Following on in a similar vein to the likes of The Lorax or Wall-E, comes another environmentally conscious, family adventure movie. Disney have taken it upon themselves to preach the protection of our future to a demographic filled with impressionable, young minds, in their latest endeavour Tomorrowland – A World Beyond. While it’s vital we focus on such issues, and use cinema as a means, and catalyst to drill home this message in to the minds of the next generation, in this particular endeavour it feels painstakingly idealistic, and all too contrived, feeling more akin to an recruitment advertisement for NASA, than a piece of fantastical cinema.

The general public are not aware of it, but there’s another world out there, where the creatively inclined and scientific geniuses of society have congregated to express themselves, to invent a whole new society, led by David Nix (Hugh Laurie), for the elite, free from war and destruction, instead more concerned with bettering themselves, and consistently working on new, exciting and progressive inventions. The place is called Tomorrowland – and only very few are allowed to venture into this futuristic world, handpicked by talent scout Athena (Raffey Cassidy), who is left in charge of uncovering the gifted, courageous few.

Boy genius Frank Walker (George Clooney) was granted access – achieved by touching a small pin, which transports you to the land – and now the latest to have been gifted the opportunity, is Casey Newton (Britt Robertson). However when the pair meet, the latter is disillusioned by the former’s apprehensions about returning, as he claims Tomorrowland is not the place it used be, leading the pair on a dangerous mission into the unknown – to not only secure and preserve tomorrow, but work in saving and protecting today.

Tomorrowland – directed by Brad Bird, the man behind Pixar animations such as Ratatouille and The Incredibles, alongside writer Damon Lindelof, have done a remarkable job in tapping in to our inner child, as this enchanting piece plays on our imaginations, and allows them to run wild. It’s the gadgets, and the secret contraptions – like when Frank, as a child, sets off to Disneyland, and while riding on It’s a Small World, the ride becomes a secret passage to another dimension. Or how the Eiffel Tower is actually an antenna harbouring a rocket that leads directly to Tomorrowland. These are things only a child can dream up – we’re just thankful now that it’s been brought to life by adults. Cheers lads.

But that being said, what transpires is a film that remains difficult to judge in regards to its target audience. It’s evidently aimed at kids, but the lengthy, demanding and overtly convoluted narrative simply won’t appeal to a younger crowd. It’s a shame the film heads in this complex direction, as the opening hour makes for absorbing cinema, where everything is unknown. We perceive Tomorrowland from the perspective of Casey, excited and frightened, discovering it as she does. But the further we progress, and when Clooney enters in to proceedings, the film begins to head steadily downhill, as the loose ends need tying and closure becomes a necessity – so suddenly relying on the unknown won’t do, and we need answers – and they’re sadly unfulfilling. It’s similar to Interstellar in that regard, where the labyrinthine plot takes precedence over the enchantment that exists.

Tomorrowland captures the essence of the eponymous area in Disneyland that this picture is based on, in a similar vein to how the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise managed. Though whether this new endeavour will achieve quite the same level of success remains to be seen, but appears somewhat unlikely.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Tomorrowland - A World Beyond
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Stefan Pape is the reviews and interviews editor for the site. Considering his favourite thing to do is watch a movie and then annoy everybody by talking about it - it's safe to say he's in the right job.