Now that The Avengers: Age Of Ultron has kick started the summer box office season, it's time to start looking for the next big thing. Some would say Mad Max: Fury Road has the crown, while others might expect Pitch Perfect 2 to take the honors with flying colors. A case could be made that Brad Bird's Tomorrowland is the next big possible hit of the summer, and considering it has an enigmatic story with George Clooney and Hugh Laurie at the center, who can fight that? But, as you'll see in the videos shared here, below the surface of all of the film's science fiction is the man whose legacy ties directly into the heart and soul of the picture – Walt Disney himself.
In this clip, titled "Vision Of Tomorrow," Tomorrowland cast members and Imagineers alike reflect on Walt Disney's work through his television specials and theme park projects. And in case you were wondering, yes Walt Disney is an inspiration for Howard Stark in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
IndieWire recently posted a slew of images, as well as a couple of videos detailing the back story of Tomorrowland's fictional and historical influences. The greatest influence, of course, is Disney's obsession with futuristic thinking and the progress of mankind through knowledge and science. Now it's no secret that Walt Disney loved to look ahead and forge his own vision of the path before us fellow travelers into the unknown, but the way it all ties together is something that's been hiding in plain sight.
Not only is Walt Disney's passion for a great, big beautiful future present in these videos, but so is the reverence that Brad Bird, Damon Lindelof, and everyone else involved in Tomorrowland have for the man's legacy. Nowhere is this more readily apparent than in this mocked up advertisement for Disney's exhibitions in the 1964 New York World's Fair – which is where the "Carousel Of Progress" and "It's A Small World" got their starts before heading to the Disney theme parks.
So how do Walt Disney's vision and Tomorrowland's far out science fiction cross paths? Well, it's a good thing you ask that, because the following video has the answers you're looking for. You see, apparently Walt Disney was supposedly a part of a secret organization that boasted members such as Amelia Earhart, Nikolai Tesla, and Jules Verne themselves – among other luminous minds of our society. That organization is Plus Ultra, and you can learn all about their origins in this handy video, narrated by The Brain himself, Maurice LaMarche.
Tomorrowland looks like it could succeed in ways that The Rocketeer and Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow wish they did, by mixing the old school optimism of science fiction with more modern action and adventure present. If it succeeds, Walt Disney's vision of the future will reach many more people than it would have if it stayed only within the walls of his theme parks. If it fails, then at least it'll have the good company of those previously mentioned films that nailed it the first time out. We'll find out which future is ours when Tomorrowland opens its gates on May 22nd in conventional and IMAX theaters.