Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016 film)

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Alice Through the Looking Glass
Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016 film) poster.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed by James Bobin
Produced by
Written by Linda Woolverton
Based on Characters
by Lewis Carroll
Starring
Music by Danny Elfman
Cinematography Stuart Dryburgh
Edited by Andrew Weisblum
Production
company
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release date
  • May 10, 2016 (2016-05-10)(London)
  • May 27, 2016 (2016-05-27)(United States)
Running time
113 minutes [1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$170 million [2]
Box office$299.5 million [1]

Alice Through the Looking Glass is a 2016 American fantasy adventure film directed by James Bobin, written by Linda Woolverton and produced by Tim Burton, Joe Roth, Suzanne Todd, and Jennifer Todd. It is based on the characters created by Lewis Carroll and is the sequel to the 2010 film Alice in Wonderland , a live-action reimagining of Disney's 1951 animated film of the same name. The film stars Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska, Matt Lucas, Rhys Ifans, Helena Bonham Carter, and Sacha Baron Cohen and features the voices of Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen, Timothy Spall, and Alan Rickman in his final film role.

Fantasy film film genre

Fantasy films are films that belong to the fantasy genre with fantastic themes, usually magic, supernatural events, mythology, folklore, or exotic fantasy worlds. The genre is considered a form of speculative fiction alongside science fiction films and horror films, although the genres do overlap. Fantasy films often have an element of magic, myth, wonder, escapism, and the extraordinary.

Adventure films are a genre of film that typically use their action scenes to display and explore exotic locations in an energetic way.

James Bobin British film and television director

James Bobin is a British film director, writer, and producer. He worked as a director and writer on Da Ali G Show and helped create the characters of Ali G, Borat, and Brüno. With Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement, he co-created Flight of the Conchords. He directed the feature films The Muppets (2011), Muppets Most Wanted (2014), Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016), and Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019).

Contents

In the film, Alice comes across a magical looking glass that takes her back to Wonderland, where she finds that the Mad Hatter is acting madder than usual and wants to discover the truth about his family. Alice then travels through time (with the "Chronosphere"), comes across friends and enemies at different points of their lives, and embarks on a race to save the Hatter before time runs out.

Alice (<i>Alices Adventures in Wonderland</i>) fictional character from Carrolls "Alices Adventures in Wonderland"

Alice is a fictional character and protagonist of Lewis Carroll's children's novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and its sequel, Through the Looking-Glass (1871). A child in the mid-Victorian era, Alice unintentionally goes on an underground adventure after accidentally falling down a rabbit hole into Wonderland; in the sequel, she steps through a mirror into an alternative world.

Wonderland (fictional country) setting for Lewis Carrolls Alices Adventures in Wonderland

Wonderland is the setting for Lewis Carroll's 1865 children's novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

The film premiered in London on May 10, 2016, and was theatrically released by Walt Disney Pictures on May 27, 2016. Alice Through the Looking Glass received generally unfavorable reviews from critics, and grossed $299 million on a budget of $170 million, becoming a box office bomb.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital of and largest city in England and the United Kingdom, with the largest municipal population in the European Union. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Walt Disney Pictures American film studio and a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios

Walt Disney Pictures is an American film studio and a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios, which is ultimately owned by The Walt Disney Company. The subsidiary is the main producer of live-action feature films within the Walt Disney Studios unit, and is based at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. It took on its current name in 1983. Today, in conjunction with the other units of Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Pictures is regarded as one of Hollywood's "Big Five" film studios. Films produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios are also released under this brand.

The film was dedicated to Alan Rickman, who died four months before the film was released.

Alan Rickman English actor

Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman was an English actor and director. Rickman trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and became a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), performing in modern and classical theatre productions. His first big television role came in 1982, but his big break was as the Vicomte de Valmont in the RSC stage production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses in 1985, and after the production transferred to Broadway in 1987 he was nominated for a Tony Award.

Plot

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 learns her ex-fiancé, Hamish Ascot (now wed), has taken over his deceased father's company and plans to have Alice sign over her father's ship in exchange for her family home. Alice follows a butterfly she recognizes as the Caterpillar who transformed during their last encounter and returns to Wonderland through a mirror.

