The Wolf You Feed

Today, in watching Tomorrowland, I was struck by at least a few of the elements that are necessary to make a good movie for kids. For one, the casting has to be right. In this case, the casting was mostly a success. George Clooney is wonderful as a former idealist turned cynic whose hope is restored again. Relative newcomers Britt Robertson and Raffey Cassidy are wonderful as the idealistic Casey and the devoted robot Athena. Hugh Laurie, of course, makes a fantastic cynical villain. The only weak link is the fact that Tim McGraw is not credible as a NASA engineer. Fortunately, the role does not require him to actually act like an engineer. The fact that the casting is mostly solid makes this movie work better, given that it is a bit heavy handed on its point.

Nevertheless, its point is a good one, and that is the very appropriately Disney-approved message that the problems of this world are such that hope is required to solve them, and that despair will only make things impossible to improve. The film also recommends, equally unsurprisingly, that dreamers and other creative types of people stick together. In a world that is full of gloom and doom, and often for good reason, the film reminds us that optimism is necessary to solve problems. The film’s politics, as such, are complicated. For one, many of those who preach doom and gloom do so out of a desire for societal change. Yet despair does not lend itself to giving others the energy necessary to make the deep changes that are required to avoid disaster. Such efforts only result from the possession of hope and a vision of a better future that makes it possible to be patient and endure for now in order to enjoy later.

Among the stories that is repeated often in the movie is the familiar tale that everyone has two wolves inside them, and the one that prevails is the one you feed. A lot of the dialogue in the film was easy to predict, and the ending was certainly very heavy-handed, but unsurprisingly so. It was clearly designed at a younger audience to encourage idealism, and at times it watches more like a sermon. This is a bit ironic, as the messages of doom and gloom towards the beginning of the movie also come off as sermonizing, where Casey is trying to ask questions about what people are doing about the various looming threats, and no one can give her a good answer. Whether one is concerned about moral issues, or public debt, or environmental causes, the general situation is the same–people preach doom and gloom or entirely ignore what is going on, and nothing is really done about any of the supposed looming crises. As heavy-handed as the movie is, it totally nails contemporary reality, except that it feels tragically ironic that a sensitive and lovely robot is more humane and idealistic than the person in charge of Tomorrowland in the first place. But nobody’s perfect, right?

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Christianity, Musings and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Wolf You Feed

  1. Pingback: Escape From Dismaland | Edge Induced Cohesion

  2. Pingback: Book Review: Humble & Kind | Edge Induced Cohesion

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