'Alice Through the Looking Glass': What the new trailer reveals about the Disney sequel

'Alice Through the Looking Glass' is a sequel to the 2010 live-action movie 'Alice in Wonderland,' bringing back stars Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, and Helena Bonham-Carter.

A new trailer has been released for the “Alice in Wonderland” live-action sequel “Alice Through the Looking Glass.”

Disney released a live-action version of Lewis Carroll’s story “Alice in Wonderland” in 2010, starring Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham-Carter, and Anne Hathaway. The movie became a huge hit. 

The new trailer shows protagonist Alice being urged to return to Wonderland by someone that sounds like the Caterpillar (Alan Rickman) she encountered in the first film. “You’ve been gone too long, Alice,” he says.

A rhyming prophecy predicts that “she will come back home to Wonderland and turn back the hands of time.”

Time is personified as a person (Sacha Baron Cohen). Alice is warned that he is "not someone you want as your enemy.” Meanwhile, the Mad Hatter (Depp) seems to be in some kind of trouble. 

James Bobin of “Muppets Most Wanted” is stepping in to direct this film, replacing Tim Burton from the original “Alice” movie. “Through the Looking Glass” is scheduled to be released next summer. 

The 2010 “Alice” movie and this sequel follow Disney's recent practice of adapting its animated features as live-action movies. (Disney released an animated take on the Lewis Carroll story in 1951.) The success of the 2010 film no doubt encouraged Disney to go ahead with other live-action movies, such as this year's “Cinderella” and 2014’s “Maleficent,” both of which have done well financially.

Disney's continuing success with these live-action reincarnations may be due to the creativity of the adaptations – with the exception of this summer’s “Cinderella,” which only deviated from the Disney version of the fairy tale by giving Cinderella and her prince more time together, among other small changes.

By contrast, “Maleficent” billed itself as “the story you don’t know” about the “Sleeping Beauty” fairy tale. Those who saw the older Disney film remember Maleficent as a malicious villain who curses the title princess, but the movie “Maleficent” presents an alternate story, where the dark fairy is violently wronged by Stefan, the father of the enchanted princess. 

Meanwhile, in contrast with the animated “Alice” film, the 2010 “Alice” movie had almost a “Lord of the Rings” air, culminating in a large battle.

These three recent live-action movies are almost different genres – a practice Disney succeeded with in their animated films as well. The 1991 movie “Beauty and the Beast,” for example, is a more serious movie than its 1992 film “Aladdin,” which is most memorable for the wisecracking voice work of actor Robin Williams. 

If Disney continues producing live-action adaptations of their animated movies that are different in tone, they may keep audiences’ attention and stave off fatigue for the form.

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