Story

Alice Through the Looking Glass is the sequel to Alice in Wonderland. Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is now older and has spent her last few years travelling the world on a ship. When Alice returns home she discovers that her mother (Lindsay Duncan) is in a dispute with Hamish Ascot (Leo Bill) and faces a difficult decision. To escape the real world Alice climbs through a mirror and finds herself once again in Wonderland (or ‘Underland’). Alice learns that her beloved friend, the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp), is ill. She must go on an adventure through time if she wants to save him.

Themes

Death; serious illness; family breakdown

Violence

Alice Through the Looking Glass has some violence. For example:

  • Ships fire cannons at each other. No-one is killed but men are thrown about by the force of the cannons.
  • There are some scenes showing the Jabberwocky breathing fire, killing villagers and destroying their homes. These scenes are scary but quite brief.
  • The Queen of Hearts frequently talks about chopping people’s heads off.
  • The Queen of Hearts slaps Time in the face.
  • When Alice returns to the real world, she wakes up in a mental institution. A scary-looking doctor tries to inject her with a needle, but Alice instead injects him and escapes.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, Alice Through the Looking Glass has some scenes that could scare or disturb children in this age group. For example:

  • The opening scenes show Alice on a ship that’s about to crash into rocks in an intense storm. Alice climbs up a mast and falls into the water.
  • Alice climbs through a mirror to escape some men who are trying to capture her. She falls from the sky, screaming, and lands in a tree.
  • Alice shrinks and is confronted by giant chess pieces on horses who charge at her. While running away, Alice accidentally knocks over Humpty Dumpty. He falls and breaks into pieces.
  • The Mad Hatter is sick and dying. He looks grey and dishevelled, and towards the end of the story he can barely move. The other characters are distraught about the Mad Hatter’s illness. This might be scary and confronting for children who are used to seeing him lively and happy.
  • Alice must climb over a deep canyon to reach a scary castle. She almost falls several times.
  • In the castle there’s a room of clocks, and each clock symbolises someone who has died. When one of the clocks stops, a man clutches his chest and collapses.
  • The clock robots start off small and sweet but can join together to make a large robot, which is a bit scary.
  • The young Queen of Hearts is running and she falls, hitting her head badly. Because of the fall her head swells up.
  • When Alice steals the Chronosphere from Time, the world turns dark. Time says that if Alice doesn’t return it, everyone will perish. 

From 5-8
In addition to the violent scenes and scary visual images mentioned above, this movie has some scenes that could scare or disturb children in this age group. For example:

  • Alice and her mother both miss her father, and they’re sad that he’s gone.
  • Towards the end of the movie, everything is freezing and rusting over. Alice’s friends say goodbye to each other because they believe that they’re about to die. They rust over but Alice saves everyone in the end.

From 8-13
Some of the scenes and themes mentioned above might disturb children in this age group.

Over 13
Nothing of concern

Sexual references

Alice Through the Looking Glass has some sexual references, including when the Queen of Hearts and Time flirt with each other and almost kiss. 

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern

Product placement

There is no product placement of concern in Alice Through the Looking Glass, but associated merchandise is being marketed to children.

Coarse language

There is some mild coarse language in Alice Through the Looking Glass.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Alice Through the Looking Glass is the sequel to Tim Burton’s movie Alice in Wonderland, based on the books by Lewis Carroll. The movie is an exciting magical adventure with a strong female role model. Fans of the first movie are likely to enjoy returning to Alice’s magical and enchanting world.

Because of its violent and scary scenes this movie isn’t suitable for children under 10 years. Also, we recommend parental guidance for children aged 10-13 years.

These are the main messages from this movie:

  • Every day is a gift.
  • The only things worth doing are those we do for others.
  • Believe in impossible things.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include bravery, kindness, honesty and determination.

This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about the real-life outcomes of stealing and lying.