By Andy Herndon
The long awaited Brad Bird film Tomorrowland from Disney lands in theaters today. I found myself at the midnight showing this morning with only a handful of people. This film has been on my list of most anticipated films of the year. As a Disney fan, I appreciate, not only the Tomorrowland (from Disneyland) reference, but also how this film promised to not be about a land at a theme park, but a film about the essence and idea Walt Disney had that inspired Tomorrowland and much of the Disney organization
Walt Disney once said “it’s fun to do the impossible”. Walt Disney was an innovator, creator, and idealist. The premise of the movie Tomorrowland is what would happen if the best of the world, the greatest musicians, artists, engineers, scientists came together to actually change the world for the better. That was the dream and inspiration Walt Disney had for Tomorrowland and the Disney company as a whole. This is what drove him to be a part of the World’s Fair. It was the premise of the creation of WED Enterprises which became Walt Disney Imagineering. Imagineering brings together, artists, engineers and the like to push the boundaries of their fields. This film, in my opinion, was birthed in the mind of Walt Disney. As an avid Disney fan, I found Walt’s finger prints all over this movie.
Disney’s Tomorrowland follows a smart idealistic girl named Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) as she discovers a place that has been kept secret from the rest of the world. On the journey to discovering Tomorrowland she crosses paths with Frank Walker (George Clooney), a man who was once much like Casey, but has since become disillusioned. Casey and Frank embark on a dangerous journey together that leads them to discover and rediscover what the essence of Tomorrowland is and what it could mean for humanity.
I found the film to be an unexpectedly pleasant, inspiring and an honest commentary on the state of human affairs and of the human condition. Some may find this film a bit preachy, especially at the end, but I came away more inspired than talked down too.
I believe the story suffered a little bit from a lack of character development. I would have like to have known more of the background of Casey. If we had that, I feel I would have been more invested in her journey. Overall, though some have found the ending of the film weak, I found it appropriate and fitting given my understanding of what inspired this film. The story was well organized and engaging. Though there was a lack of character development, I still felt invested after only a few minutes.
The acting was solid. Britt Robertson, I believe, is an actress to look out for in coming years. She was able to carry a film which co-starred George Clooney. No easy task. Her performance beside this Hollywood legend will bode well for her in the future. The casting and performances were well done overall.
Special effects wise, the movie was brilliant. The entire picture had a modern yet retro feel about it. Director Brad Bird has a way of using CGI in such a way that it doesn’t take you out of the story, even when CGI is heavily relied on in some parts. At no point did I find the CGI to be a distraction or take away from the story. In fact, it enhanced it, along with some pretty spectacular cinematography.
Tomorrowland was an inspirational, engaging, entertaining and original film.Though I did find some problems with character development, those problems were outweighed by the gravity of the story being told. Tomorrowland is the kind of film you can take your children to and have a great conversation about afterward, yet it is not a kid’s movie. Disney has always had a way of doing that. I would recommend seeing Tomorrowland this weekend with the entire family, as I already have plans to see it again.
Andy Herndon is the Co-Founder and current host of The D-Cast and theDcast.com, a weekly podcast & blog talking all things movies in the Disney universe, including Star Wars (LucasFilm), Marvel & Pixar and even some Disneyland stuff just for fun. Andy is Southern Californian turned Las Vegan turned Oregonian. He lives in Southern Oregon with his bride and 3 kids who are all growing up to be movie buffs and Disney fanatics. Andy is fan of culture, cinema, creativity & coffee! Contact Andy on the various social media outlets @andyherndon. He would love to connect!
On their first Episode together in 7 months Andy and Matthew are all over the map with talk of Disney, Disneyland, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Pixar and a hodge podge of everything. Be prepared for a journey across the Disney Magical Spectrum with a whole lot of tom foolery. It’s a grand time!
We’re back!!!! The First Episode of the At the Movies with Andy Herndon. We talk about the Oscars, McFarland USA and take some listener questions.