Tomorrowland (Disney) – 2015

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Frank Walker was an optimist in his younger years. Back in 1964, he had invented a jetpack, and brought it to the World’s Fair in New York City. That was when he met Athena. He liked having someone his own age believe in him, unlike  his own father. Athena gave him a special pin that brought him to an incredible world of the future. That world has left him with bitter feelings in today’s world though.

Teen Casey Newton takes after her father, a NASA scientist: highly intelligent, and full of optimism. She is also very stubborn, and refuses to give up on something she believes in. This is why she is caught trying to sabotage the construction machinery that is to be used to tear down the NASA launch pad, where her father is employed. Her dad bails her out of jail, and upon collecting her effects, she finds a pin with the letter “T” on it. When she touches it, she is instantly transported to a golden field, with a futuristic city in the distance. Her father is already angry about her vandalism, and he becomes livid when Casey tries to show him what the pin does, and nothing happens when he touches it. He takes the pin away from her. She becomes rather frantic when she realizes that no one can see the other world except for her. Later that night, after her father falls asleep, she takes the pin back and explores its world. She finds herself in a futuristic realm where it seems that anything is possible, although it becomes apparent that the people in this world aren’t aware of her presence. She stays until the battery in the pin runs out. In her obsessive quest for a new pin to return to Tomorrowland, she discovers vicious robots are stalking her. Athena arrives to rescue her and bring her to Frank Walker. Frank is now a bitter, grown man who has been banished from Tomorrowland a long time ago, and now lives in a citadel (of sorts) of his own creation. Athena has brought Casey to him in the hopes that the pair can work together to not only save the world of Tomorrowland, but our own world as well.


There are many things that are wrong is this world. Destruction and corruption are not difficult to find. However, simply pointing out the problems facing us doesn’t push us closer to the solutions. Negativity is easy. That’s why so many people naturally jump on that bandwagon. What is difficult is finding the optimism to say to yourself, “There is a solution, we just need to work together to find it.” This requires persistence and work, and this is what makes it the harder choice. Unfortunately, those in power know that negativity is the easier choice, and they will feed this in order to gain control of the masses. Fear is easy to control, but optimism puts up a fight. A better future is always an option, but we need to take action instead of sitting around and complaining.

(If you have additional ideas on how this film can be used for educational purposes, please let us know in the comments below.)

Quotes:   (Contains Spoilers)

Casey Newton: There are two wolves and they are always fighting. One is darkness and despair. The other is light and hope. Which wolf wins?
Eddie Newton: Come on, Casey.
Casey Newton: Okay, fine. Don’t answer.
Eddie Newton: Whichever one you feed.


{Casey’s hand is constantly raised as various teachers are telling their classes about environmental problems}
Teacher #1: Mutually assured destruction. Today, any nuclear country or terrorist is capable of inflicting damage on a massive scale with weapons of…
Teacher #2: …environmental entropy. The polar ice caps aren’t waiting for us to decide if climate change is real. Rising coastal waters, intensifying weather patterns – they’re all punching our one way ticket to…
Teacher # 3 : …dystopia. By definition – not perfect. Huxley’s “Brave New World”. Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”. Orwell’s “1984”. Once considered fiction, these futuristic novels are actually happening right now, and they seem to be getting worse. Yes, Miss Newton.
Casey Newton: Can we fix it?
Teacher # 3 : Sorry?
Casey Newton: I get things are bad, but what are we doing to fix it?
[School bell rings]
Teacher #3: Have a good weekend everybody.


Eddie Newton: Why do you love the stars so much, Casey?
Young Casey Newton: Because I wanna go there.
Eddie Newton: But it’s so far away.
Jenny Newton: It’ll take a long time. A real long time. What if you get all the way up there and there’s nothing?
Young Casey Newton: What if there’s *everything*?


Athena: You made this yourself?
Nix: Athena, what are you doing here?
Athena: Did you, or didn’t you?
Young Frank Walker: Uh, what?
Athena: Did you make this yourself?
Young Frank Walker: Yeah.
Athena: Why?
Young Frank Walker: I guess I got tired of waiting around for someone else to do it for me?


Frank Walker: Why now? Why her?
Athena: Because she hasn’t given up.