China Country in East Asia

China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering approximately 9,600,000 square kilometers (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the third or fourth largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.

Marriage Social union or legal contract between people called spouses that creates kinship

Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a culturally recognised union between people, called spouses, that establishes rights and obligations between them, as well as between them and their children, and between them and their in-laws. The definition of marriage varies around the world not only between cultures and between religions, but also throughout the history of any given culture and religion, evolving to both expand and constrict in who and what is encompassed, but typically it is principally an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually sexual, are acknowledged or sanctioned. In some cultures, marriage is recommended or considered to be compulsory before pursuing any sexual activity. When defined broadly, marriage is considered a cultural universal. Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares that "Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses."

Caterpillar (<i>Alices Adventures in Wonderland</i>) fictional character from Lewis Carrolls Alice in Wonderland

The Caterpillar is a fictional character appearing in Lewis Carroll's book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

Alice is greeted by the White Queen, the White Rabbit, the Tweedles, the Dormouse, the March Hare, the Bloodhound and the Cheshire Cat. They inform her that the Mad Hatter is acting madder than usual because his family is missing. Alice tries to console him, but he remains sure of his family's survival on Horunvendush Day (the day Wonderland was taken over).

White Queen (<i>Through the Looking-Glass</i>) Through the Looking-Glass character

The White Queen is a fictional character who appears in Lewis Carroll's fantasy novel Through the Looking-Glass.

White Rabbit fictional character in Alices Adventures in Wonderland

The White Rabbit is a fictional character in Lewis Carroll's book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. He appears at the very beginning of the book, in chapter one, wearing a waistcoat, and muttering "Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!" Alice follows him down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. Alice encounters him again when he mistakes her for his housemaid Mary Ann and she becomes trapped in his house after growing too large. The Rabbit shows up again in the last few chapters, as a herald-like servant of the King and Queen of Hearts.

The Dormouse character in Alices Adventures in Wonderland

The Dormouse is a character in "A Mad Tea-Party", Chapter VII from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

Believing that finding the Hatter's family is the only way to stop his deteriorating health, the White Queen sends Alice to consult Time himself in his castle, and convince him to save the Hatter's family in the past, since Alice, due to not being from Wonderland, isn't present in the past, thus avoiding any risk of her past and future selves seeing each other and history being destroyed. Upon visiting the Castle of Eternity, Alice finds the Chronosphere, an object that powers the Grand Clock and controls all the time in Wonderland.

After being told by Time that altering the past is impossible, Alice steals the Chronosphere, escapes Time's Seconds (small steam-powered robots that convert into Minutes or Hours) and travels back in time, shortly after finding the exiled Red Queen is in the care of Time (and is also her new boyfriend). She demands Time to go after Alice while his servant Wilkins make sure the Grand Clock doesn't malfunction with the assistance of the Seconds. Alice accidentally goes to Toomalie Day which is upon during the Red Queen's coronation, where a younger Mad Hatter begins a mockery of the Red Queen when the royal crown does not fit her abnormal head. The crowd started to laugh along with Hatter when her crown breaks, This causes the Red Queen to have a melt down and begins to make her head get bigger. Her father deems her inappropriate to rule and passes the title of queen to her younger sister, the White Queen. Meanwhile, Tarrant's father scolds Tarrant for laughing at the Red Queen, which makes Tarrant run away and abandon his family, despite the begs of his mother and siblings.

Trying to search for Alice, Time crashes his flying machine to the past Mad Hatter's tea party accompanied by the March Hare and Dormouse, he demanded the trio about the whereabouts of Alice, but Hatter and his friends fib that she is invited so he could stay. Time starts to get annoyed with time related questions and puns. as punishment for "wasting himself" he uses his powers to place the group in a time loop that resets in one minute (which the March Hare screamed "Tea Time Forever"), which forces them to return to their seats whenever they leave the table. Time says the loop will only be broken until they meet the younger Alice upon her first arrival in Wonderland, his flying machine finally works and is off to continue his search for Alice and his Chronosphere.

