by Gene Turnbow, station manager

The Walt Disney Company has been turning rides and attractions into movies for a while now. Pirates of the Caribbean turned out to be a monster franchise. The Haunted Mansion and The Country Bears, not so much. But today we get a better look at something that makes the smiles bubble up inside: Tomorrowland, starring newcomer Britt Robertson as Casey, a bright and curious but troubled teenage girl who desperately needs a little hope for the future, and veteran actor George Clooney as boy-genius-all-grown-up Frank. They share a common destiny in an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space known only as “Tomorrowland.”

The film is directed by two time Oscar winner Brad Bird of Pixar, and while he’s directed several films, this is the first live action one he’s ever done. Still, his directorial hand is very very evident, and the trailer is tight, full of energy and enthusiasm, and looks like a really solid effort.

The film also stars Hugh Laurie as brilliant scientist David Nix, Raffey Cassidy, Tim McGraw, Judy Greer, Kathryn Hahn, Keegan-Michael Key and Thomas Robinson. The screenplay is by Brad Bird and Lost writer and co-creator Damon Lindelof, from a story by Lindelof, Bird & Jeff Jensen, with the three of them producing as well,

Ever since I was short, Tomorrowland at the original Disneyland has been my favorite. If Disney had to riff off another one of their theme park attractions to make a new movie franchise, I’m glad it’s this one.

Tomorrowland releases in the U.S. on May 22, 2015.

 – 30 –