Disney has always been famous for capturing people’s imagination and transporting them into a world distinctly different to their own. Basing films on their own theme park rides simply adds to that inventiveness and originality. Disney’s latest action adventure, Tomorrowland: A World Beyond, throws you right slap bang in the middle of a sci-fi, fantasy universe shown to us by a young girl with dream’s and ambition and a mostly cranky George Clooney.
Through time and space, we witness a universe like no other – the world is known as Tomorrowland. As we follow Casey, Frank and robot Athena it is apparent through dazzling visual effects and sweeping shots that Disney’s magic is still well and truly alive.
Thankfully, this is a blockbuster that sets itself apart from the rest. Tomorrowland’s premise isn’t based on a novel or film but on a theme park attraction. A ride that consists of blasting off from space stations on Space Mountain, gives you the chance to be recruited as a space ranger by no other than Toy Story’s Buzz Lightyear, as well as training sessions in the art of the Jedi.
A popular attraction for young boys and girls indeed and one that certainly inspires imagination. It seems an ongoing theme that Disney have started transforming their Disney Park attractions into films for the silver screen. The most famous being the world-wide franchise of Pirate of the Caribbean.
Based on a ride of the same name opening way back in 1967, what better than to base a film on a dark and mysterious ride as this? Pirates and ships galore, allowing children and indeed adults to jump into a world of thievery, swashbuckling and not to mention the great boots and hats.
Spreading the idea over 4 films and a fifth due for release in 2017, it seems they picked a damn popular ride to spend money on in the film industry. That or Depp and Knightley drew the fans in…
Another ride that launched into cinemas was The Haunted Mansion. Sadly, launched probably isn’t the best word and this was certainly not as successful as Pirates; yet some elements of the original ride still remain intact through Eddie Murphy’s screams and flaying arms.
Eerie, creaky houses and mazes have always been popular at theme parks and travelling fairgrounds so it’s no wonder the studio thought this would translate well on screen. Of course Disney’s trade mark is making films to capture children’s attention and this is exactly where this one fell down.
Perhaps done in a more adult tone, The Haunted Mansion would have hit the nail on the head, but it was a bit too scary to take the kids to in half term.
Sci-fi tale Mission to Mars is actually based on a part of the world of Tomorrowland, originally known as Rocket to the Moon. Closing down in 1992 just before a controversial attraction named ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter was about to be launched, the studio decided to put a slant on it and produce a film.
Following the classic format of space action, disaster we know so well, Gary Sinise and Tim Robbins are on a mission to save any remaining survivors on a space mission gone terribly wrong. Disney have also touched on The Country Bears and adapted Tower of Terror for TV in 1997 starring a very young Kirsten Dunst.
Disney has picked up on a great opportunity here and one’s imagination gets carried away with thoughts of what our favorite rides would turn into if they were adapted for film.
Creator of hit TV series Lost Damon Lindelof lends his off the wall story-telling to Tomorrowland creating a very enticing and enjoyable futuristic tale of a girl in hope for something greater than the world we are destroying so rapidly and not really enforcing anything to reverse the damage. An inspiring film with a touching meaning.
Catch Tomorrowland in Cinemas this Friday 22nd May.