Alice learns of an event in both the Queens's past that caused friction between the two, and she travels back in time again to Fell Day, hoping it will change the Red Queen's ways and cease the Jabberwocky from killing the Hatter's family. The young White Queen steals a tart from her mother and eats it. When confronted by their mother, she lies about eating the tart, which gets her sister accused, causing her to run out of the castle in a fit. Alice sees her about to run into a clock, probably thinking that’s the event that deforms her head and personality. She is able to get the clock out of the way, but fails to change the past as she trips and slams her head into a statue in the middle of the town square. Meanwhile, Alice encounters the young Mad Hatter, and finds out about the first hat he had ever made (although it is actually a paper hat). At first Hatter's father despised the hat, but he secretly decided to keep the paper hat.

Alice is then confronted by a weakened Time, who scolds her for putting all of time in danger. She runs into a nearby mirror back into the real world, where she wakes up in a mental hospital, diagnosed with female hysteria. By the help of her mother, she returns to Wonderland, where she travels to Horunvendush day and discovers that the Hatter's family didn't die, but were captured by the Red Queen's Red Knights. Returning to the present, Alice discovers the Mad Hatter at the brink of death.

After Alice tearfully says that she believes him, the Hatter awakens and reforms back to his normal self. The Wonderlanders go to the Red Queen's castle in the outlands, where the Hatter finds his family have been shrunk and are trapped in an ant farm. The Red Queen apprehends them and steals the Chronosphere from Alice, taking her sister back to the day she lied about the tart. By the time Alice and Hatter get there, the Red Queen and her past self see each other. This creates a time paradox, and Wonderland quickly turns to rust. Using the Chronosphere, Alice and the Hatter race back to the present, where Alice is able to place the Chronosphere back in its original place.

With the Chronosphere stabilized, Wonderland reverts back to normal. The Mad Hatter reunites with his family. The White Queen apologizes to her sister for lying, and both of them make amends. Alice bids her friends farewell again and returns to the real world where her mother refuses to return Alice's ship over to Hamish, and the two set to travel the world together with their own company.

Cast

Voice cast

Production

Tall ships in Gloucester Docks for the filming of Alice Through the Looking Glass. August 2014 Tall ships in Gloucester Docks for the filming of Alice in Wonderland Through the Looking Glass.JPG
Tall ships in Gloucester Docks for the filming of Alice Through the Looking Glass. August 2014

The film was announced via Variety in December 2012. [11] Bobin was first approached about the project while doing post-production work on Disney's Muppets Most Wanted . [12] Of being asked, Bobin has said that "I just couldn't pass it up", as he has a passion for the works of Lewis Carroll as well as history in general. [13] In July 2013, it was announced that Johnny Depp would return as the Hatter, [14] with Mia Wasikowska's return confirmed the following November. [15] In January 2014 Sacha Baron Cohen joined the cast to play Time. [16] In May 2014, Rhys Ifans joined the cast to play Zanik Hightopp, the Mad Hatter's father. [17] In developing the character of "Time", Bobin sought to avoid creating a "straight-up bad guy", noting that it would be "a bit dull", and also that the role in that universe already existed in the form of The Red Queen. [12] Instead, Bobin sought to make Time a "Twit", further explaining that "There's no one better at playing the confident idiot trope than Sacha Baron Cohen", and adding that "it was very much with Sacha in mind". [12]

Principal photography began on August 4, 2014, at Shepperton Studios. [18] In August 2014, filming took place in Gloucester Docks, which included the use of at least four historic ships: Kathleen and May , Irene , Excelsior , and the Earl of Pembroke , the last of which was renamed The Wonder for filming. [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] Principal photography ended on October 31, 2014. [24]

Soundtrack

Alice Through the Looking Glass: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Film score by
ReleasedMay 27, 2016
Recorded2016
Studio Abbey Road Studios
Genre Orchestral, pop rock
Length76:53
Label Walt Disney
Producer Danny Elfman
Danny Elfman film scores chronology
Goosebumps
(2015)
Alice Through the Looking Glass: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
(2016)
Before I Wake
(2016)
Singles from Alice Through the Looking Glass: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
  1. "Just like Fire"
    Released: April 15, 2016
  2. "Alice"
    Released: May 27, 2016
  3. "Saving the Ship"
    Released: May 27, 2016
  4. "Looking Glass"
    Released: June 1, 2016
  5. "Truth"
    Released: July 28, 2016
  6. "Story of Time"
    Released: August 7, 2016
  7. "The Red Queen"
    Released: October 18, 2016
  8. "The Chronosphere"
    Released: October 20, 2016

The film’s score was composed by Danny Elfman. The soundtrack was released on May 27, 2016, by Walt Disney Records. Pink recorded the song "Just Like Fire" for the film, and also covered Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit", only used in the film's promotional material.

