“Tomorrowland” continues Disney’s long-standing tradition of family-friendly filmmaking on a big scale, transforming the eponymous section of Disneyland into fodder for a throwback fantasy adventure centered on a sci-fi utopia.
This is a big, big live action movie, with a budget of $190 million, directed by the acclaimed Brad Bird (“The Incredibles”) and starring George Clooney.
One could see how the project might have been intimidating for Britt Robertson, the 25-year-old up-and-comer who stars alongside Clooney as an adventurer named Casey. But Robertson, last seen on the big screen in “The Longest Ride,” more than holds her own with her illustrious co-star (“he’s a pretty normal guy”) and within the movie’s big, expansive world.
She spoke with amNewYork about the movie, which hits theaters Friday.
There’s a lot of nostalgic value attached to Tomorrowland, and Disneyland in general. What did it mean to you growing up?
I went to Disney a lot growing up. I lived on the East Coast, so it was always Disney World. Now, being in L.A., it’s Disneyland. My family, they’re huge supporters of Disney, so it was really cool for them. They love the brand; I’ve always loved the brand growing up, it meant something to me as a child.
There are high expectations here and it’s the biggest movie you’ve done. Do you ever think about those things?
There’s a part of me that’s aware of how big this movie is and what it means, it feels very different from any I’ve done. But I try not to put too much attention on those things because it doesn’t really do me any good, you know?
The film expresses a hopefulness that’s consistent with Walt Disney’s vision, in a lot of ways.
One of the things that I really love about the film is Brad’s spin on the future and how he’s really looking at Tomorrowland from a bunch of different perspectives; from the perspective of when he was a kid and what the future meant to him, and all of the things that he was looking forward to about the future. And then, also, what the future means to my generation and what it would mean to future generations. I love that the movie tackles all those different time periods. And then, how he really does simplify it in a way that is, the future will be what we make of it. That message really speaks to me.
The movie feels like a throwback to a less-cynical form of family filmmaking than the norm these days, doesn’t it?
I’ve always felt that this movie was a little throwback; or not even throwback, just classic. Like “Back to the Future,” it made a statement for its time, but has lasted and we can watch that movie still and it plays and it works. I think that was the point for Brad; creating an original story, original content and having it last a lifetime and mean something forever.