Disney’s Tomorrowland features an optimistic, brilliant scientist and high school student named Casey Newton (Britt Robinson), who stumbles upon a pin that transports her to a place called Tomorrowland, where the world’s most talented artists, scientists, and mathematicians are recruited across time in hopes of constructing a better future for those who live on Earth. Excited over this discovery, Casey searches for more answers, eventually finding out that mankind’s fate lies in her hands.
The universe that Tomorrowland is set in is our own, and the aspects of our planet that Tomorrowland chooses to highlight are eerily revealing. Tomorrowland points out that much of our world is focused on doom and destruction—just look at the books we read. Dystopian novels like The Hunger Games and Divergent have become increasingly more popular, and much of the classics we analyze in our English classrooms, like Fahrenheit 451 and Brave New World, paint a bleak image of humanity as well. The issue with this isn’t that we’re spending too much time absorbing the possibility of a dim future, but that many of us are not doing anything about it.
However, this isn’t the case with protagonist Casey Newton, who’s slightly overly-perky personality rubs off on her friend, Frank Walker (George Clooney). Together, they try to resolve this issue and save the world from some vague, unexplained disaster. A few parts of the movie were a little confusing, but a combination of phenomenal CGI and incredible acting let me overlook that. And even though the message was sometimes drilled in a little too cleanly and openly, I was won over by its truth and simplicity. Tomorrowland is a movie set on optimism and hope. We need to recognize the awful, the terrible, and the disastrous, but we cannot accept them as the inevitable.
There are still two important parts of the movie that need to be highlighted. First, Tomorrowland isn’t saying that only the insanely talented can change the world. The ones who can change the world are the ones who believe in it, and who use their abilities—whatever they are—to empower positive growth. Second, Tomorrowland carries this message directly to the minds and hearts of children specifically. In the movie, a large group of children are given the task of changing the world. This added detail, I think, was meant to tell the kids in the audience that they have the power to do amazing things, no matter how big or small they are. As corny as it may sound, everyone has the potential and the responsibility to nurture the world into a better place, something I think the movie-goers in my theater understood as Tomorrowland winded down to its final moments, and the entire audience burst into applause.