Track listing

All music composed by Danny Elfman.

No.TitleLength
1."Alice"6:35
2."Saving the Ship"3:40
3."Watching Time"5:10
4."Looking Glass"3:30
5."To the Rescue"0:56
6."Hatter House"3:47
7."The Red Queen"2:29
8."The Chronosphere"4:15
9."Warning Hightopps"2:23
10."Tea Time Forever"1:45
11."Oceans of Time"1:15
12."Hat Heartbreak"2:27
13."Asylum Escape"4:06
14."Hatter's Deathbed"3:22
15."Finding the Family"2:04
16."Time Is Up"4:24
17."World's End"1:50
18."Truth"4:09
19."Goodbye Alice"2:13
20."Kingsleigh & Kingsleigh"1:19
21."Seconds Song"0:11
22."Friends United"1:06
23."Time's Castle"1:49
24."The Seconds"1:55
25."Clock Shop"0:50
26."They're Alive"2:23
27."Story of Time"3:03
28."Just like Fire" (performed by Pink)3:35
Total length:76:53

Release

Alice Through the Looking Glass premiered in London on May 10, 2016, and was theatrically released on May 27, 2016, in the United States by Walt Disney Pictures.

Home media

Alice Through the Looking Glass was released on Blu-ray, DVD and digital download on October 18, 2016, by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. [25] [26] It debuted at No. 2 in the Blu-ray Disc sales charts. [27]

Reception

Box office

Alice Through the Looking Glass grossed $77 million in the United States and Canada and $222.4 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $299.5 million, against a production budget of $170 million. [1] The Hollywood Reporter estimated the film lost the studio around $70 million, when factoring together all expenses and revenues. [28]

Alice Through the Looking Glass opened in the United States and Canada on May 27, 2016, alongside X-Men: Apocalypse , and was initially projected to gross $55–60 million from 3,763 theaters over its four-day Memorial Day opening weekend, but projections were continuously revised downwards due to poor word of mouth. [29] It had the added benefit of playing in over 3,100 3D theaters, 380 IMAX screens, 77 premium large formats and 79 D-box locations. [30] [31] It made $1.5 million from Thursday previews (to the first film's $3.9 million) [32] and just $9.7 million on its first day, compared to the $41 million opening Friday of its predecessor. [33] Through its opening weekend, it earned $26.9 million, which when compared to its predecessor's $116 million opening is down 70%. [29] While 3D represented 71% ($82 million) of the original film's opening gross, 3D constituted only 41% ($11 million) for this sequel, with 29% coming from traditional 3D shows, 11% from IMAX, and 1% from premium large formats. [34] It was the studio's third production with a low Memorial Day opening after Tomorrowland in 2015 and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time in 2010. [34] During its first week, the film grossed $40.1 million. [35] In its second weekend, the film grossed $11.3 million (a 55.1% drop), finishing 4th at the box office. [36]

The film was released across 43 countries (72% of its total market place) the same weekend as the US, and was estimated to gross $80–100 million in its opening weekend. It faced competition from Warcraft and X-Men: Apocalypse. [37] It ended up grossing $62.7 million, which is well below the projections of which $4.1 million came from IMAX shows. [38] It had an opening weekend gross in Mexico ($4.5 million), Brazil ($4.1 million), and Russia ($3.9 million). [38] In the United Kingdom and Ireland, it had an unsuccessful opening by grossing just £2.23 million ($3.1 million) during its opening weekend, a mere 21% of the first film's £10.56 million ($15.2 million) opening from 603 theaters. It debuted in second place behind X-Men: Apocalypse which was on its second weekend of play. [39] In China, it had an opening day of an estimated $7.3 million [40] and went on to score the second biggest Disney live-action (non-Marvel or Lucasfilm) opening ever with $26.6 million, behind only The Jungle Book . [38] However, this was down from its $35–45 million projections. [41] It debuted at the No. 1 spot among newly released film in Japan with $5.2 million and $4.1 million on Saturday and Sunday. By comparison, the first film opened with $14 million on its way to a $133.6 million a total. [42] [43]

