The summer of 2015 was dominated by block buster super hero movies and a return to the Jurassic. Over shadowed by its bigger siblings Tomorrow Land was largely overlooked. If this movie was not on your radar here is the official movie description from Disney Studios:
Whenever Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) touches a lapel pin with the letter T on it, she finds herself transported to Tomorrowland, a city filled with huge robots and sleek buildings. The gifted young woman recruits the help of scientist Frank Walker (George Clooney), a previous visitor to Tomorrowland, who years ago made a startling discovery about the future. Together, the two adventurers travel to the metropolis to uncover its mysterious secrets.
The few trailers that were released for this film were vague and confusing. Unfortunately the plot twist half way through the movie was such a big secret that the trailers could not do this movie justice. Marketing of this film via social media and stunts enabling junior Imagineeers to contribute ideas for a better future could have given this movie a much needed bump in interest. Even with the retro sixties nostalgia of the 1964 New York World’s Fair the response to the film was paltry. Disney as usual offers us a lush world with a compelling story; a future full of optimism and science. Too many times the attention to detail and affects like these are applied to movies that are targeted towards teens and adults. This film was in every scene tailored to families. Which I believe is why this movie was panned by most critics. Tomorrow Land seems off handedly to have no teeth. From the beginning of this film we know the main characters were not speaking to the adults of today but the children dreamers who will one day be the leaders of tomorrow. They warned of a day to come where a large calamity will soon hit mankind. But they reassure us that there is still time to affect change.
My family chose to watch this movie at home instead of in the theater and I now regret that decision. The many scenes depicting a city amongst the clouds or the hope that the city embodied would have been much more effective on a large screen than on a personal device. This film also explored lofty ideas that do not have their day in most popular child friendly formats. Positive ideas verses negative ideas permeating our modern lives and how they affect the hope for the future is explored. The development and use of science and technology used for the greater good is touched upon as well. Adding to these overarching themes we also find day dreamers and creatives being allowed to work together unhindered for the promise of a better future. The writers also decided to explore a story of young love and betrayal or rather programming versus artificial intelligence.
Lofty Ideals permeate this movie assuming that children can understand that there is a choice between acting for oneself and acting for the good of all. Maybe that is ultimately why this movie did not do well in theaters. A PG movie about optimism and a future of hope instead of the endless city destroying sequences in super hero movies or post apocalyptic teen novel adaptations.
Now it’s time for my list of why this movie is worthy of your time.
- George Clooney
- Special Effects
- Eiffel tower rocket
- Jet Packs
- Friendly Robots
- Classic Disney
- 1964 New York World’s Fair
- Assumption that Kids are smart.
I wanted to love Tomorrowland. I really did. I went to the New York World's Fair in 1964 and rode Carousel of Progress (withe the theme song "It's a great, big beautiful tomorrow ..."). But Tomrrowland let me down. The whole premise is one Smart Guy who thinks he and his fellow Smart Guys are better than everyone else. Not only does he (unwittingly) bring about disaster, but he leaves everyone else to perish miserably. The wise, humble guy and the smart teenager finally save the day, but then they turn around and only invite Those Who Are Worthy - the Artistic or Intelligent!! They reestablish the closed, elitist community that they fought so hard! What about the Compassionate? The dedicated Hard Worker? The Farmer? The Mom? The Kind? Are they not fit to live in utopia? Do they not contribute to society? Have we no obligation to help those Less Fortunate Than Ourselves?
Yes, I got excited and passionate. But it's that very if-we-only-had-the-good-people-then-we'd-have-the-garden-of-Eden that causes many problems in our world. Yes, it is worthy for all 10 things on your list. But I mourn over what it could have been.