Although Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which are clearly not human in A Wrinkle in Time, there’s an even more alien-looking alien in the pages of the original book. But she only shows up as an easter egg in the movie. Remember when Zach Galifianakis briefly mentions “Aunt Beast?” Yeah, that’s a cool part of the book missing from the film.
Spoilers ahead for Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time.
One way the movie version of A Wrinkle in Time differs from the book is connected to the plot structure at the very end. In the novel, when Mr. Murry suggests that he, Meg, and Calvin tesser off the planet Camazotz and leave Charles Wallace behind, it actually happens. In the movie, it doesn’t. Instead, Meg stays on the planet for her final confrontation with the IT. But in the book, there’s a small break in between these scenes. And during that break, Meg recuperates with a really slick alien named Aunt Beast.
Aunt Beast doesn’t have a head or eyes and only communicates with Meg via a kind of telepathy. This alien also doesn’t understand the concept of sight at all, meaning Meg struggles to describe basic concepts to Aunt Beast, who is pretty amused by this human’s weird perception of the universe. Basically, Aunt Beast and the rest of her kind are like a mash-ups of the friendly aliens from Arrival and Kurt Vonnegut’s Tralfamadorians from Slaughterhouse Five. They are timeless.
Also, like the creatures in Arrival, Aunt Beast also has tentacles and is very loving and soothing. Her name is actually chosen by Meg telepathically as a portmanteau of a term of familiar endearment (aunt) and the creature’s somewhat freaky appearance (beast.)
In the film, we only see Aunt Beast in a quick scene in which the Happy Medium (Zach Galifianakis) is sort of taking everyone on a tour of the universe in their minds. When a strange pack of aliens appears he says “look, there’s Aunt Beast!” Of course, the Happy Medium wouldn’t call Aunt Beast by that name, because it was Meg’s private name for the alien in the book. Still, it’s a nice nod to one of the more memorable creatures from the beloved novel.
Who knows? If A Wrinkle in Time gets a movie sequel, we might get to see Aunt Beast’s healing tentacles in action.
A Wrinkle in Time is out now in wide release.
For more time-travel action, here’s the spiffy new logo for Doctor Who.