It’s almost time … With Alice Through the Looking Glass opening in 3D on May 27, a new trailer was released today, and it’s a doozy. (You can also get your tickets now.) This new trailer features a number of the cutting-edge breakthroughs that helped make the original Alice in Wonderland (2010) such a smash, while including more candy-colored visual flourishes, additional flashes of surrealist humor, and some eccentric new characters that could have easily made their home in the original film or the Disney animated classic from 1951.
The trailer opens on a somewhat somber note, with Alice (Mia Wasikowska, one of the many returning cast members), waking up in a mental institution of some sort. She’s being lorded over by a twitchy doctor (Andrew Scott from Sherlock), who diagnoses her with a very unkind ailment. But Alice being Alice, springs out of bed and escapes from the institution, with the help of Absolem the caterpillar, now a butterfly (voiced by Alan Rickman), and the duo head back in Wonderland/Underland. From there, it’s a cavalcade of images and ideas: the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) is in trouble, so Alice has to go back in time to save him. Oh, and in Alice Through the Looking Glass, Time is an actual, possibly nefarious, person (played by Sacha Baron Cohen). You also get a glimpse of Alice favorites the White Queen (Anne Hathaway), the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter), and Tweedledee and Tweedledum (Matt Lucas), all to the tune of Pink’s cover of Jefferson Airplane’s psychedelic classic “White Rabbit.”
There are a number of arresting moments from the trailer, which showcase director James Bobin’s approach to the material (heavily indebted to Tim Burton’s original but more whimsical and brightly colored), but the most striking has to be one of the final frames, when Alice and the Hatter are flying through the hurricane of time itself, and a crackle exposes a giant Cheshire Cat (Stephen Fry), projected in the wave. It’s going to be wild.