Happy Monday, Cactus Cult! Today’s Muse is brought to you by the good folks at Disney and their newest film, Tomorrowland. It’s a cute movie… definitely not what I expected and almost certainly meant for a younger audience than its advertising would have led me to believe, but so be it. Just to be clear, this is not a movie review; it is an opinions piece inspired by what I saw on-screen.
At its core, Tomorrowland holds the promise of a better, brighter future. Great, right? Well, no, if you consider that climate change and nuclear fallout and a million other apocalyptic possibilities stand in the way of its fulfillment. Environmental decay, political hostility, war… these are the results of human error that will ultimately destroy us before we ever get a chance to create our own “Tomorrowland”. THAT is the message that is delivered quite prominently in the back half of this Clooney-driven vehicle.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s a powerful, necessary message, I just don’t like how it was presented. It became a preaching platform and nothing more. Considering the widespread release of the film and Disney’s wide reach why not include practical suggestions for alleviating our increasingly apathetic culture? Isn’t that where the real problem lies? Despite the fact that the young heroine, Casey, specifically asks what can be done for our troubled planet, it would appear that the filmmakers couldn’t be bothered with paving the way for viewers. The last half hour and Hugh Laurie’s final monologue are bulging with chastisement and warnings, but nobody goes to the trouble of suggesting a solution.
So please stop preaching at me Disney, George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, and Brad Bird. I love you all, but standing on a soapbox is not the answer. I am ready to help. I understand the problems. I can plant trees, donate resources, and protest on my own time, but if I’m one of the few trying to make a change it’s going to be a long, slow fight. What the world needs, and what I am waiting for, is for you to use your multi-million dollar film budgets to mount a solid platform that the masses can get behind. Instigate that change with your celebrity/company influence. I would love to be the person who suggests that step in the right direction, but I don’t have a readership of millions or a giant corporation, and becoming a viral star does not exactly have lasting affects. (But if you do want my input might I refer you to a Muse I posted back in March…)
I walked out of the movie with the sense that I had just digested a lot of unnecessary cheese and fluff (fluffy cheese if you will). The only hope I hold in the film’s preachy narrative is that it might actually inspire younger audiences. Of course, I don’t think the movie was advertised very well toward youths and, quite frankly, I have no idea WHO the target audience was actually meant to be… But maybe if enough moviegoers walk out having this conversation someone will discover the hidden directions to initiate change for the better. Because, yeah, “Tomorrowland” (the city in the film) is amazing and inspiring and really well designed. Everyone should aspire to a future full of peace and high-tech wonders where dreamers and thinkers work together to make dreams reality. We just need to stop berating each other for the world’s problems and get moving.
Think about it.