Hey young lady your time is up.
ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS Extended TV Spot (2016) Johnny Depp Disney Movie HD
Alice returns to the whimsical world of Wonderland and travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter.
Stars: Johnny Depp, Sacha Baron Cohen, Anne Hathaway, Alan Rickman, Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham Carter
In theaters: May 27th, 2016
This is an extended version of the television commercial that allegedly ran during last night’s Grammy Awards. And quite simply it is pretty terrific. The gimmick is, of course, that Walt Disney DIS -1.58% went and hired Pink/P!nk to do a shiny new cover of Jefferson Airplane‘s “White Rabbit.” I don’t think I need to explain the appropriateness of said musical selection. For what it’s worth, this mimics what Disney did two summers ago with Maleficent when they dropped a long commercial during that year’s Grammy Awards which featured a cover of “Once Upon A Dream” from Lana Del Rey.
As I wrote at the time, it reminded me of the 1990′s-era gimmick of having pop artists covering (at least) one of the big new original songs from a given Walt Disney animated featured as a contemporary radio single. This goes back to Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson’s 1991 cover of ”Beauty And the Beast” from the film Beauty and the Beast. See also: Michael Bolton covering “Go the Distance” from Hercules. Sadly we never got the Alice Cooper cover of “Hellfire” from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, but I can still dream twenty years later.
Since then, it’s been often been used as a way to promote new talent within Disney or recently removed from Disney. Think Christina Aguilera’s superb cover of “Reflection” from Mulan in 1998, see Ashley Tisdale’s cover of ”Kiss the Girl” which was included with the 2006 DVD release of The Little Mermaid, and most recently Demi Lovato’s (underrated) version of “Let It Go” which played over Frozen‘s end credits.
Anyway, what makes this one worth commenting upon is that P!nk’s percussion-heavy cover of an already percussion-friendly tune creates a surprisingly exciting and intense structure for this frankly terrific trailer/TV spot/etc. I have said before that the visuals in this James Bobin sequel look cleaner and less muddled than the Tim Burton original, but that could merely be six years of special effects technology.
Yet the trailer is another terrific example of how the right song or score choice can make the sell almost by itself. We all know about certain big trailers for certain big movies that delivered emotionally-powerhouse music that the actual films didn’t measure up to (Star Trek, Dark Knight Rises, Man of Steel, Star Wars: The Force Awakens), but I am also reminded of that great Titan A.E. trailer that used Creed‘s “Higher” to such grand effect.