Tomorrowland

 

Walt Disney Studios

 

Rating: PG

 

Reason for the Rating: Sequences of sci-fi action violence and peril, thematic elements, and language.

 

Plot Summary: A teen girl must figure out the secret behind a mysterious pin and how to save the world

 

PopFam Recommends: A little preachy and slow moving, but your kids will probably enjoy this one.

 

When I think of Disneyland, my mind turns to creativity and imagination, and I feel a sense of excitement and wonder bubbling up from my chest. And when I heard Disney was making a movie about Tomorrowland, I knew it had to be full of imagination and wonder, because that's what Tomorrowland is all about, right? Did it succeed? I'm not so sure.

 

When Frank Walker (George Clooney) was young, he had an innovative spirit and a creative mind to go along with it. So taking his homemade jet pack to the 1964 World Fair to win a $50 prize, seemed the logical thing to do. His invention piqued the interest of Nix (Hugh Laurie) and a young girl named Athena (Raffey Cassidy), but when he admitted that his jet pack didn't work quite right, he was told to go home. Before leaving though, Athena secretly slips him a pin, which eventually takes him to Tomorrowland, a place of invention and collaboration without political interference.

 

Fast forward to today, and Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) is a teenager with a positive outlook. And even though her father (Tim McGraw) is soon to be out of a job, Casey is sure she can remedy that situation. At night, she sneaks out of the house to sabotage the dismantling of the NASA launching facility at Cape Canaveral where her father is an engineer. That is until she's caught and taken to the police station. Upon her release, the police return all of the belongings, including a pin Casey doesn't recognize. But each time she touches the pin, it takes to her to another world that intrigues Casey so much she leaves home to find it.

 

What she finds is Athena, Frank, and an army of robots set on keeping her from Tomorrowland. What Casey discovers, is that world is about to end, and she is the only hope it's got.

 

Sounds like a great story. And to some degree it is. George Clooney seems like he's having fun playing a cranky inventor who just wants to be left alone. Really, he seems quite natural in his role, which is why he's such a fan favorite. The story is knit together in a way that ties the past, present, and future together in a non-confusing tale, which is sometimes a difficult fete in a movie dealing with multiple realities. Where it went astray for me was in two specific areas: the timing and the ending.

 

This is one of those movies that seems to take forever to get to the point. It's titled Tomorrowland, and is supposed to be about a place called Tomorrowland, but it's 3/4th of the way through before we get there. The real story isn't about Tomorrowland and how amazing it is, but the adventure Frank and Casey have in trying to find a way to get there. Their journey is a wild one, full of explosions, fight scenes, rocketing bathtubs, and smiling human-like robots that kids will love. Parents should be aware that there is some mild language throughout the movie.

 

The biggest disappointment of all was the ending. It seemed rushed and didn't make a whole lot of sense and left me a questions. Where were all the people who inhabit Tomorrowland? Why was Nix sending negative messages encouraging the world to destruct? Why didn't he send positive messages instead in a effort to change Earth? And, this is my personal opinion, I tire of movies that use this platform of entertainment to preach a message about environmentalism. Suck me in, tell me a cute story, and then hit me with a monologue about being environmentally proactive. Yes, I know it's important, I just don't want to hear it when I take my kids to the movies.

 

With that in mind though, the overall message of Tomorrowland is one that blends well with the ideology of Disney. Think positive, be creative, and live in a world of wonder. That is how the world becomes a better, and more fun, place in which to live.

 

The Blu-ray edition of Tomorrowland comes chock-full of bonus features, including a number of deleted scenes, director Brad Bird's "production diaries," a casting featurette, and even an all-new animated short, "The Origins of Plus Ultra." If you and your kids enjoyed Tomorrowland, you'll definitely be pleased with the filmmakers' generosity in regard to bonus and behind-the-scenes material.

 

Let’s Talk About It

Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this movie:

 

• What surprised you the most about the movie?

 

• How did Athena change throughout the course of the movie?

 

• Casey heard a lot of negative messages in school about war and global warming. How was her outlook on these situations different or the same from yours?

 

--JW

 

Tags: Disney,George Clooney,Britt Robertson,Hugh Laurie,Tim McGraw,Walt Disney,Disneyland

 

Note: All product-related graphics in this article are standard publicity/promotional shots and are owned by their respective publisher.

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