Tim Burton’s sequel to his Alice in Wonderland adaptation from a few years ago is once again based on a book by Lewis Carroll, this time Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, published in 1871.
As far as adaptations go, this is very liberal. Burton doesn’t follow the book much at all, uses very little elements of it and weaves them into what is essentially a sequel to his previous Alice movie. If you haven’t seen that one, make sure you do before you see Alice Through the Looking Glass or you’ll be very confused.
Just like with the first film, the director has added original characters that were not part of the book. Some return from Alice in Wonderland, others are new.
Even though the movie is visually pleasing, the story doesn’t flow well at all. If it weren’t for Baron Sacha Cohen’s splendid and hilarious performance as Time, it would quickly go from an entertaining popcorn movie to a boring one.
It’s not like the other actors don’t try to put on a good show, it’s just that for some reason their performances feel forced most of the time.
Time is also the character that adds all the marvelous steampunk elements to Through the Looking Glass, ranging from the Chronosphere to a ton of other things I won’t go into as I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t seen it yet.
The real-word part is placed in Victorian London, which is always nice for those interested in Victoriana.
An added bonus is that Disney has produced a nice range of movie merchandise available in Disney stores, with some cool steampunk items.
That aside, Alice Through the Looking Glass is definitely not Tim Burton’s best movie.
It is entertaining enough, though, provided you have seen the first film and are OK with the Lewis Carroll’s book being completely tossed out of the window.