Tim Burton’s 2010 live-action reimagining of Alice in Wonderland received mixed reviews upon release; some praised its visual style and special effects (also known as its “muchness”), while others criticized its incoherent narrative and overuse of CGI. Regardless of any of the negativities though, cinema-going audiences were apparently keen to step into Underland, as the film grossed an incredible $1 billion worldwide at the box office, meaning that a sequel was inevitably on the Queen of Hearts’ cards.

This time around, director James Bobin (The Muppets) invites audiences to pick up their ‘Drink Me’ potions and step into the whimsical world once more in Alice Through the Looking Glass. Based on the 1871 Lewis Carroll novel, the story follows Alice (Mia Wasikowska) as she returns to Underland and discovers that she must travel through time to save the colorful cast of characters and her dearest friend, the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp), from the machinations of Time (Sacha Baron Cohen), a part-clock demigod. With time ticking forward and the film set to debut in just a few short weeks, Disney has premiered two new clips to further drum up excitement ahead of its release.

In the first clip (featured above), Alice is informed about the Mad Hatter’s clouded condition by The White Queen (Anne Hathaway), the White Rabbit (Michael Sheen), the Cheshire Cat (Stephen Fry) and Tweedledee & Tweedledum (Matt Lucas). By comparison, the second clip (below) shows Alice on her quest, meeting with a younger Mad Hatter, who has no memories of their friendship at this moment in time.

Even though time is in an unparalleled state, the actors remain consistent, with nearly the entire principal cast of the first film returning as their respective characters – including Alan Rickman, as the voice of Absolem the Blue Caterpillar, in one of his final roles. In addition to the villainous new character Time, Rhys Ifans (The Amazing Spider-Man) joins the picture as Zanik Hightopp, the Mad Hatter’s father, along with Andrew Scott (Sherlock) as Addison Bennett, Alice’s doctor.

Thus far, Alice Through the Looking Glass appears to have Burton’s touch all over it, despite not being at the helm of the project. As well as offering an insight into his imagination through the use of distinctive visuals and lavish set design, it appears that the sequel might address some of the issues surrounding its predecessor by presenting a stronger storyline, albeit darker in tone.

While fans of the new franchise will likely have a Cheshire Cat style grin from ear-to-ear watching the film, even as it enters darker territory, there is a worry that it could prove to be too frightening for a younger audience. On the other hand, Alice’s upcoming sequel could become another winner for Walt Disney Studios, especially since the studio’s recent live-action/CGI re-telling of The Jungle Book was such a huge financial and critical success, despite being an overall darker tale.

Alice Through the Looking Glass opens in U.S. theaters on May 27th, 2016.

Source: Walt Disney Studios

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