Walt Disney Pictures returns to the big screen with sci-fi/adventure film: Tomorrowland, out now in theaters everywhere.

(image courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures)

It was a pretty slow-to-start movie (particularly for Disney/a film heavily marked to kids) which is probably why my kid spent a lot of time fidgeting during it. We start at the end of our tale with George Clooney‘s character putting in all the doom and gloom that his character felt towards the world and it’s lack of future, but he’s being hindered by his co star’s constant interruptions about needing to add a positive light to their tale to not scare potential viewers. Eventually, they agree to let him start his tale.

But how did Tomorrowland actually stack up?? Click below & read more to find out!!

We go from the now to the opening of the World’s Fair in New York, 1939, the theme of which was “Building the World of Tomorrow,” which fit in perfectly with our movie’s main concept. A young Frank Walker (the 10 year old version of Clooney’s character, played by the astonishingly good Thomas Robinson) come to the fair, alone, to show off his invention. (And no, I won’t tell you what it is, go see the movie.)  He wants to win the $50 prize for it, but, alas, it doesn’t quite work. The judge he shows it to, (played by Hugh Laurie) while impressed, tells him it’s of little use if it doesn’t work. He could come back when it did. All the while, the judge’s “daughter,” Athena (played by the talented Raffey Cassidy) believes in his potential and tries to convince her father that he is worthy of a chance. He doesn’t agree, so she secretly invites him to Tomorrowland. There’s a pin involved in this invitation and the use of another of Disney’s rides to gain access to the portal to Tomorrowland, and woosh, we’re off to a whole new place. A place of possibility and hope.

(image courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures)

Frank’s acceptance into the super-secret, all-exclusive Tomorrowland world, ends this first part of the tale. Enter Casey Newton (played by Britt Robertson). She’s the daughter of a N.A.S.A. engineer (played by Tim McGraw) who is of high intelligence and even higher hopes. She keeps sabotaging the attempts to demolish the launch pad in her home town, eventually getting caught. Athena, seeing her potential, slips a pin into her motorcycle helmet just before her final attempt gets her arrested. Casey finds it upon her release, touches it and is mentally transported to Tomorrowland. I did say mentally. Her body remains in the here and now, so she runs into things.

(image courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures)

There’s a catch! And yeah, of course there is. The pin only works for a limited time. You have to be invited there officially in order to actually be transported there. There’s just one problem, Tomorrowland has shut its gates to new inventors and hope. Casey doesn’t know that, so, she goes in search of another pin that will hopefully transport her back to Tomorrowland.

(image courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures)

There’s a short trek to Texas where she encounters some of the robots from Tomorrowland that were sent here to find the now wayward Athena and either bring her back or destroy her. We don’t find out why until much later. Athena rescues her and eventually delivers her to Frank’s door. There’s a bit of funny exchanges between Frank and Casey. We get a feel for Frank’s lack of hope in the machine’s and monitors in his den. There’s an action packed fight between some of the Tomorrowland robots and Casey and Frank, a harrowing escape (all of which is shown in the previews) and the meet up with Athena where she convinces Frank that Casey can fix something that is broken if he can get them back to Tomorrowland.

(image courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures)

Worth noting to anyone who might not know… this movie seems to be based on an old version of Tomorrowland, a group of attractions at their Disneyland and Disneyorld theme parks. The attractions feature a lot of ideas for the betterment of human life, and both the future of the planet and business. That said, the original Tomorrowland was so heavily sponsored by corporations that it was honestly more about the future of the corporations funding it than the betterment of anything. It was more corporate greed than hope. This heavy belief that corporations and greed are destroying our planet and the inactivity of the common man is aiding in it’s fast approaching destruction is the main idea that’s practically forced into you from the start of the movie and continues to its conclusion. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not an inaccurate depiction of the world of today, it was just a bit heavy handed, not to mention more than a little ironic, particularly for anyone who’s ever actually been there. That said, all of this did not detract from the movie in any way.

(image courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures)

The Bottom Line:
Overall, Tomorrowland is a pretty good film, if a little heavy handed in its message. The effects are so well done that they look real. Tomorrowland, while looking a bit like the Land of Oz, was beautifully renderred, and you can really get a sense of Disney’s hope for a brighter future in the tale itself. There’s a lot more to say about the movie, including a bit of cool effects involving the Eiffel Tower, but I don’t want to spoil anything… so I’ll just tell you to go see it for yourself. — Beautifully shot, fantastic digital F/X, and a great (if a little overstated) message. — 7.5/10

-H. Collins
Contributing Writer

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