Tomorrow At the Movies - Will We Have a Tomorrow?
Tomorrowland is present in several different global locations where Disney parks flourish. The five tomorrows feature different aspects of the future to spur visitors to think and dream. The ideas of futurist Jules Verne are present in the Paris edition. Hong Kong highlights UFOs.
World of Wonder in 1955
In the middle of a hot California July in Anaheim, 1955, Walt Disney opened his own Wonderland.
The Wonderful World of Disney - the TV series title that confirms Disney's construction of his own world - and Disneyland have mesmerized millions of people throughout the Cold War, Viet Nam, the Gulf Wars, 9/11, bad politics, and the Internet Phenomenon.
Disneyland made up for Walt's overworked childhood and made his daughters' dreams come true. It has spurred thousands of people of all ages to develop dreams and work to see them flower. We see all that in the Sleeping Beauty Castle at the beginning of every one of Walt's films, especially in 3-D where it comes out to meet you in your seat; and it is an icon of America that the rest of the world recognizes.
Tomorrow can be a wonderful age. Our scientists today are opening the doors of the Space Age to achievements that will benefit our children and generations to come. The Tomorrowland attractions have been designed to give you an opportunity to participate in adventures that are a living blueprint of our future.— Walt Disney, 1955 opening of Disneyland
Global Reach of Disney
To some nations, the Princess Castle is a symbol of rampant (evil) capitalism, but to many people, it is an icon of joy and wonder and good cheer. Disney parks are overwhelmed with visitors in several countries.
Today, some good career planners attend Disneyland in California as children, work part-time for Disney in high school, serve an internship with Mickey, work full-time in a career at the park, and come back to work part-time in retirement. A dream is a wish your heart makes and for these few happy workers, their dreams are a life-long reality. Their dream careers are likely the closest modern approximation to our near ancestors' 40 years of work life at one company and receipt of a gold watch at the end. The happiest Disney cast members (workers) seem to have a new gold watch everyday in their edifying experiences.
Tomorrowland is a Vision of Hope
Before Star Trek: The Original Series began a decade later, Tomorrowland represented a hopeful vision for humanity in the future during the Cold War. Walt Disney was a decided futurist as well as a journalist and entertainer. He was always looking forward.
Tomorrowland is a favorite neighborhood of the Disney parks for thousands of space-minded adventurers who want to live in a space-age city, but will not live to see that day.
\Why, we were to be all space-agey by the 1990s, with flying cars and jet packs, but no go -- Too complex and the things were too bulky and expensive to fly. We do have drones however, a new multi-billion dollar business that will fill the skies.
We space enthusiasts are not going to Mars with the NASA astronauts assigned that mission, but we will spend as much time in the future as we can, in theaters and television viewing, futurist novels, sci-fi conventions, virtual reality, our dreams, and Tomorrowland.
New York World's Fair, 1964
Dreams of Tomorrow During the 1960s
Tomorrowland, the 2015 film, begins with an episode at the 1964 NYC World's Fair. The props department was brilliant in recreating the venue and costumes, especially in duplicating the Greyhound electric carts that ferried visitors. The alleged last such cart surviving 1964 was actually only half a cart and sold on eBay a few years ago. The future was the icon of the 1960s, because of the US-USSR Space Race and the period artwork and trinkets are valued memorabilia.
The film takes a metal pinback emblem T for Tomorrowland and makes it a virtual reality gateway for space-time travel.
At the World's Fair, some of the Imagineer geniuses designed futuristic exhibits and this is where we find the connection to Disneyland. We are probably 100 years away from the space age cities we envisioned in the 1960s with Walt's help, but we can dream and wish upon a star - the third star on the left and on towards morning (in a new world), as Disney's Peter Pan
The Tomorrowland Pin
The pin is from the 2015 film and probably did not appear at the 1964 World Fair in Queens.
Positive Attitudes Only Need Apply
The 2015 film thrusts several dark sequences at the audience concerning the major problems of the 21st century, showing brief TV images of wars, protests, police actions, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, and melting ice caps.
We are supposedly doomed and much of Earth's population seems to enjoy the depressive thoughts of Doomsday Future (in 58 days). They love to shriek and run and look doomed.
Tomorrowland is not on Earth and we need to get there.
However, we are blocked by the Mayor of that place. He does not want humanity's negative thoughts to destroy his building of the Space Age. His Tomorrowland was not completed in the 1960s, because human negativity prevented that event.
Hugh Laurie as Mayor Nix is as hilarious as much as he is as negative as his former character, Gregory House, M.D. Nix means "no", after all, in old American slang.
If you miss DATA from Star Trek, Tomorrowland is full of androids. Earth is full of Men in Black, who encompass all the mythology and rumors of the MIBs, except that they wear black T-shirts under their jackets instead of white shirts and ties - and there are some women.
Ray guns are everywhere.
The flying cars and jet packs are fun, too.
Can a once-optimistic boy turned cynical middle-aged man (George Clooney) and a teen girl (Britt Robertson) who is still optimistic, even when the last US Space Shuttle retires, save the Tomorrowland that can someday exist?
Perhaps, but they need your help.
Are you willing to dream?
© 2015 Patty Inglish