Critical response

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 29% based on 248 reviews, and an average rating of 4.6/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Alice Through the Looking Glass is just as visually impressive as its predecessor, but that isn't enough to cover for an underwhelming story that fails to live up to its classic characters." [44] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 34 out of 100 based on 42 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". [45] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale, the same grade earned by its predecessor, while those at PostTrak gave it an overall positive score of 79% and a "definite recommend" of 51%. [46]

Stephen Holden of The New York Times wrote in his review, "What does all this have to do with Lewis Carroll? Hardly anything" and that overall, "It's just an excuse on which to hang two trite overbearing fables and one amusing one". [47] Ty Burr of The Boston Globe gave the movie 1.5 out of 4 stars and called the film, "gaudy, loud, complacent, and vulgar." [48] Stephen Whitty of New York Daily News called the film "hugely expensive and extravagantly stupid" and that, overall, the movie "is just one more silly Hollywood mashup, an innocent fantasy morphed into a noisy would-be blockbuster". [49]

Matt Zoller Seitz of RogerEbert.com was deeply critical of Alice Through the Looking Glass, describing it as "the most offensive kind of film...one that spends an enormous amount of money yet seems to have nothing on its mind but money. You give it, they take it. And you get nothing in return but assurances that you're seeing magic and wonder. The movie keeps repeating it in your ear, and flashing it onscreen in big block letters: MAGIC AND WONDER. MAGIC AND WONDER. But there is no magic, no wonder, just junk rehashed from a movie that was itself a rehash of Lewis Carroll, tricked out with physically unpersuasive characters and landscapes and 'action scenes', with blockbuster 'journey movie' tropes affixed to every set-piece as blatantly as Post-It Notes." [50]

Kyle Smith of New York Post gave the film a positive review: "The screenplay (by Linda Woolverton) isn't exactly heaving with brilliant ideas, but it works well enough as a blank canvas against which the special-effects team goes bonkers". [51] Matthew Lickona of San Diego Reader said that while he found the visual effects to be "stupidly expensive" and the story familiar, he called it, "a solid kids’ movie in the old style". [52]

Accolades

List of awards and nominations
AwardCategoryRecipient(s)ResultRef(s)
Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel Alice Through the Looking GlassNominated [53]
Worst Supporting Actor Johnny Depp
Worst Screen Combo Johnny Depp and His Vomitously Vibrant Costume
Golden Trailer Awards Best Animation Family"Poem" [54]
The Don LaFontaine Award for Best Voice Over"Poem"
Best Fantasy Adventure TV Spot"Grammys"
Best Original Score TV Spot"Grammys"
Grammy Awards Best Song Written For Visual Media "Just Like Fire" – Oscar Holter, Max Martin, Pink and Shellback [55]
Hollywood Music in Media Awards Best Song – Sci-Fi/Fantasy Film"Just Like Fire" – Oscar Holter, Max Martin, Pink and ShellbackWon [56] [57]
People's Choice Awards Favorite Family MovieAlice Through the Looking GlassNominated [58]
Satellite Awards Best Art Direction and Production Design Dan Hennah [59]
Best Costume Design Colleen Atwood
Saturn Awards Best Costume Design Colleen Atwood [60]
Teen Choice Awards Choice Music: Song from a Movie or TV Show"Just Like Fire" by Pink [61]
Visual Effects Society Awards Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal FeatureJacob Clark, Joseph Pepper, Klaus Seitschek and Cosku Turhan [62]

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Alice in Wonderland is a Disney media franchise, commencing in 1951 with the theatrical release of the animated film Alice in Wonderland. The film is an adaptation of the books by Lewis Carroll, which featured his character Alice. A live-action film directed by Tim Burton was released in 2010.

Tarrant Hightopp Mad Hatter in 2010 film Alice in Wonderland

Tarrant Hightopp, also known as the Mad Hatter, is a fictional character in the 2010 film Alice in Wonderland and its 2016 sequel Alice Through the Looking Glass, based upon the same character from Lewis Carroll's Alice novels. He is portrayed by actor Johnny Depp. He serves as the films' protagonist.

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