May 25, 2016 / 1:58 PM / a year ago

Carroll's fantasy world returns in "Alice Through the Looking Glass"

Cast members (L-R) Sacha Baron Cohen, Mia Wasikowska, Anne Hathaway and Johnny Depp pose at the premiere of "Alice Through the Looking Glass" at El Capitan theatre in Hollywood, U.S., May 23, 2016.Mario Anzuoni

LONDON (Reuters) - Lewis Carroll's much-loved heroine Alice returns to the big screen for more fantasy adventures in "Alice Through the Looking Glass", going through a mirror and then traveling back in time to help her friend, the flamboyant Mad Hatter.

The colorful movie with plenty of special effects follows the 2010 box office hit "Alice in Wonderland", with Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska and Helena Bonham Carter returning as the Mad Hatter, Alice and the Red Queen, respectively.

The plot follows Alice, after a trip at sea, as she rushes to reunite the Mad Hatter and his family.

"She's just spent two years traveling the world as the captain of a ship and she's very empowered and very much knows who she is," Wasikowska told Reuters in an interview in London.

Sacha Baron Cohen, known for his satirical characters such as Ali G and fake Kazakh reporter Borat, is a new addition to the cast, playing the tick-tocking Time.

"Essentially you're in a room with blue carpet everywhere and there are a lot of people wearing blue one-piece suits made out of spandex and you can't see their faces," Cohen said of working on a film with plenty of computer-generated imagery.

"So, it's hard to sometimes concentrate and take it seriously ... Did I go mad? Yeah."

Alice's quest to help the Mad Hatter sees her come across the Red Queen, for which Bonham Carter's head was again digitally increased.

"She's a fun person to play ... Even the big head is great ... And it's liberating to play somebody who is so direct and so fantastically self-absorbed and narcissistic," Bonham Carter told Reuters in a separate interview in Los Angeles.

"The downside is the shouting and ... how long it takes to get ready, and two bald caps."

"Alice Through the Looking Glass" hits cinemas worldwide from Wednesday.

Reporting By Edward Baran; additional reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy in Los Angeles; Writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian Editing by Jeremy Gaunt

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