George Clooney’s new Disney movie Tomorrowland: A World Beyond is out in UK cinemas today (May 22nd), just in time for Half Term! While it’s rated 12A, I know that the Clooney effect will mean that plenty of you will be rushing out to see it with younger kids too, so we thought we’d check out it and give you the low down!
Tomorrowland: A World Beyond is essentially a fable about the power of optimism and a “can do” attitude. George Clooney stars as Frank, a disillusioned inventor whose cynicism is almost tangible. He thinks the end of the world is inevitable, and has shut himself away, using his inventions to keep people at bay. Enter Casey, played by Britt Robertson, a bright and idealistic young woman with knack for knowing how things work. Together they’re swept into a futuristic adventure… which I am going to tell you absolutely nothing about!! Seriously, you can go ahead and read all those reviews with spoilers and hints, but not here. Go and see it for yourself and enjoy the journey.
OK, one small hint – Raffey Cassidy’s character Athena is (as Raffey puts it) “a bit of a ninja”, and her fight scene is so much fun will make you want to learn martial arts immediately.
The Tomorrowland movie cast
In all the Tomorrowland movie posters I’ve seen, the big focus is on George Clooney and Britt Robertson – they are the central figures after all, and they’re both great actors. George Clooney does a marvellous job of looking grumpy and disillusioned – especially for someone who is quite the opposite in real life. Britt Robertson is wonderful on screen, and I absolutely loved her performance towards the start of the film when she first finds the Tomorrowland pin – it’s just perfect.
For me, however, two other actors really stood out: Hugh Laurie and Raffey Cassidy. Hugh Laurie is one of my all time favourite actors, and I have to admit that, having listened to his audio version of The Giraffe, The Pelly and Me about a thousand times, I kept expecting him to burst into songs about window cleaning. Sadly not, but as expected his performance was excellent and I loved (or loved to hate) his character in the film.
The real surprise was 12 year old Raffey Cassidy, an incredibly talented young actress from Manchester. She’s got a certain poise about her that makes her seem like she might be a 40 year old trapped in a 12 year old’s body, and her on-screen presence is superb. At the Press Conference, I was really struck by how the more seasoned actors smiled proudly whenever she answered a journalist’s question. It was like they realised that she’s on the cusp of a very very successful career and were happy to with her at the start of her journey. One to watch.
What’s with the 12A rating?
There aren’t any monsters or baddies, and it doesn’t really have anything as graphic or disturbing as a movie like Maleficent. There are however some quite violent scenes and scenes showing destruction, bombs or guns, so if that doesn’t sit well with you, don’t bring the kids. For the most part I think that young children wouldn’t find it disturbing at all.
Saying that, the storyline will be completely over a younger child’s head – the relationship between Frank and Athena is complex and probably too subtle for even a 10 year old to get, and it will be hard for the younger ones to work out what the movie is actually about! If you decide to take younger children, be prepared to spend a lot of time explaining what’s going on.
I loved the message of hope and the power of positive thinking, as well as the underlying message about good citizenship, and why the world needs dreamers.
I tend to prefer Disney’s big, action-packed superhero movies, or to be swept away into another world with one of their superb animated movies – say Avengers: Age of Ultron or Big Hero 6. In comparison to heavy hitters like those, Tomorrowland: A World Beyond didn’t feel pacey or witty enough.
Where Disney really excels is in creating strong, well rounded female characters who embody all of the traits we treasure in our daughters. Casey, for example, is a dreamer yet pragmatic. She’s an idealist yet a problem-solver. She’s determined and self-assured yet still empathetic and kind. And she’s not satisfied with just going along with what life throws at her – she wants to embrace it, shape it and make it better – who could ask for a better role model!
All in all, a great family movie!