This is a feminist tale of liberation from patriarchy. Alice is in a Victorian oppressive environment where women should just accept whatever man they can get and not have dreams of achievements, because otherwise they will end up as unhappy delusionary spinsters. That is what happens to Alice’s aunt, who held out for true love and is still waiting for her Prince Charming, that never came (And the aunt is delusionary because of it). Meanwhile, Alice is being pressured into marrying an obnoxious selfish idiot of a rich boy who sees her only as an accouterment to his life and who proposes to her right before she falls into the rabbit hole. What else does a young woman without means do in such an unfair world?
So Alice goes on this journey in a wild world where she becomes the prophesied one to kill the dragon of the wicked queen in order to save the land. She doesn’t see herself as a warrior of course, but ultimately embraces her fate and kills the dragon and saves the day. When she comes back into the real world, she now has the courage to say no to the marriage proposal and convinces her dead dad’s ex-business partner to employ her with the company because she is a dreamer like her dad and has big dreams about where to take the business.
This movie is a parable meant to encourage young women that they have the same mythology as men, that they can slay dragons just like a man, that there is no difference between the narrative of male and female being, and that ultimately, a woman does not need a man to be fulfilled, but she can find her meaning and purpose in a career or job, just like men do.