“Alice Through the Looking Glass” will continue to print money for Disney

alice through the looking glass
Disney certainly knows how to craft financially successful films. Especially when they take their animated classics and adapt them into live action features, the Mouse basically has a formula all but down pat. Opening this week, Alice Through the Looking Glass is the latest in that endeavor, one which was executed to tremendous effect recently with The Jungle Book. This one doesn’t appear to be nearly as strong a work, which makes sense considering the last installment in this now franchise was Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, which I didn’t care for one bit. Still, it was a hit, and I highly suspect that this one will be a hit as well.

The movie is, once again, a sequel to Alice in Wonderland, obviously. Taking place years after the first film, Alice Kingsleigh (Mia Wasikowska) is drawn back into Wonderland by her oppressed life in the real world as well as an issue with the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp). You see, the Hatter is depressed, and Alice wants to help. As such, she time travels to attempt to save the day, literally doing battle with Time (Sacha Baron Cohen) in the process. Old friends and new ones are on hand for this CGI overload, which will probably appeal to children. James Bobin takes over for Burton as director, with the script written by Linda Woolverton. Other cast members include Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Michael Sheen, Rhys Ifans, Lindsay Duncan, Matt Lucas, Leo Bill, the late Alan Rickman, and more. Danny Elfman provides the score, while Colleen Atwood handled the costumes.

johnny depp, alice through the looking glass

Reviews have been poor so far, but I doubt that will end up mattering much. The buzz was terrible for the first one and it became a huge hit. Odds are that this new outing will make a ton of money for Disney once more. It may even be helped by the recent good will generated by The Jungle Book, as opposed to whatever people seem to think about Alice in Wonderland. These live action remakes of their animated classics always print money, so this will be no exception. They’re hit or miss when it comes to quality, and this one is apparently a miss, but the wheels on the bus continue to go round and round, as it were.

Believe it or not, this is a legitimate awards contender. Not in the major categories of course, but the Academy will likely consider it in most of the technical ones, including Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Hairstyling & Makeup, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Original Score, and Best Visual Effects. Remember, Alice in Wonderland won Oscars for Best Production Design and Best Costume Design, getting nominated for Best Visual Effects too in the process. With Atwood again handling the costumes, I think Costume Design is a highly likely nomination to ponder. Production Design and Visual Effects could be on the table as well for the film, but that remains to be seen.

Basically, what you have on Friday is a busy CGI fest meant for kids in Alice Through the Looking Glass. Those who came out last time will almost undoubtedly subject themselves to this again. Depp has his fanbase as well, especially when he’s frolicking around for Disney. I’m not going to be recommending this one for you, and in fact I didn’t even bother seeing it, but this is more or less a critic proof flick. If the movie somehow interests you, I’m not going to stand in your way. There’s a ton of talent on display here, so make of that what you will. This sequel basically just is what it is…

Alice Through the Looking Glass is in theaters everywhere this weekend!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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