The sequel to Alice in Wonderland definitely provides a more complex and layered story that explores the characters of Wonderland in a deeper context. Alice through the looking glass begins with a grand sea battle as Alice leads her team through the ocean, avoiding a collision with an huge rock.
It was wonderful to see Alice's character explored further, in terms of how determined she is to take the lead of her father's boat and wearing an awesome Chinese dress at a ball, even though she knew she would be looked at as strange being, was very inspiring due to the time period in which she would have lived.
This relatable streak to her character is a very engaging asset that the film succeeds in. Alice's loyalty to Hatter as she travels through time to try and find Hatter's family, as he believes they survived. Hatter's little hat that he made as a child was found by older hatter which leads him to believe that his family is alive.
The introduction of time himself was really cool, particularly his costume and the whole setting of time headquarters was beautifully unique and weird. As the film goes on, it was a rather clever twist to his character that his motivation is revealed to be one of protection to save time. At the beginning, I felt his character was portrayed as a rather dangerous and scary opponent for Alice.
But there is another thread to the plot which involves the White and Red Queen that delves in an event that happened in their childhoods. Alice follows them and discovers that the White Queen ate the last jam tart, dropped some crumbs near her sister's bed and blamed it on her.
For this fantastical universe, this idea to explore how the Red Queen became the horrible and selfish character that she has was a really quirky addition to the story. Essentially, the Red Queen simply asks why nobody loves her, her sister replies she does. It was a bittersweet moment for the two characters and their evolution was rather heartwarming and appreciated one.
More so, Danny Elfman brings such sparkling fluidity in his music with epic action sequences to the more emotional and intimate scenes, played beautifully with piano and flute to emphasis the magical quality that imbues this world.
Conclusively, Alice and the Hatter finds his family but time is running out and Alice doesn't manage to save it. However, there is one tiny spark that kick starts time again which wraps up the story elegantly and imaginatively.
This is an engaging, strange, magical and layered film with the most exquisite music, costumes, effects and animation that brings this world to life with grace and love.