Mia Wasikowska plays the now nineteen-year-old Alice who, 13 years after her previous visit, returns for the first time as a young woman. She is told that she is the only one who can slay the Jabberwocky, a dragon-like creature controlled by Iracebeth of Crims, the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) who terrorizes Underland's inhabitants.
Troubled by a strange recurring dream and mourning the loss of her beloved father, nineteen-year-old Alice Kingsleigh attends a garden party at Lord Ascot's estate, where she is confronted by an unwanted marriage proposal and the stifling expectations of the society in which she lives.
Unsure of how to reply, and increasingly confused, she runs away to chase after a rabbit in a blue waistcoat, and accidentally falls into a large rabbit hole.
She is transported to a world called Underland, where she is greeted by the White Rabbit (voiced by Michael Sheen), Mallymkun the Dormouse (voiced by Barbara Windsor), the Dodo, and Tweedledum and Tweedledee (both played by Matt Lucas). They argue over her identity as "the right Alice", who it is foretold will slay the Red Queen's Jabberwocky on the Frabjous Day and restore Mirana of Marmoreal, the White Queen (Anne Hathaway) to power.
They consult Absolem the Caterpillar (voiced by Alan Rickman) but he only vaguely answer their question.
The group is then ambushed by the Bandersnatch and a group of playing-card soldiers led by Ilosovic Stayne,the Knave of Hearts (Crispin Glover). Alice escapes and flees into the woods.
The Knave informs the Red Queen that Alice has returned to Underland to threaten her reign on the Frabjous Day. Incensed, the Red Queen ordered the soldiers to find Alice immediately.
Meanwhile, the wandering Alice encounters the Cheshire Cat (voiced by Stephen Fry), who takes her to meet Thackery Earwicket, the March Hare (voiced by Paul Whitehouse) and the Hatter (Johnny Depp).
On the way to the White Queen's castle, Hatter relates the terror of the Red Queen's reign, and comments that Alice is not the same as she once was. The Hatter helps Alice avoid capture by allowing himself to be seized instead.
Later, Alice is found by Bayard the Bloodhound (voiced by Timothy Spall), who wishes to take her to the White Queen, but Alice insists upon helping the Hatter, so they go to the Red Queen's castle.
The Red Queen is unaware of Alice's true identity and therefore welcomes her as a guest. Alice learns that the Vorpal Sword (the only weapon capable of killing the Jabberwocky) is locked away in a case inside the Bandersnatch's den. The Knave crudely attempts to seduce Alice, but she rebuffs him. She later manages to retrieve the sword and befriend the Bandersnatch. The Knave finds her with the sword and attempts to arrest her. Alice escapes on the back of the Bandersnatch and delivers the sword to the White Queen.
The Cheshire Cat saves the Hatter from execution, and the Hatter calls for rebellion against the Red Queen. The rebellion is quickly put down by the Jubjub bird.
The resistance flees to the White Queen's castle, and both armies prepare for battle. Alice remains unsure about the expectation for her to champion the White Queen, and meets with Absolem the Caterpillar. He reminds Alice of her past visit to Underland (which she mistakenly called "Wonderland" at the time) thirteen years earlier, and helps give her the courage to fight the Jabberwocky and accomplish "What she must to do", while he becomes a pupa.
When the Frabjous Day arrives, both the White and Red Queens gather their armies on a chessboard-like battlefield and send forth their chosen champions (armor-clad Alice and the Jabberwocky respectively) to decide the fate of Wonderland. Encouraging herself with the words of her late father, Alice manages to kill the Jabberwocky.
The White Queen then banishes the Red Queen and the Knave to the Outlands, and gives Alice a vial of the Jabberwocky’s blood, which will take her home. The Hatter suggests that she could stay in Underland, but she decides that she must go back and promises that she will return.
Alice returns home, where she stands up to her family and pledges to live life on her own terms. Impressed, Lord Ascot takes her in as his apprentice, with the idea of establishing oceanic trade routes to China. As the story closes, Alice prepares to set off on a trading ship. Absolem, now a butterfly, lands on her shoulder. Alice recognizes him and greets him before he flutters away.
a clever adaptation of both Lewis Carroll's 1865 fantasy novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its 1871 sequel Through the Looking-Glass. we were to understood that Alice had come to Underland once when she was little but as she grew up, she lost her muchness and forget about the visit. i love the way how the story unravels and simply enjoy the ride to the finish. the plot was A-class.
as for the characters, they are very eccentric, Tim Burton-ish style. but you couldn't help but liking them in their eccentricity. my fave would have been the Queen White. she was demure and a tad bit psycho-ish.
as this story does not invoke any emotional attachment nor strong emotion, i got to suka-hati-i-lah give it a 4.5 star.
oh wait, the rating was revised to 5 star as the OST was really great!
here's one, Kerli's Tea Party:
and another one, Motion City Soundtrack's Always Running Out of Time:
and last but not least, my favourite, Shinedown's Her Name is Alice!