Beckinsale (Underworld)
Penelope Wilton (Match Point)
Geoffrey Palmer (Paddington)
Paulette P. Williams (About a Boy)
Siân Phillips (Dune)
Steve Coogan (Tropic Thunder)
Marc Warren (Wanted)
Ian Holm (The Hobbit)
Ian Richardson (From Hell)

 Alice Through the Looking Glass is a rather faithful adaptation of the Lewis Carroll story, though some distinction should be made between Alice Through the Looking Glass and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. There are no mad tea parties, no chasing of a white rabbit, no imminent threat of decapitation, no Cheshire Cat, no puffing caterpillars, and for those familiar with the Disney animated film, I suppose there’s little point in continuing on with such a list as you’re already well-acquainted with the basics of that story. While one shouldn’t go in anticipating a live-action spin on the familiar Disney film, some elements do cross over, such as Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum, and their story of the Walrus and Carpenter. Otherwise, it’s very much its own story.
 opening with a rather sleepy mother reading to her young daughter, who convinces her to…well, peer at the title for some small hint. Despite Alice’s continual claims that she’s seven years and six months exactly, she’s portrayed by Kate Beckinsale, who’s a good bit older (but certainly easier to look at). Some moments in Carroll’s story, such as the Lion and the Unicorn, are dispensed with entirely, but the bulk of the dialogue is presented verbatim. That more than anything is what entranced me. The movie is almost wall-to-wall dialogue, with virtually no stretches without someone saying something. The deft wordplay typically involves a very rational Alice trying to converse with characters ensnared in their own circular, non-sensical logic.
 Alice Through the Looking Glass is a charming, clever story, and this adaptation is accordingly a charming, clever film. I’m not convinced that very young children would get much out of it, and as the execution is decidedly British, viewers who are turned off by such things should certainly steer clear. I personally enjoyed Alice Through the Looking Glass quite a bit.

REVIEW: ALICE IN WONDERLAND (1933)

CAST

Charlotte Henry (Harmony at Home)
Richard Arlen (Tropic Fury)
Roscoe Ates (Three Texas Steers)
William Austin (Batman 1943)
Gary Cooper (The First Kiss)
Cary Grant (She Done Him Wrong)
Sterling Holloway (the Adventures of Superman)

Left alone with a governess one snowy afternoon (Alice’s sister does not appear in this version), Alice is supremely bored. She idly starts to wonder what life is like on the other side of the drawing room mirror, when she suddenly feels a surge of confidence and climbs upon the mantelpiece to look. She discovers that she can pass through the looking glass and finds herself in a strange room where many things seem to be the exact reverse of what is in the drawing room. Strangely, through all of this, the governess does not seem to notice what has happened.


Alice looks out the window and suddenly sees a White Rabbit. She follows it to a rabbit hole and falls in. Seeing nobody else there, she comes upon a table with a key to a locked door, and a bottle that bears the sign “Drink Me”. In a situation exactly reversed from the book, she grows to enormous size after drinking the bottle’s contents. Unable to pass into the room beyond the locked door, she begins to cry. A cake with a sign saying “Eat Me” appears. She eats the cake, shrinks to a tiny size, and is immediately swept along into a flood caused by her own tears. Many more of her adventures follow, combining sections of Through the Looking Glass with the original Alice. At the end, Alice is awakened from her dream, not by the “pack of playing cards”, but by a riotous celebration that goes completely haywire after she is crowned Queen.Image result for ALICE IN WONDERLAND 1933 Brilliantly directed by Norman Mc Cleod, shot in monochrome, and released in 1933, Charlotte Henry beautifully portrays Alice’s innocence and wonderment as she learns each life’s lesson and gains confidence in herself, facing and conquering her inner fears on her journey of abandonment through the surreal Radula space that is Wonderland. The direction is witty and fast-paced and Norman Mc Cleod’s direction creates many interesting juxtapositions on the story – beginning with the opening winter scene from ‘Through the looking glass’ and not the May boat ride and picnic one normally anticipates.

On the journey there are some fabulous cameo performances from such notables as Gary Cooper, WC Fields, and Ford Sterling; and Edna May Oliver as The Red Queen is just the best; but the cameo that shines out for my family was the wonderful pathos infused by Cary Grant as The Mock Turtle.Another very clever aspect is that the sets and the actions and motions of the characters accurately represent Tenniel’s immortal illustrations. The acting is impeccable.

Once you watch it you will be hooked.