I really enjoyed Brad Bird’s latest cinematic offering about a lost, but still possible, yet fantastically fun, utopian future. His vision was definitely “old school” Disney and by that I mean Walt Disney and his original plan for the “world” that he hoped to create.
Like Brad, I remember the optimism of the Space Age when science and technology held all the promises of a brighter day—just down the road—in my lifetime. And Walt was there, envisioning everything and trying to help us realize (before CNN or G-20 or the Internet) that it is indeed a small world after all, a world that can be shaped for the greater good.
Tomorrowland utilizes great acting along with wonderful sets to portray how this brighter outlook was lost and how it again can be found. I was totally engrossed in the film because I was once a strong believer in the gospel of modernity. Every trip that I took to Disneyworld was an experience of entering a place full of possibility. This dedication of EPCOT sums up the spirit of that time:
“To all who come to this place of joy, hope of enterprise, and concepts of a future that promises new and exciting benefits for all, may EPCOT Center entertain, inform, and inspire, and above all, may it instill a new sense of belief and pride in man’s ability to shape a world that offers hope to people everywhere in the world.”
The problem with all of this is that mankind’s sinful nature is never acknowledged. Sin only comes into existence as a selfish choice, a choice against a supposed good that is “good” without God. So instead of everyone becoming new creations in Christ, they are creating for themselves a better world to live in which begs the question: What if mankind gained a holistically better world but lost their souls?
What worldview do we need to hold to as we envision this better world? Are we talking about a Magic Kingdom created with our own power and without God? If so, that is just another Tower of Babel, just this time we’re adding fairy dust.
And it’s that fairy dust of our supposed empowerment that we have to be careful of. Believing that we possess, on our own, the ability to bring about a new paradise is an illusion.
Lost & Found
Like many secular prayers, songs, poems, and stories of a new and better world, Brad Bird’s attempt to portray Disney’s lost paradise strikes in me strong nostalgic vibe. This movie reminds me of where I was without God and where I am now in Him.
I once was lost in that Disney-fueled, fairy-dust-filled dream but now I am found. The ruins of optimism are my old neighborhood and now as a postmillennial Christian I live by a different worldview, one that is guided by a faith that will not disappoint. Jesus will prevail where Adam and all his descendants have failed and will continue to fail.
There is a Better Tomorrow
The better world begins, not with technological innovation alone, but most importantly, with a new people, a royal priesthood. Our Tomorrowland will not rise because of technology or scientific breakthrough but by creative geniuses, scientists, doctors, architects, musicians, painters, writers, bakers, gardeners, engineers, poets, and entrepreneurs, all bearing the cross of joyful self-denial in order to build the Kingdom, everlasting.
What did you think of Tomorrowland? Leave your comments below!