Tomorrowland never knows

It’s been almost a week since I saw Tomorrowland, and I can’t stop thinking about it.

In all honesty, I kept thinking I had more to say about this subject after I hit the “publish” button (which ALWAYS happens when you’re writing something). So here are a few more thoughts about the movie. Slight spoilers ahead!

Out of all the movies I’ve seen, this one has nagged at me in ways I can’t explain. A small part of me can’t believe that the film didn’t do as well at the box office. I’m sure the secretive marketing didn’t help, but still. I’ve been reading some of the reviews. I even saw one story debunking that the movie has traces of Ayn Rand. I can’t answer that one because I haven’t read anything of hers (which could be a good thing; I don’t know). The Rotten Tomatoes meter has stayed around 50 percent, so you either love the movie or hate it.

Put me on the Optimist side.

Tommorowland Mondo poster by Kevin Tong
Tommorowland Mondo poster by Kevin Tong

I’ve always been a Disney fan, especially following the adventures of Donald Duck and the gang. It wasn’t until my adult years that I became fascinated with Walt Disney the person, not the corporate symbol. Last year, I spent just about all that time reading Neal Gabler’s biography on Disney, where I got a more detailed picture of the man. I joined the free portion of D23, Disney’s fan club, where you could dive into more historical tidbits. Because of my close proximity to Walt Disney World, I’ve been especially intrigued by how this Vacation Kingdom came to be. My heart swelled as I read science fiction writer Ray Bradbury’s early script for Spaceship Earth at EPCOT Center.

A couple of years ago, rumblings about the movie headed out to the masses, especially the discovery of the “1952” box, which was filled with seemingly random items (dramatic pause). Or were they?

Being a writer/creative-type person, I loved how Tomorrowland’s backstory was being portrayed, especially the tale of the secret society Plus Ultra. There’s the website for a group trying to stop Plus Ultra (even says so in the title). There was an alternate reality game where another website had dashes and dots that led to various locations, which led to more clues. There are various interviews from the creators, like this one with Jeff Jensen, who even wrote a prequel novel aptly titled Before Tomorrowland. Through a bit of serendipity, I had bought a boxed set filled with the musical portions of the attractions at the 1964 World’s Fair, which, as it turned out, played a role in the film.

Strangely, a lot of this didn’t end up in the movie. All backstory. I don’t know if it was supposed to be there, but the movie still worked for me.

Like Casey in the movie, I was flabbergasted by the stunning visuals of the city of Tomorrowland. I did my best to see as many of the different references in that comic book shop. I got “It’s a Small World” and “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” stuck in my head.

Maybe it’s because I have two young daughters that I’m looking at this movie through a different set of eyes. Maybe I want them to have that passion, that drive, to give the world a brighter tomorrow. Or I’m just a softie for science fiction movies, and this hit all the right buttons.

If the fates allow, I would love to go back to the theater to catch stuff I missed the first go-around. If not, I will definitely see it again at home when it arrives on Blu-ray. I hope others give it a shot.

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