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Tomorrowland: Bold Disney Sci-Fi Adventure

  • Britt RobertsonGeorge Clooney...
  • Science FictionThriller
  • Brad Bird
reviewed by
Marija Loncarevic
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Tomorrowland: Bold Disney Sci-Fi Adventure

Directly and unapologetically inspired by Disneyland’s futuristic theme park ride of the same name, one might well argue that Tomorrowland is marketing ploy, designed as a sly attempt to drive more traffic the ‘Most Magical Place on Earth’.  But Brad Bird’s science-fiction adventure managed to soften this writer’s admittedly cynical heart.

Tomorrowland is centred on Casey Newton (Robertson); an intelligent and driven young woman – and daughter of a NASA engineer, Eddie Newton (McGraw) – who sees the world through rose-tinted glasses. Unexpectedly gifted a mysterious looking pin, Casey soon gets access and a sneak peek into a parallel dimension called Tomorrowlanda land where only the best artists, dreamers and visionaries reside. There, she meets an Audio-Android named Anthea (Cassidy) who eventually sends her on a path to Frank Walker (Clooney); a pessimistic and sceptical man who was once a brilliant and an equally optimistic young inventor.

See, Frank used to be a resident of Tomorrowland but, after learning of the community’s secrets, was kicked out by the dimension’s leader, Nix (Laurie). He has no desire of ever returning – let alone break down the door that has long been shut away from the pessimism of the real world – but he soon buckles under Casey’s relentless optimism as they embark on an adventure. 

Bird creates a visually grand and immersing futuristic world; one filled with plenty of imagination, action and colour which will leave audiences with plenty of memorable moments. However, the heavy use of CGI gives the film a bit of an unintentional coldness and the script suffers similarly. The plot and the characters have plenty of heart, but much of the film is spent explaining the finer details of its fantasy world, rather than just letting them play out organically. 

As expected, the cast is solid; Clooney is his usual charming self and the chemistry between him and Robertson – previously seen in Nicholas Spark’s The Longest Ride – navigates the story affectively, while Laurie channels his inner-House – successfully of course.

Driven by a series of bold ideas and fuelled by powerful sentiments of positivity and hope, not everything is ideal in Brad Bird’s earnestly optimistic world of Tomorrowland; it’s an intriguing and ambitious science-fiction entry that, despite its flaws, still manages to serve up a pleasing family-friendly movie-going experience. 

Like This? Try

Her (2013), Future by Design (2006), The Iron Giant (1999)

360 Tip

Brad Bird holds the record for winning more ‘Annies’ - an  annual award for achievement in animation - than any other working director today.

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