A few days ago at lunch my friend asked me what science experiment I would perform if I could choose anything at all. My response was this: What would happen if everyone on Earth was focused on the exact same thought and feeling – at the same exact time. Would the physical world change – even if for a moment? We laughed, but realized this may very well be possible really soon. Everyone on Earth will have a smartphone in the coming years, so a simultaneously experienced video broadcast could really happen – and achieve this experiment. The next day we happened to watch Disney’s newest movie Tomorrowland. This scenario doesn’t happen in the movie, but the premise of a reality created by our imagination is certainly nothing new to Disney. No spoilers ahead.
Tomorrowland, like many other science fiction futuristic films, shows our current day as the end of times. It was good to see the topic of the future approached in such an entertaining way, while still broaching the big issues of our time. The emphasis on a future filled with incredible technology is not so far fetched considering the incredible changes upon us. The latest special effects are spectacular and fresh, but the storyline of “believing” is in the bones of Disney. Most of their movies seem to have very similar premises: the archetypical bad guys or world threatening crisis beat by the underdog powered by truth, heart, and courage.
The big take away from Tomorrowland is that the future is in our hands. This may seem like hot air, and not seem like anything profound or special at all. We all know this. We are independent, self willed and in control of our destiny. We are free and at the pinnacle of progress. Our technology will come to the rescue and science will be our savior. But if this is the case, then why are conditions getting increasingly worse for earth’s health, and seriously threatening life for future generations. All the while there appears to be many well funded organizations and powerful governments tackling the problems. yet the headlines keep getting more disturbing with each passing day.
What will the land of tomorrow really be like? Will some fantastical story unfold like we see in Disney’s latest sci-fi adventure. Is the world of a better tomorrow just a fantasy – or to be molded by our own hands? This is the important question this latest movie poses. It is nothing new to ponder these macro matters, but perhaps the time has come to dream up solutions. Walt Disney famously said, “If you can dream it you can do it.” He also said, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” Disney has done what it does best, and has framed the solution in fantasy. It is up to us to remove it from the realm of fantasy and truly “believe”.