I didn’t really know what to expect from Tomorrowland when the first trailer emerged on the Internet. I thought Disney might have been clutching at straws, going from doing films based on their rides (Pirates of the Caribbean) to full-length features based on parts of their park (if you’ve never been, Tomorrowland is the place where you’d find Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear’s Blaster game, Star Wars rides and Finding Nemo Submarines – in Paris, it’s been renamed Discoveryland). However, I was pleasantly surprised by the film’s plot and message, and thoroughly appreciated it.
Meet young Frank Walker (Thomas Robinson). An eager inventor, he skips home to go to the 1964 World Fair in New York. As he shows off his Jet Pack to jaded-looking judge David Nix (Hugh Laurie), he’s interrupted by an adorable girl, Athena, who seems to be the judge’s daughter (Raffey Cassidy). As his invention is rejected because it doesn’t really work, Athena gives Frank a pin and directs him to follow her at a distance.
As they embark on a version of Disneyland’s It’s A Small World ride, Frank finds himself transported to city existing between time and space: Tomorrowland. But before we can find out more about the place, we jump back to the present and meet Casey Newton (Britt Robertson), a smart NASA fanatic who proclaims herself an eternal optimist. As she gets arrested for destroying vehicles in an effort to save a NASA launch platform, she finds a mysterious pin.
As she touches it, Casey can see Tomorrowland and move around in it (with some initial difficulty). Unfortunately, the pin only works for a limited time and desperate to find out more about it, she lies to go on a trip to Texas. Meeting Athena and a load of creepy-looking humanoid robots, she’s told to initiate contact with Frank Walker (George Clooney), who’ll be able to take her “there”. Unfortunately, Frank has grown bitter after being thrown out of Tomorrowland, and refuses to help Casey until they’re under attack.
Along with Athena, they manage to escape and it slowly emerges that young Frank may have built something in Tomorrowland that is causing more harm than good…
In an interview with Graham Norton, Clooney admitted that he wasn’t sure about the idea of the movie at first, but that he was fascinated when they showed him that Disney had planned to build an entirely different Tomorrowland underneath the real one. He greatly enjoyed the idea of a different world hidden from sight, and signed on to the movie.
And as with most of his work, Clooney once again shows a certain political agenda: Tomorrowland doubles as a warning to us, revealing that Man is responsible for Earth’s destruction and that all we need is people willing to change things in order to fix it.
The acting is great, the CGI amazing and the relations between characters really powerful. It’s a great movie to watch as a family, and it’ll definitely make you want to go to Disneyland. Actually, it made me want them to build a proper Tomorrowland ride where you fly around the town in a jet pack or something.
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