Ever since I was little and saw Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, I have been intrigued by the word of Wonder in which she lands. After having read both books by Lewis Caroll, seen many adaptations of them, heard the Jabberwocky read by Benedict Cumberbatch, when Tim Burton announced he was going to make an Alice in Wonderland film I was delighted. Tim Burton is the only director that I would trust with a trippy scene as is the story of Alice.
When later, and more recently, it was announced that there was going to be a second film, I was wondering what they were going to put in the story since the first film already covered most of both books.
When earlier this year the news broke that Alan Rickman had died, I thought “Oh no, are we still going to hear him in this film”. He was still to be seen in the beginning as Absolem, but I think his role was kept small on purpose. I would have loved more of his iconic voice. It is very nice that they put a dedication to him in the credits.
The story is about fighting time, time who is a thief. Well, it’s universally known that time gets away from you easy and you wish that you had spent more time with someone. In Alice’s case that would be her dad, in the Mad Hatter’s case, it’s his family who he lost on the day the Jabberwocky attacked.
Alice needs to go to the castle of Time and “borrow” the Chronosphere to travel back in time to save Hatter’s family. We meet Time himself and honestly I thought it well thought out that he is a clockwork man. His hard is a clock that’s linked to the big clock of all time (all past, present and future represented). He tells Alice that you can never change the past but can learn from it. This is a wise lesson anyway, as we can only learn from our mistakes too.
As Alice steals the Chronosphere and goes back in time we see a young Iracebeth (the Red Queen) and Hatter. We learn several things that are an explanation to running concepts like how the Red Queen got her big head (she bumped it and is swole up), and the relationship between Tarrant Hightop (Mad Hatter) as a boy and his father. We also learn why in the first film/ book they are waiting for Alice at the Tea Party. Apparently Time froze time, so there would be no tea party until Alice arrived. When they would start they get winded back to minutes before the party (over and over).
Alice does find out what happened to the Hightops, but as she does the Chronosphere is stolen by the Red Queen. She goes back to the point in time right before she bumped her head. Because of doing this and showing herself to her younger self, time begins to deteriorate. We see rust coming over the world and travelling forward in time again the rust keeps following. The only way to save the world is put the Chronosphere back in its place.
I liked that there was a moral to the story, time travel works but it has its consequences. You can’t change the past!
It took me some time to recognise Stephen Fry as Chessur Cat, but I think that is was because I’m so used to hearing him talk at high speed and the dissapearing cat talks very slow.
In general, I loved being catapulted back into Wonderland and seeing friends of old again. Everyone was there, McTwisp (the always hurrying rabbit), Dormouse (combat-ready as usual), the March Hare (crazy as can be) and the tweedles. Humpty Dumpty breaks yet again. Sometimes it’s looking at a person very hard before you know which actor is portraying them. I’m talking about Rhys Ifans. If I hadn’t looked it up, £I wouldn’t have guessed that he was the Madd Hatter’s dad.
I would recommend any Tim Burton fan to watch it as it is the world we all love to see. A pure Lewis Caroll fan might have issues with it as it doesn’t follow the line of the book (but hey they already covered that part in the first film).
One more thing…. as I have been to a lot of superhero films of late, I have developed the habit of staying in my seat till the very end of the credits. I did it even here, and there is a little something (a voice not a scene) at the end. I was surprised to hear it.