By Mitchell Stein
Get ready to head down the rabbit hole once again with Disney's latest movie experience, Alice Through the Looking Glass, in theaters this May. The film is the extravagant follow up to Disney's groundbreaking retelling of the classic Alice in Wonderland story in 2010, but brings audiences back into the world of Underland like never before. To bring you up to speed in preparation for the new Alice film, here are five things to remember about the series’ characters.
When Alice Kingsleigh accidentally falls down the rabbit hole that leads her into the whimsical world of Underland, she comes to find that her arrival was no coincidence. Upon first arriving in Underland, Alice is told of an ages-old prophecy that a hero by the name of Alice will slay the Red Queen's deadly Jabberwocky and restore peace to Underland. Alice remains skeptical of the prophecy, and believes it speaks of a different Alice. But when she learns her friends are in grave danger, she realizes her true potential and sets out to fulfill the prophecy and slay the Jabberwocky.
With the Red Queen's Jabberwocky no longer terrorizing the inhabitants of Underland, the Red Queen is banished and the White Queen's power is rightfully restored. Having succeeded in saving her friends and being the true hero Underland has been waiting for, Alice chooses to re-join the human world once again, with the promise of new adventure on the horizon.
Perhaps the most iconic of the beings in Underland is the quirky Mad Hatter. Though he's simply seen as goofy and energetic, the Hatter has perhaps the most complex backstory of the cast of characters in Underland.
Though he’s known throughout Underland simply as The Mad Hatter, his real name is Tarrant Hightopp, hailing from Underland’s most famed hat-making family. One unsuspecting evening, the wicked Red Queen set her deadly Jabberwocky upon the Hatter's village, leaving Tarrant as the sole survivor of his village. In the years following, The Hatter leads the rebellion to exile the Red Queen and bring the White Queen back to power. These efforts will finally fall into place with the arrival of Underland's true hero, Alice.
Of all the inhabitants in Underland, none is quite as powerful and dangerous as the wicked Red Queen and her faithful assistant The Knave. Having overthrown the White Queen, the Red Queen seeks to be the most powerful person in Underland. She’ll stop at nothing: her villainous deeds include the destruction of Underland villages, and animal cruelty.
Underland boasts some of the world's most incredible and mysterious living beings, and Alice encounters many of them upon her arrival. She comes to befriend Absolem, a wise caterpillar who informs her of her importance and her destiny. She also encounters Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum, who argue if the Alice is "the right Alice" and insist on bringing her to The White Queen, who guides Alice in the direction of The Mad Hatter and the March Hare.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about the people Alice encounters in Underland is their impressive array of magical talents and abilities. The Cheshire Cat isn’t shy to show off his famous grin or to disappear at will, and The Mad Hatter brings down the house with his unique celebration dance, The Futterwacken. Meanwhile, The Bandersnatch, a fierce but friendly black and white creature, has the ability to expand its neck and haws to appear more fearsome.
Now that you're up to date with everything you need to know, there’s only one thing left to do! Check out our brand-new Alice’s Adventures: The Complete Visual Guide to learn all there is to know about the new film and beyond. And be sure to catch Alice Through the Looking Glass in theatres now.
Mitchell Stein is the founder and operator of the Disney-fan based website The Mickey Mindset which is a leader in delivering Disney news, articles and opinions. He can be found on Twitter @MitchellStein1.