Going to Disneyland or going to see a Disney movie used to fill you with wonder. It was a sense of amazement and possibility. A feeling of what you imagined could actually could come true. That’s the sense I got seeing TOMORROWLAND. At least for the first half of the movie. It starts with an animated opening that reminded me of watching The Wonderful World of Disney when I was a kid. A pseudo documentary about something or someone that made it all seem wonderful. That feeling continued through much of the first half of the movie. What this movie is about has been kind of a mystery. It does get kind of convoluted but here goes: The world is nearing its end. Environmental collapse and nuclear proliferation are going to doom everyone to extinction in a matter of a couple of months. But there is hope in the form of one Florida teenager who is really smart and sees hope in everything. Casey Newton (get it?) played by Britt Robertson spends the first half of the movie discovering her role in saving the world. Part of it involve going to TOMORROWLAND, which she visits by touching a special pin. Eventually she hooks up with George Clooney’s Frank Walker, who we find out was taken to Tomorrowland as a kid because he held such promise. It’s hard to describe what Tomorrowland, the place is. It’s futuristic. It’s scientific. It’s a place of wonder. That was the most “Disney” part of the film. After Casey hooks up with Frank, the movie becomes more of your standard action adventure fare. Clooney is the disillusioned scientist and Robertson is the spunky kid that opens his eyes once again. Hugh Laurie is the “villain”. Villain in quotes because he’s not really that evil, and what exactly he is doing to end the world is a little muddled. Basically he’s not evil enough. He’s kind of sort of evil. That didn’t really work for me. The ending was satisfying and once again brought back that Disney feeling of wonder. The film also gets quite preachy about how we are killing our planet and doing little to stop it. It’s a message, but I didn’t feel pummeled by it. Overall TOMORROWLAND is a nice movie, one that only could come from Brad Bird’s imagination. But it’s misses a bit which is too bad because it could have been fantastic. — Alan Yudman

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