Thoughts on Tomorrowland

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“Man has a dream and thats the start, he follows his dream with mind and heart.  And when it becomes a reality, it’s a dream come true for you and me.” – Carousel of Progress

I usually do not do movie reviews on my site, but for this one I thought some commentary would really be meaningful.  This past Monday Carly and I went to see Tomorrowland, Disney’s new movie slightly based on the land in the Magic Kingdom park.  I was really looking forward to see the film, because the film’s director, Brad Bird, has a history of good films.  Well before you just look him up on IMDB, Brad Bird directed most notably The Incredibles and Ratatouille with Pixar.  Bird also directed the fourth in the Tom Cruise Mission Impossible series of movies and the very excellent animated flick The Iron Giant.  If you haven’t seen The Iron Giant go and take the time to see it.  Needless to say, I was very excited about Tomorrowland from the minute I heard about it years ago. There are many venues that you can use to judge if a movie is going to be good.  My go to site is Rotten Tomatoes to check the ratings of films old and new.  Rotten Tomatoes has a “Tomato-meter” that shows the percentage of positive reviews compared to overall reviews of a movie.  Tomorrowland didn’t fair that well, but that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t enjoy it.  So I will not spoil the movie for you but I will talk about it.  So if you want to see the movie and don’t want to know anything about it, don’t read further.

Tomorrowland’s major opening sequence involves one of my favorite parts of Disney history: the 1964 World’s Fair.  If you don’t know Disney’s history with the World’s Fair you should look it up, that’s another tale.  But from a Disney geek perspective this was pretty cool.  After a great start the movie progressed and had some good action sequences and honestly I enjoyed the plot very much, but there was one part that continued to repeat throughout the film: Which wolf lives?

Apparently this tale is an old Native American proverb, but it still rings true today and also hit me right between the eyes.

There are two wolves that are always fighting

One is despair and darkness

One is hope and light

Which wolf wins?

There was a moment in this film where the question hangs, just for a second.  Which wolf wins?  I sat there and actually had a few thoughts.  At first my Christian perspective came through, oh hope and light wins because in the end that is what Jesus will do when he returns.  So I thought the movie would say hope and light just to be positive and optimistic.  Then I thought the answer would be, whichever one is more powerful.  This had a more which idea prevails in your life most.  But this would mean that you were either a darkness person or light person.  In other words you couldn’t change back and forth between the two options.  This would mean that a person was either born wicked or born good.  So I didn’t even think about what the answer truly is.  And when it was said on the screen my soul skipped a beat.  I say soul because again it hit me on many levels.

Which wolf wins?

The one you feed.

I think I made a literal “hmm” out loud in the movie theatre.  I think this parable was exactly what I needed to hear.  I started thinking about my life and the choices I had recently made.  Which wolf was I feeding?  I could narrow down decisions that fed both the despair wolf and others that fed the hope wolf.  We know that in stories typically good prevails over evil.  But how does that happen?  Does it happen from one decision?  No.  It is a culmination of daily choices to choose light over dark.  It reminded me of a verse.

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”  Colossians 3:17

Surely following Christ in everything we do is feeding the wolf of hope and light.  The rest of the movie I will not spoil.  I do love the optimistic message of Tomorrowland and I definitely teared up through most of the ending.  I think it is because in a world where we focus so much on what separates us, we forget that together we can do so much more.  Walt Disney was a dreamer and one of the best ever.  But he could not make those things become a reality without his brother Roy, who did all the finances and planning to keep the company afloat.  They saw things so differently, but they worked together at a job to make people happy.  No they were not perfect, in fact they were far it, but look at the amazing things they did that are still encouraging and inspiring people today.

So as you look at yourself and the world today, which wolf are you feeding?  With so many people with differing views on life and how it should work, it is hard to have a different view and still feed the hope and light wolf with our interactions.  I don’t have the answers, but I know that I want to be part of the future where the hope and light wolf wins.  Do you?

Which wolf are you feeding?

Journey Strong

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