Mouse House Movie Club #9: Tomorrowland

I never got around to seeing Tomorrowland, but now that I’ve seen it (it’s on Netflix. Thanks, Netflix, for recommending that stupid Adam Sandler movie and not the thing I had to search for myself and ended up enjoying), I wish I’d seen it in theatres.

But better late than never. And it’s a good thing that I read this first because otherwise I might have come away a little annoyed with the politics. Three and I had wanted to talk about some of the politics in The Incredibles that made us uneasy, and compare it to Ratatouille which has a similar message but doesn’t make us uneasy, and also Rent which is the stupidest thing. We probably will do that eventually because we laugh about Rent like every other day, but for now there are more important things, like my being able to watch Tomorrowland and not feel like it was all about how ordinary people ruin everything for the ubermensches of the world, which is a little tiresome. Paul’s post helped because every time I got the old “uh oh here comes the Rand” feeling I could stop and remind myself to pay attention to who was saying the stuff I took issue with. And it was never Casey. Go figure.

This is good because I came away from the movie feeling like its purpose was a really important one. I remember watching The 11th Hour, which is a bit of a doom-and-gloomy documentary about impending environmental destruction (but still worth the watch) and my dad I guess overheard some of it. He came in and said, “You shouldn’t watch things like this, because there isn’t anything we can do and it’s just going to get you down.” I kept watching it, obviously, because at the time I was a dark teenager and I fed exclusively off of darkness. But it made me think. It was an enlightening moment for me – it got me started thinking about the ways we describe and explain the problems human society has created. I do think that as long as a thing offers a solution, it can be as doom-and-gloom as it wants, but if we’re not careful we end up with a society of people who have shut themselves off from the message because they have to, to take care of themselves. We can’t break people, offer no solution, and expect anything to change. And Tomorrowland gets that. And it’s important because President Trump. Sigh.

Anyway read Paul’s post and watch the movie.

Kids Riding Bicycles

Welcome toThe Mouse House Movie Club. Each week (or whenever I get the chance), I dig out a Disney film (either animated or live action) from my shelf, watch it and write about it in a blog much like (well, exactly like) the one you’re about to read. So, without further ado, here’s this week’s edition of The Mouse House Movie Club.

This week’s film: Tomorrowland, in which a brilliant woman saves the planet from a fear-mongering idiot. Sadly, life isn’t like the movies.

SPOILER ALERT: As this is a recent film (from 2015), here’s a spoiler warning. I will discuss Tomorrowland in depth from start to finish. So, if you haven’t seen the film and want to remain unspoiled, don’t read on.

200There are two wolves and they’re always fighting…
Tomorrowland is a confrontational film, which isn’t something that can be very often said about Disney movies. But…

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2 comments

  1. Yay! So glad I contributed to your enjoyment of the film, and so happy you enjoyed it. It’s one of those films I’m always a little uneasy about recommending as there are no half-measures here: you either love it or hate it. Relieved to hear you love it 🙂

    I’d love to read your thoughts on The Incredibles v Ratatouille because there’s a fascinating debate to be had there. I too have struggled with my thoughts on The Incredibles, which I’m drawn to because I love the 60s retro feel and superheroes, but feel uneasy on because, as you note, there are some dubious moments.

    I think people (including myself) get tripped up on this line: “If everyone’s special than nobody is.” It hints at all that nonsense Rand philosophy and, of course, because superheroes are inherently tied up in that (supermensches and what have you) it suggests the film buys into it.

    Certainly The Incredibles is interested in specialness and what makes certain people special, but the significance of that specialness isn’t as insular as Rand would want. It’s not a case of ‘Hey, look at me, I’m super strong and super fast and just plain better than everyone else.” I think the film is about using that specialness as an inspiration for other people to go off and be special in there own way. Bob’s problem in the film is that he doesn’t see that he can be special as an office clerk helping an old lady fill in the forms she needs in just such a way to grease the system’s wheels. He’s so wrapped up in being a superhero that he doesn’t see the everyday heroism of being a good person and a loving family man.

    For me, the critical line is when the little boy watches Bob get out of the car. Frustrated by work, Bob looks back at the boy and asks what he’s waiting for. “I dunno,” the kid says. “Something amazing!” That’s what everyone in The Incredibles is waiting for: something amazing. It’s what the characters in all Bird films are waiting for. Hogarth, for example, finds in the Giant an incredible figure that sparks his imagination. The Giant does too, finding Superman to inspire him to develop a soul and conscience. Remy does as well. And I think the stuff at the start of Tomorrowland about Frank creating his jetpack because it can inspire people to be better and do better things is Bird getting so frustrated about these Rand criticisms that he’s practically screaming his point.

    It’s why the film’s final scene brings me to tears every damn time. Bird is at pains to show in the people who are invited to Tomorrowland a) the diversity of race and gender and b) the diversity of their occupations. We see artists, engineers, musicians, animal experts, everyone really. If you care, if you have the passion to chase something, if you believe that a better world can be found you can be invited to build it. And that’s REALLY SUPER IMPORTANT (you can tell because caps lock): these people are there to build Tomorrowland, not just sit back and enjoy it. They’ll build this better world and then everyone else can come and take part in it.

    A Randian hero would have simply had these people go off, rebuild Tomorrowland, and shut the doors again. It’s pretty much what Nix did. I bet Nix loves Atlas Shrugged! But not Casey. She believes in people, she sees a better world and a better future for humanity. So she and anyone who has the necessary passion and belief will rebuild Tomorrowland for others. Because Tomorrowland is her something amazing and by showing it to others, she can inspire them to build other amazing somethings which will inspire more amazing somethings and those will inspire yet more amazing somethings. And so on and so on and so on and so on…

    Naive… yes. But a naivety worth believing in, I think 🙂

    (Sorry to clutter your comments with mega long post!)

    Like

    • Um, yes. The last scene of the movie was the best thing ever. I could write a longer reply but I’d just be repeating what you said lol.

      I’m sure we’ll get around to The Incredibles. It’s definitely not fully Atlas Shrugged but we have to think about it.

      Liked by 1 person

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