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. It is loosely based on Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll and is the sequel to the 2010 film Alice in Wonderland. The film stars Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska, Rhys Ifans, Matt Lucas, 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.
The film tells the story about Alice coming across a magical looking glass that takes her back to Underland and finds that the Mad Hatter is acting madder than usual and wants to discover the truth about his family. Alice then travels through time and 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 Through the Looking Glass was released by Walt Disney Pictures on May 27, 2016. It received negative reviews from critics and has grossed over $239 million.
Alice Kingsleigh has spent the past three years following in her father’s footsteps and sailing the high seas, demonstrating exceptional skill as a merchant ship captain escaping a pirate attack. Upon her return to London from China, she learns that her ex-fiancé, Hamish Ascot, has taken over her father’s company and plans to have Alice sell him her father’s ship in exchange for her family home. Filled with anger, Alice runs away and comes across her butterfly friend Absolem and returns to Underland through a mirror.
Alice is greeted by the White Queen, the White Rabbit, the Tweedles, the Dormouse, the March Hare, Bayard, and the Cheshire Cat. They inform her that the Mad Hatter Tarrant Hightopp is in poor health and depressed because his family is missing following the Attack of the Jabberwocky. The attack occurred shortly after his father, a hat retailer, seemed to reject Tarrant’s gift of a hat creation.
Believing that finding the Mad Hatter’s family is the only way to restore his health, the White Queen persuades Alice to consult Time and convince him to save the Mad Hatter’s family in the past (something that no Underland resident can do, as it is said that history will be destroyed if someone sees their past/future self; Alice has no past self in Underland whom she could accidentally meet). Upon visiting Time’s palace, Alice finds the Chronosphere, an object that powers all time in Underland and will allow her to travel through the Oceans of Time.
After being told by Time that altering the past cannot be done, Alice steals the Chronosphere and travels back in time, shortly after finding the exiled Red Queen, Iracebeth of Crims, in the care of Time. The Red Queen urges Time to go after Alice to find the Chronosphere so she can get even with her sister, the White Queen. Alice accidentally flies to the day of Iracebeth’s coronation, where a younger Mad Hatter/Tarrant Hightopp mocks the Red Queen when the royal crown doesn’t fit on her abnormally large head. This causes Iracebeth to melt down. Her father deems her emotionally unqualified to rule and passes the title of queen to her younger sister Mirana of Marmoreal, the White Queen.
Alice later learns of an event in Iracebeth’s and Mirana’s past that caused friction between the two and travels back in time again, hoping it will change Iracebeth’s ways and stop the Jabberwocky from killing the Hatter’s family. She soon learns that the hat that the Mad Hatter made when he was a child and which he thought his father casually threw away was actually treasured by his father. Meanwhile, she meets the White Queen and the Red Queen as sisters. While her mother was not looking, Mirana steals a tart from her mother and eats it, casually kicking the crumbs under Iracebeth’s bed. When confronted by their mother, Mirana lies about eating the tart, and Iracebeth is accused, causing her to run out of the castle. Alice sees that Iracebeth is about to run into a clock, the event that deforms her head and personality. Alice prevents that collision but fails to change the past, as Iracebeth trips and slams her head into a stone wall instead.
Alice is then confronted by a weakened Time, scolding her for putting all of time in danger. She runs into a nearby mirror back in the real world, where she wakes up in a mental hospital, diagnosed with female hysteria. As the doctor tries to inject Alice, she escapes from the mental hospital and with the help of her mother, returns to Underland via the mirror, where she travels to the Attack of the Jabberwocky Day. Alice discovers that the Mad Hatter’s family never died, but were captured by the Red Queen. Returning to the present, Alice discovers she is too late, as the Mad Hatter is on the brink of death.
After Alice tearfully says that she believes him, Tarrant transforms back to his normal self. The Underlandians go to the Red Queen’s castle, where the Mad Hatter finds his family shrunk and trapped in an ant farm. However, the Red Queen apprehends them and steals the Chronosphere from Alice, taking the White Queen back to the day she lied about the tart. By the time the Mad Hatter and Alice get there, the Red Queen and Iracebeth have seen each other. Time becomes irrelevant, and Underland begins to freeze. Using the Chronosphere, Alice and the Mad Hatter race back to the present, where Alice is able at the last second to place the Chronosphere back in its original place.
With the Chronosphere stabilized, Underland reverts to normal. The Mad Hatter reunites with his family and the White Queen apologizes to the Red Queen for lying and both of them make amends. Alice bids her friends farewell and returns to the real world. Alice arrives at the meeting where her mother is to sign over Alice’s ship to Hamish, and her mother decides to support her daughter instead. Hamish gets the ship but not the Kingsleigh family home. Alice and her mother set out to travel the world together with their own shipping company.