Mickey, qui s'est endormi en lisant le célèbre roman de Lewis Carroll De l'autre côté du miroir, se « dédouble ». Son subconscient traverse alors la glace accrochée au mur de sa chambre, de l'autre côté de laquelle les meubles et autres objets sont vivants. Après avoir dégusté une noix, notre héros grandit puis rapetisse jusqu'à ressembler à une véritable souris. Le téléphone, posé sur une table, reçoit un appel et lance sa ligne à Mickey. Celui-ci s'en aide pour rejoindre le combiné téléphonique et au terme d'un dialogue de sourd, l'appareil se sert de son fil comme d'une corde à sauter — prétexte à un numéro de claquettes puisqu'une radio s'est allumée toute seule et diffuse de la musique. Le danseur est envoyé dans un cendrier, dont un élément amovible devient un haut-de-forme tandis qu'une allumette fait office de canne. Nouveau numéro jusqu'à la découverte de cartes à jouer qui exécutent à leur tour une marche militaire suivie d'une chorégraphie plutôt élaborée.
Alice appears to be in her own bedroom, when a taxidermically stuffed rabbit comes to life and breaks out of its glass case. Alice follows the rabbit through the drawer of a desk into a cavern. She subsequently falls through a bucket and seemingly down an elevator shaft. Wonderland itself is a mix of drab household-like areas with incongruous relationships of space and size. The Queen's execution sentences are carried out by the White Rabbit with a pair of scissors. At the film's end, Alice wakes in her room, discovers that the rabbit is still missing from his glass case, and finds a secret compartment where he keeps scissors. She ponders whether or not she will cut his head off. The film is ambiguous about whether this room is Alice's real world or "Wonderland".
On a golden spring day at the bank of a tranquil river, a young 12-year-old girl named Alice grows bored listening to her older 19-year-old sister read aloud from a history book of William I of England. When her sister chastises Alice's daydreaming, Alice tells her kitten Dinah that she can live in a nonsensical magical land called Wonderland. While daydreaming, Alice spots a waistcoat-wearing White Rabbit passing by, exclaiming that he is "late for an important date". Alice gives chase and follows him into a rabbit hole, and falls into a large furnished hole. Her dress catches her fall like a parachute and she floats gently down. She sees the White Rabbit disappear into a tiny door and tries to follow, but the door's talking knob advises her to alter her size using a mysterious bottle marked "Drink Me." The contents shrink her to a fraction of her normal size, but the door is locked and the key is out of reach. She then takes a bite of a cookie that says “Eat Me” and grows large enough to fill the entire room. She begins to weep large tears that flood the room. The doorknob then tells Alice to drink from the bottle again, which causes her to shrink once more. Alice falls into the bottle and passes through the door's keyhole and into Wonderland. She meets several strange characters including the Dodo and Tweedledee and Tweedledum who recount the tale of "The Walrus and the Carpenter".
The first part opens with Alice (Natalie Gregory) helping Mother (Sheilla Allen) set the table for tea time. Although thankful for her daughter's help, Mother tells Alice that she is still not grown-up enough to join the adults at tea. Alice goes outside to see her sister (played by Gregory's real-life older sister Sharee Gregory), but gets bored of reading a book with no pictures. Her sister tells her that she will understand when she grows up, but Alice thinks she is already grown up (after all, she's seven and a half).
A 9-year-old girl, Phoebe (Elle Fanning), has apparent Tourette syndrome. While she deals with being odd and insecure, her mother (Felicity Huffman) and father (Bill Pullman) are dealing with complexities in their relationship with each other and their challenging child. Her younger sister (Bailee Madison) feels neglected as Phoebe gains more attention.
“Nanny Dearest” (a la “Joan Crawford” ) is hired as the new Nanny for little Alice (Alice is played by a 30-year-old man in drag!). Their relationship is strained, to say the least, as Alice finds herself in service to Nanny’s unrelenting demands. Alice is subjugated to bizarre psychological and physical abuses from Nanny, who quickly reveals herself as Alice's worse nightmare. The final conflict comes as a result of Alice's adoption of a white rabbit. Nanny Dearest forbids having a “rodent” as a pet (“They don't even make good coats!”) and sentences the poor bunny to death. Despite numerous creative attempts to put an end to the him, Nanny takes increasingly severe action when the "damn rabbit keeps coming back." With Nanny’s wickedness now revealed in full force, she instigates the ultimate solution, flushing the poor creature down the toilet. Engorged with her own mad power, Nanny flushes Alice down the “rabbit hole” as well. Alice lands in a surreal “Wonderland” (think Peter Max on acid) populated by perverse creatures who would make Lewis Carrol turn over in his grave.