Nix: [To Frank Walker}  All those years in exile, and you still don’t understand. These people are driven by savagery. If we told them about this place, then that would happen here to us. Then nothing would survive.
Casey Newton: It hasn’t happened yet.
Nix: Actually, it has happened. You just haven’t accepted it yet.
Casey Newton: Well, I don’t accept it.
[Monitor flickers]


[To Nix who won’t shut the monitor down]
Casey Newton: I’m telling you what it’s doing. Why don’t you care?
Frank Walker: Because he’s the one who’s doing it. Right?
Nix: Let’s imagine… if you glimpsed the future, you were frightened by what you saw, what would you do with that information? You would go to… the politicians, captains of industry? And how would you convince them? Data? Facts? Good luck! The only facts they won’t challenge are the ones that keep the wheels greased and the dollars rolling in. But what if… what if there was a way of skipping the middle man and putting the critical news directly into everyone’s head? The probability of wide-spread annihilation kept going up. The only way to stop it was to show it. To scare people straight. Because, what reasonable human being wouldn’t be galvanized by the potential destruction of everything they’ve ever known or loved? To save civilization, I would show its collapse. But, how do you think this vision was received? How do you think people responded to the prospect of imminent doom? They gobbled it up like a chocolate éclair! They didn’t fear their demise, they re-packaged it. It could be enjoyed as video-games, as TV shows, books, movies, the entire world wholeheartedly embraced the apocalypse and sprinted towards it with gleeful abandon. Meanwhile, your Earth was crumbling all around you. You’ve got simultaneous epidemics of obesity and starvation. Explain that one! Bees and butterflies start to disappear, the glaciers melt, algae blooms. All around you the coal mine canaries are dropping dead and you won’t take the hint! In every moment there’s the possibility of a better future, but you people won’t believe it. And because you won’t believe it you won’t do what is necessary to make it a reality. So, you dwell on this terrible future. You resign yourselves to it for one reason, because *that* future does not ask anything of you today. So yes, we saw the iceberg and warned the Titanic. But you all just steered for it anyway, full steam ahead. Why? Because you want to sink! You gave up! That’s not the monitor’s fault. That’s yours.


Casey Newton: why did you give me this? [indicated pin] you showed me a place that was amazing and it was incredible, and it was a lie. If you’re gonna zap an idea into people’s heads you should really make sure that it’s the truth because you can’t do that – you can’t just zap…[remembering sequence of events]
Frank Walker: What?
Casey Newton: Zap an idea into people’s heads… You were pirating the signal. How?
Frank Walker: What?
Casey Newton: At your house, all your TVs, your doomsday room – you were boosting the feed from that monitor thing. How did you do that?
Frank Walker: No big deal. They were running so much power through that thing a ham radio could pick it up. Just a matter of finding… the right frequency…
Casey Newton: You grabbed a signal from another dimension. From a machine here. That means its transmitting there. What if it’s not just predicting the future.
Frank Walker: It’s broadcasting it.
Casey Newton: When I touched this thing {pin}, for a few minutes it felt like anything was possible, so, then why can’t the opposite happen. What if the monitor is just a giant pin. But instead of making you think positive, it makes you think negative, and its convincing the whole world to feed the wrong wolf. We need to turn that thing off.


Athena: Do you want to know why you could never make me laugh.
Frank Walker: Why?
Athena: Because you’re not funny.


Athena: Dreamers need to stick together… It’s not programming, it’s personal.


Nix: Every day is the opportunity for a better tomorrow.


Casey Newton: Even the tiniest of actions can change the future.


Hugo: Have you ever wondered what would happen, if all the geniuses, the artists, the scientists, the smartest, most creative people in the world decided to actually change it? Where, where could they even do such a thing? They’d need a place free from politics and bureaucracy, distractions, greed – a secret place where they could build whatever they were crazy enough to imagine…


Frank Walker: It isn’t hard to knock down a big evil building that’s telling everyone the world is gonna end. What is hard is figuring out what to build in its place. And if we’re gonna do that, we can’t do it alone. We’re gonna need all of you.


Casey Newton: We are looking for dreamers. Anyone who will feed the right wolf.


Frank Walker: Find the one’s that haven’t given up. They are the future.




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