Alice is sitting in a chair scolding her kitten, Kitty, when she notices the alternate world inside the Looking Glass. She determines to explore this other world, and as soon as she steps inside, she finds a place much like yet much different from her home. She encounters a smiling clock, animate chess pieces and a book with backwards text, but determined to see all of this amazing new place before she has to return, she abandons the living room and steps outside.
After a confusing romp through the garden, talking flowers direct Alice to the Red Queen, who informs Alice that she is a part of a giant chess game. Alice's goal is to become a queen herself, and the Red Queen instructs her that she must begin in this second square and inevitably reach the eighth square in order for this aspiration to be realized. She explains also a bit of the backwards nature of life in the Looking-Glass world.
Alice jumps over the first brook, which brings her to her first adventure. She finds herself in a carriage full of animals, and once she passes over the next brook, she realizes she is alone with an enlarged gnat from the carriage. She encounters Tweedledee and Tweedledum next, who dance, recite poetry and bicker. She is thrust into a shop which turns into a boat and then back into a shop. In that shop is an egg, which transforms into Humpty Dumpty.
Soldiers arrive at Humpty Dumpty's wall, and with them, she notices the White King, with whom she travels to town to see the Lion and the Unicorn battle. After sharing some cake with onlookers, she finds herself alone in the forest, until she is joined by two knights who fight to determine who will take her prisoner. The victor, the Red Knight, leads her to the brook that is the final barrier to her queenship.
Jumping over the final brook into the eighth square, Alice is joined by the Red and White Queens, who frustrate her with their impossible quizzing. She joins a feast that is being celebrated in her honor, but soon things begin to go awry, and suddenly, the Red Queen is actually her kitten, and she is back in her living room. Alice is left wondering who had been dreaming during her adventures in the Looking-Glass world.