While leaving her husband, whom she has grown to despise, Alice (Sylvia Kristel) drives into the pristine countryside but must stop at an old house after her windshield cracks mysteriously. An old man and his butler welcome her at the mansion as if she were expected. The old man insists on her staying overnight. They even offer to have her car repaired in the morning. She is woken up in the middle of the night by a booming noise. The next day the car is there with a new windshield but she is alone in the deserted house. After a good breakfast laid out for her she jumps into the car again but she cannot find the gateway to the country house from whence she came. A tree trunk seems to be in the way. Reluctantly she returns to the old house. She then tries to walk the way with her suitcase and she meets a young man who tells her to accept the fact that there is no way out. Is she in limbo? She has to spend a second night in the mansion. The old man is there again and provides some explanations. The following day is a bright morning full of birdsong. Once more breakfast is ready for her in the lonely house. She takes the car again and here is the path and the gate to the highway. Is she really out? A few more strange characters come her way. Her windshield cracks again.
The film begins on the ship bearing Alice (Coral Browne) and Lucy from England to New York. As she and Lucy (Nicola Cowper) disembark, they are set upon by several journalists, all trying to get a story or quote from her. Clearly bewildered by all the excitement, she is befriended by an ex-reporter, Jack Dolan (Peter Gallagher), who helps her and Lucy through the legions of the press. Dolan quickly becomes her agent and finds endorsement opportunities for her. Throughout it all, a romance develops between Jack and Lucy.
A jet-propelled white rabbit flies through the vulva of a supine woman into a wonderland where people and objects turn inside out, changing shapes and identities at warp speed. Events roughly follow Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. The Caterpillar, the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, and the Queen of Hearts make appearances, as does Alice. Images and symbols are often sexual. At the end, Alice says, "Oh, I've had such a curious dream."
À l'université d'Oxford, la reine Victoria arrive. Elle est accueillie par le doyen. Les filles de ce doyen (Lorina, Edith et Alice) sont consignées dans leur chambre durant cette visite royale. Alors, Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) emmène les trois filles faire une promenade en barque. Durant ce voyage, il leur raconte l'histoire d'Alice (la plus jeune des trois filles). Il la dit suivant un lapin blanc jusque dans son terrier et lui arrive alors des aventures bien insolites...
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, to Hamish Ascot, and the stifling expectations of the society in which she lives. Unsure of how to reply, she pursues a rabbit in a blue waistcoat, and accidentally falls into a large rabbit hole, from which she emerges in a forest, where she is greeted by the White Rabbit, the Dormouse, the Dodo, the Talking Flowers, and Tweedledee and Tweedledum. They argue over her identity as "the right Alice", who must slay the Red Queen's Jabberwocky and restore the White Queen to power, as foretold by Absolem the Caterpillar. The group is then ambushed by the Bandersnatch and a group of playing-card soldiers led by the Knave of Hearts. Alice, Tweedledum and Tweedledee escape into the woods, while the Knave steals the Caterpillar's scroll and the Dormouse leaves the others, with one of the Bandersnatch's eyes. Tweedledum and Tweedledee are then captured by the Red Queen's Jubjub Bird.
Left alone with a governess one snowy afternoon (Alice's sister does not appear in this version), Alice is supremely bored. She idly starts to wonder what life is like on the other side of the drawing room mirror, when she suddenly feels a surge of confidence and climbs upon the mantelpiece to look. She discovers that she can pass through the looking glass and finds herself in a strange room where many things seem to be the exact reverse of what is in the drawing room. Strangely, through all of this, the governess does not seem to notice what has happened.
The film follows the storyline of the book closely, save for adding some scenes from Through the Looking-Glass. It also changes the opening real world scene from Alice and her sister sitting at a riverbank to Alice in her bedroom, reluctantly practicing the song "Cherry Ripe", which she is expected to perform at a garden party. (The party guests are played by the same actors as the Wonderland characters, and are shown as resembling them in appearance and personality, in a similar manner to the MGM version of The Wizard of Oz. The toys in Alice's room also reflect the residents of Wonderland). Thanks to stage fright, and constant nagging from her confident music teacher, Alice runs out of the house and hides herself in the woods nearby until the party has ended. However, an apple floats down from the tree and seems to hover in Alice's face. She is suddenly distracted by a human-sized White Rabbit (voiced by Richard Coombs) rushing by. Curious, Alice follows the White Rabbit, falling down his rabbit hole and ending up in Wonderland.