Directed by Brad Bird (“The Incredibles”), who co-wrote the screenplay with Damon Lindelof (TV’s “Lost”), “Tomorrowland” is bursting with optimism and enthusiasm. Its hopeful view of the future is a refreshing contrast to the depressing dystopian vision that has dominated Hollywood films of late.
Like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, a whiz-kid boy inventor, Frank (Thomas Robinson), takes a detour on the ride into Tomorrowland.
He’s lured there by a mysterious girl, Athena (Raffey Cassidy). Her mission is to recruit the best and brightest talent on Earth to learn from a place of peace.
Fast-forward 40 years, and something has gone awry. Earth is fraught with problems, including war and natural disasters. Despair fills the air, and the future is far from bright.
In school, Casey (Britt Robertson) is frustrated by all the gloom and doom. “I get things are bad,” she tells her teacher. “What are we doing to fix it?”
Before you can say “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah,” Athena reappears, looking none the worse for wear, for she is actually a sophisticated (and ageless) robot (mirroring Disney’s skill with animatronics). She recruits Casey for a special mission: to save Tomorrowland. The city has fallen under the spell of a coldhearted bureaucrat called Nix (Hugh Laurie), who is responsible for wreaking havoc on earth.
The film contains cartoonish but bloodless action sequences and a few mild oaths. (A-II, PG)