Alice Through the Looking Glass Parent Review

All the computerized glitz is so distracting that even the actors seem lost amongst it.

Overall B-

In this sequel to the 2010 Alice in Wonderland, the young woman (Mia Wasikowska) travels back to Wonderland to try and save her friend, The Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp).

Violence C+
Sexual Content A+
Profanity B+
Substance Use A-

Alice Through the Looking Glass is rated PG for fantasy action/peril and some language.

Movie Review

Since we last saw Lewis Carroll’s famous character (played by Mia Wasikowska) in Disney’s 2010 Alice in Wonderland, the young woman has been on a seafaring voyage where she has captained a ship, outwitted pirates and accomplished many things too impossible to be done by a female living in the 1870s. When she returns to England she is immediately swamped by the harsh realities of some new circumstance and her old-fashioned society. Drowning in her personal losses and dismal prospects, Alice hears the call of Wonderland once again. This time she enters the curious kingdom by stepping through a looking glass – and what she finds there mirrors some of the misfortunes of her own life.

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In her absence the Hatter (Johnny Depp) has become even more mad than his usual self. It happened shortly after he discovered an artifact from his past and became convinced his family did not die in a fiery attack as previously assumed. Sadly, no one believes him, so the Hatter sinks into a deep depression that his friends fear may be fatal. The arrival of Alice brings hope, although the only way Queen Mirana (Anne Hathaway) can think of to save the redheaded milliner is to send Alice into the past where she can prevent the tragedy that claimed the lives of the Hightopp clan. And in order to do that the girl must confront Time himself (Sacha Baron Cohen) where she must beg, borrow or steal the device that controls the clockwork of the entire universe.

Of course it is a dangerous and risky mission, yet despite being warned that she cannot change the past (she can only learn from it), the headstrong and loyal friend climbs aboard the forbidden time machine and plunges into her next impossible adventure.

What follows is a race against Time and a tussle with the Queen of Hearts (Helena Bonham Carter), all wrapped up in some quirky costumes and amazing special effects. Unfortunately, all the computerized glitz is so distracting that even the actors seem lost amongst it. Delivering less than their best performances, the fantastical scenes and action sequences (that are likely too scary for young children) are left to carry the show.

Perhaps the biggest shame is that the film’s positive messages are also obscured. Along with some interesting allegories about time and the way we spend it, the production depicts the importance of family, the big consequences of telling small lies, the need for apologies, the freedom of forgiving and the power of friendship. Finding these themes may feel like an impossible task even for older audiences and faithful fans of Alice.

Directed by James Bobin. Starring Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Anne Hathaway. Running time: 113 minutes. Theatrical release May 27, 2016. Updated

Get details on profanity, sex and violence in Alice Through the Looking Glass here.

Alice Through the Looking Glass Parents Guide

When a sister lies about an event and leads her mother to blame her innocent sibling, it creates a rift between them that has far reaching consequences. Why are we reluctant to apologize and reveal the truth when we’ve made a mistake? Likewise, how does forgiveness allow relationships and people to move forward in life? Why does our own position on an issue always seem to be the most correct or important? How does pride fit into these situations?

A character feels that turning back the hands of time will resolve a problem. If you could go back in time to fix something you did wrong, what would it be? Seeing as this is impossible to do (at least at the time of this being written!) what real things could you do to help correct the situation?

A father and son have a misunderstanding regarding the son’s ability to work in the family trade. How do parents influence their children’s future prospects of employment? How can we work to encourage others without leaving them feeling they must follow our advice? Why is allowing our children to become independent so important?

Alice says: “The only way to achieve the impossible is to believe it is possible.” How do you feel about this statement? How does the way we see a situation influence the way we tackle it? Do you really think it is possible to do all things that are assumed to be impossible?

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2016 Summer Movies for Families

2016 Summer Movies for Families

Coming to a theater near you in the summer of 2016.