Disney is known both for their movies and theme parks, and every now and again they attempt to bring one of their theme park attractions to the big screen. This worked well with the Pirates of the Cabribain franchise and this time they aimed to bring the fantastic world of Tomorrowland to the big screen.
Tomorrowland was one of the original “lands” of Disneyland and opened along with the park on July 17, 1955. It featured attractions such as Richfield Oil sponsored Autopia, Trans World Airlines sponsored Rocket to the Moon, and American Motors sponsored Circarama. Today Tomorrow land is home to fan favorites such as Space Mountain and Star Tours.
When first opened Walt Disney himself, dedicated Tomorrowland with these words: “A vista into a world of wondrous ideas, signifying man’s achievements … a step into the future, with predictions of constructive things to come. Tomorrow offers new frontiers in science, adventure, and ideals: the Atomic Age, the challenge of outer space, and the hope for a peaceful and unified world.”
In the film, Tomorrowland is presented as an alternate world created for the brightest of the bright, those who will make tomorrow a better place. If you are familiar with the show Sci-fi Channel series Eureka, think of Tomorrowland as a Eureka which you can only come to by way of a magical pin.
Now, consider that with all the brightest brains in the world living in Tomorrowland they find the exact day the world will end. This blech outlook of where the future will lead is the plot point for the overall story and a weak story at that.
Our protagonist Casey Newton, played by Britt Roberton is supposedly a genius (or at least slightly intelligent) teenage girl who is upset that NASA is shutting down its space program. In protest, she breaks into their launch site and messes with things… um hello doesn’t this just help them justify why they should shut it down if teenagers can just break in.
So, anyways, she gets arrested and upon or release she finds small pin among her belongings which when picked up she is teleported to another place.
Fast forward and Casey is introduced to Athena, played by Raffey Cassidy, and it’s no surprise she is named after the Greek goddess of wisdom. For she tells Casey she has been chosen as a recruit to Tomorrowland, but first, she must find Frank Walker (George Clooney).
Later Frank, now a recluse of a scientist tells Casey that Tomorrowland isn’t what one would have hoped it would be and the future is pretty much doomed. The rest of the movie pretty much plays out as let’s get away from the bad guys in a sci-fi special effects movie.
The Future Isn’t all Rainbows
The main plot is a week and the vision of the future is portrayed in a pessimistic view, despite our protagonist Casey being optimistic about changing it.
Overall a lot of the characters are very memorable neither are the causes for their actions. Even Casey who is supposed to be a genius but she doesn’t really pull it off. Then there’s Hugh Laurie that plays Nix our villain and he comes out a bit on the campy.
On the flip side, Geroge Clooney and Raffey Cassidy do an excellent job in their roles and despite their age differences play former (sort-of) lovers brilliantly. They both also have a bit of sophistication about them that you could believe that they are smarter than your average bear.
In the end I was hoping for some complex story, or wonderous mystery about Tomorroland, but it just didn’t happen. In the end it was just a save the day in an hour and half action film, which I’m still not sure what the point was.