Tomorrowland Blu-ray, a review
George: We both received review copies of the Tomorrowland blu-ray release. Tomorrowland was one of the most anticipated films of the summer and sadly didn’t live up to the hype. But did it need to? Was it just a film that couldn’t stand up to the marketing hype and the Disney nerddom?
Jeff: I feel like the film fell in the trap that The Lone Ranger did last year: the hype train just never came into the station. However, while I really enjoyed the Lone Ranger, Tomorrowland left me a little…cold. For all its effort, the film wasn’t much like it was marketed to be. That’s not a bad thing, it just wasn’t what I was expecting.
George: Both of us read (and loved) Before Tomorrowland before seeing Tomorrowland. My initial thoughts were that the film didn’t live up to the hype, but that it also wasn’t as bad as the critics pronounced. There were parts of the film that I loved and parts that were not what I expected or felt like the film needed. My highest praise for the film is that my eleven year-old left the theater with a renewed interest in science. Still, I was one of the few champions of the film and I was very excited to watch it a second time at home.
Jeff: Overall, it does feel very EPCOT-y in some ways. It’s about hope, optimism, and the pursuit of science. When Casey, our lead, is given a special pin that shows her glimpses of Tomorrowland, she sets off on a journey to learn more about it. Of course, along the way, she has some trouble with killer robots and futuristic tech.
George: The movie really centers on optimism and how one person can make a difference, especially with some amazing technology. There’s a clock counting down to something catastrophic and it’s owned by George Walker, whom we meed as an aspiring young boy at the 1964 World’s Fair. Walker is full of optimism and meets Nix at the fair, a judge for an inventor’s competition. Walker also meets Athena, a young lady who sees promise in Walker and offers him a pin. And then we get to ride it’s a small world!
Jeff: The reasoning behind Walker’s expulsion from Tomorrowland, and its eventual fall, is interesting. The message of hope the movie carries is fantastic. However, it’s wrapped in a destructive shell, showcasing how our world is obsessed with the on-coming storm of apocalypse. And while, yes, only we can save it, it still is depressing to think about.
George: When we were part of a great panel at DragonCon about the movie, many of the people felt the same way that we do. They liked parts of it but didn’t like other parts. Or they wish that the film had gone in a different direction. But one thing that everyone asked about were the special features. We all know that they shut down the Carousel of Progress for a few days to film there, but nothing showed up in the final film. Would there be a special feature with the missing footage?
Jeff: I’m sure there are! Just not on the Tomorrowland blu-ray…Which, of course, is unfortunate. I was pretty bummed not to see any Carousel scenes in the deleted scenes, but just a handful of other things of how the movie was originally cut, along with some subplots. Casey’s family was extended? She was originally a teenager that had given up hope? I mean, all interesting, but not what we wanted to see. That said, Brad Bird’s personal production diaries, along with the scoring session featurette, were pretty fantastic additions.
CAROUSEL OF PROGRESS SPECIAL FEATURE!
On the Disney Movies Anywhere version of the film, there are three extra features: Deleted Scene With Filmmaker Introduction – Frank Walker, Age 10; Deleted Scene With Filmmaker Introduction – Great Big Beautiful World’s Fair; and Brad Bird Production Diaries: Diary Entry #2 – Tomorrowland vs. The Weather.
The Great Big Beautiful World’s Fair extra DOES show the footage from the Carousel of Progress as well as more time spent at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Sadly, it’s still not much.
George: There was also the Origins of PlusUltra short, that really should have been shown before the film. Still, I’m surprised that there wasn’t some pretty nerdy extra for the Disney fans. I guess we’ll have to wait for the special release in 20 years. I still stand by my statement that I really liked the film, even though it could have used some editing. My son loved the message and it really inspired him to think about science and the future.