Alice Through the Looking Glass

From the start, evocations of Victorian whimsy are out, a textual analysis is provided in the only real sense of such a thing as advanced by Professor Butley vis--vis the works of Beatrix Potter, by a droll and apposite delivery made to show why they are “tongued with fire in nurseries throughout the land,” and furthermore brought thence into literate conversation.

This accounts for Alice played by an adult, as the general level of understanding is brought to a plane at which the author is recognizable as a mathematician and antiquarian and a literary man of genius well in advance of his time.

The entire resources of the film are devoted to this end, so that cinematically it can hardly be said to exist at all, except that every shot and splice lends itself to the explication of the text. The insect-poems are little dolls, the talking flowers are fashion models, and the succinctness of the Lion and Unicorn (“the best of the joke is, it’s MY crown all the while!”) is made plain as an example of the folly exhibited by two museum curators not long ago quarreling over their joint Picasso/Matisse presentation.