Brad Bird Tomorrowland walt disney

The Japanese trailer for Brad Bird‘s Tomorrowland had a very explicit reference to the Walt Disney theme park the film is named after. While investigating a mysterious pin, Casey (Britt Robertson) ends up at a geek store called Blast from the Past. There, the clerks played by Keegan-Michael Key and Kathryn Hahn explain the link between the Disney theme park and the real life Tomorrowland of the movie. But when the film hits theaters on May 22, that exchange won’t be there. In fact, the name “Disney” isn’t mentioned in the film once. While we see some of his creations, the character and theme parks are pretty much a non-entity.

In a new interview, Tomorrowland producer and co-writer Damon Lindelof explained why the above scene was cut along with other references to the visionary filmmaker. Read about the Tomorrowland Walt Disney references below.

Lindelof was talking to Screencrush, which asked why Disney was absent from a film named after his own creation. Beware of some small spoilers:

There were very explicit references to Walt’s involvement in Plus Ultra [the secret society that creates Tomorrowland], and on the DVD you’ll see a scene in Blast From the Past where they say explicitly that Walt was a member, and Casey even says, “Like the Tomorrowland in Disneyland?” That prompts them to explain that the theme park was actually a cover for the real Tomorrowland. But, aside from the fact that those scenes are pure exposition that can make you feel like you’re sitting through a history lesson, it felt like we were inside a Disney movie and every time we saw Disney get mentioned in it, it was a wink to the audience. Like a meta self-aware thing that took you out. When the characters of the movie have to say the title of the movie. We have to be very discreet about when and how we use the word “Tomorrowland” in this movie. It’s not like Bruce Willis ever needs to say “die hard” in those movies.

There were some very specific mentions to Walt in the beginning of the movie at the World’s Fair, because in addition to the Small World ride, Walt brought the Carousel of Progress and the original opening of the movie had the little boy going through that attraction. They also brought the animatronic Lincoln to the World’s Fair. So there was a much more pervasive Disney presence in the film.

As it stands in the final film, we see Disney’s name on the It’s A Small World ride and he may have a set-dressing presence in Blast from the Past, but that’s it. And the name “Tomorowland” is not uttered more than once or twice. If making this Disney film feel unique and standalone from it’s history was the aim, that was definitely achieved.

Are you disappointed at the lack of Tomorrowland Walt Disney references?

See the the clip Lindelof mentions at 1:10

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