Alice Through the Looking Glass

It’s been over six years since our last trip to Underland. In 2010, director Tim Burton reimagined Lewis Carroll‘s classic story with his box office hit, which made over a billion dollars worldwide. Burton decided not to return for the upcoming sequel, Alice Through the Looking Glass. Instead, director James Bobin (The Muppets Movie) has stepped in to show a new side of both Alice and Underland.

We were recently invited to see footage from the sequel, in addition to participating in roundtable interviews with the filmmakers. Check out our Alice Through the Looking Glass preview below, and watch the latest trailer, below.

Alice Through the Looking Glass Trailer

The latest Alice Through the Looking Glass trailer, featuring brand-new footage, is above. The music you’re hearing is P!nk’s cover of “White Rabbit.” Once you’ve feasted your eyes on all the gorgeous new imagery, scroll down to read the rest of our Alice in Wonderland preview.

Alice Through the Looking Glass

A Slightly New (and More Comedic) Vision 

Alice Through the Looking Glass doesn’t present a wildly different version of Underland, based on the footage Disney previewed, but it’s coming from a new and fresh perspective — James Bobin’s. The filmmaker, who also worked on Flight of the Conchords and Da Ali G Show, has a firm grasp on comedy and tone. The clips we saw didn’t entirely feel like more of the same, which is a good thing, especially if you’re not a fan of Burton’s picture.

“I felt there was something I could bring to it,” Bobin told a group of us. “I’ve always loved Lewis Carroll, and I’ve always felt he was this kind of… my background is in comedy, as you all know, and I thought I could bring that comedic element to it, because Lewis Carroll was a guy who was, sort of, a surrealist satirist.” Bobin added the sequel is slightly lighter than the first film, but it’s not without a sense of danger and stakes.

Alice Through the Looking Glass

Don’t Expect Nothing But CGI This Time 

The sequel takes place a few years after the events of Burton’s picture. At the beginning of the film, Alice (Mia Wasikowska) has been on a one-year journey captaining her father’s ship, before she has to go on and travel through time to assist the Mad Hatter. The Alice we saw in this first clip was more confident and more adventurous than when we last saw her. Alice and her crew are on the run in the middle of the sea, in a fairly CG-heavy set piece, which nicely establishes how she’s evolved since Alice in Wonderland.

Of course, plenty of CGI is expected from this series, as it is the aesthetic Burton established with the first movie. But the world felt slightly more tangible this time around, at least in the footage we saw. With the sequel, Bobin isn’t relying completely on CG. “On this film, we had a few more sets than the last one,” Wasikowska said. “Whenever we had a set, it was great. It was really helpful.” The ship, for example, was partially built and placed on a gimbal.

Bobin, speaking for himself, was drawn to the challenges that come with working with this amount of CGI. “One of the reasons I did the film is because the first two movies [I did] were so in-camera, that I really wanted to do something, as you generally do in life, that’s a challenge and it’s interesting to you. It is a complicated film to make, because there’s live action and CG, so you’re basically making two sorts of movies: you’re making a live-action feature, and then you’re making an animated feature on top of it. You’re making the film all the time. Generally you shoot, come back and edit, do what you can, and this is one whereby you’re constantly working, constantly filming, and constantly… I feel like my brain has never stopped for three years [laughs], and it’s great. Only at the point in which they say, ‘This shot cannot make the release date,’ you stop working. That’s it. That’s really it. It’s an amazing thing, because it means you’re on all the time.”

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