The Film (2/5)
The original Walt Disney Alice in Wonderland was once and probably still is accused of being a purely visual spectacle that is a very loose adaptation of its Lewis Carroll source material. A lot of the adaptations of the Carroll work tend to focus on the books odder aspects while leaving other elements behind. However, Tim Burton's 2010 adaptation Alice in Wonderland made the prior Disney adaptation not only look deep in comparison, but also look like a mostly straight forward adaptation as it was an Alice in Wonderland adaptation in name only, and was an action fantasy sequel to Carroll's work.
The film did quite well for Disney so a sequel was certainly in the cards. They took the title from Lewis Carroll's own literary sequel, because that is the easiest thing to do when one makes a sequel adaptation to Alice in Wonderland. But like the prior entry went their own way, again to mixed results.
Alice Through the Looking Glass follows Alice Kingsleigh a few years after the prior films conclusion. She has been acting as the ship’s captain to her late Father's ship the "Wonder", and exploring the world. Upon her return she discovers that her Mother sold her portion of the ship to her ex-fiancee to save their house, and she must return to Underland to find a way to save her ship. While there she discovers the Mad Hatter is ill, and his family is gone, and must traverse time to save them, and him.
Alice Through the Looking Glass is a film that is pure visual candy. It is bright and colorful, and at its best this makes the film highly watchable and quite a bit of fun. The performances from the cast are solid, through Depp's Mad Hatter, and Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen still do not work for me on any level. The main issue is the film is entirely too long to sustain a film that is purely a surface level experience. The narrative works for the most part, but gets overly long and complicated by the film's conclusion.
Disney presents Alice Through the Looking Glass in a splendid 1:85:1 1080p AVC encoded transfer. Everything here is not surprisingly well detailed with excellent colors, and deep blacks. The audio is presented with a DTS-HD MA 7.1 track in English and again everything sounds excellent. Dialogue and score come through crisp and clear, and ambient sound comes through nicely.
A few minor behind the scenes pieces, and a commentary by director Bobin. We also get are treated to a music video and some other odds and ends.
If there is one thing I can say about this film it is that I enjoyed it by a small hair more than Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. It isn't a great film by any measure, but visually it's solid, and Mia Wasikowska turns in another wonderful performance proving that she is one of the finest actors of her generation. The Blu-ray looks and sounds stunning, but is limited in extras. RECOMMENDED.