Last week’s most recent trailer for Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass introduced us to some pretty intriguing scenes, including a more detailed look at the workings of the film’s villainous Time played by Sacha Baron Cohen. Following a Victorian, steampunked themed lair, we saw a handful of Time’s dreaded machinery hot in pursuit of Alice. Just recently, Entertainment Weekly shares some exclusive photos of the these unsung ‘minions’ or henchmen that any infamous villain can ever have.
Meet the ‘Seconds’ – Time’s clunky, unassuming rag-tag footmen headed by his steam-powered, metal-mustachioed manservant Wilkins. Animation Supervisor Troy Saliba was quick to admit that the concept of Time’s henchmen easily brings to mind the cute and funny antics of the little yellow guys from Despicable Me. “‘Minions’ is a word that we generally try to avoid,” Saliba says with a laugh, “but we were leaning on body-language comedians like Mr. Bean and Buster Keaton.”
It is quite easy for the Seconds to be taken for granted, unless you deal with them by numbers. Cleverly alluding to the cumulative effects of time itself, these unassuming Seconds have a nasty ability under its metal sleeves. Bringing together 60 Seconds and mashing them together creates the scary – as you may have guessed – Minute. This mean-looking, stoic, metallic entity is one steam punk concept that highlights how time can get the best out of us if we don’t act swiftly. But as we all know, the unit of time doesn’t end there. According to Director James Bobin (The Muppets), “When the grand clock is in danger of stopping,” Bobin explains, “all the Minutes form into one enormous 50-foot creature,” as shown in this early concept art below. And his name, as if you have to ask, is the “Hour”.
Will the Seconds be unique and compelling enough as henchmen characters to prove popular on their own merits? Only Time will tell. Alice Through the Looking Glass hits theaters on Friday, May 27. Directed by James Bobbin, it features Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, and Helena Bonham Carter all returning in their original roles, alongside new cast members Sacha Baron Cohen and Rhys Ifans.