Category Archives: Art

Tomorrow Land’s Messiah

Tomorrow Land, by Disney Movies 2015

Director; Brad Bird

Written by; Damon Lindelof, Jeff Jensen, Brad Bird

Cast:

George Clooney; Frank Walker

Raffey Casidy; Athena

Britt Robertson; Casey Newton

Hugh Laurie; Nix

Tim McGraw; Eddie Newton

Pierce Gagnon; Nate Newton

 

Alert! I must discuss the end of this movie to address my topic.

Tomorrow Land’s Messiah

By Mark Anderson, 2015

            Anyone familiar with Bible themes will easily recognize parallels between Tomorrow Land and Christianity. In Christianity there is a beautiful world, the kingdom of God, which is unseen to the natural eye. In the Tomorrow Land movie there is the place in another dimension unseen to the human eye which is a utopia that appears to be amazing, peaceful and all the people are satisfied. In the movie humans may see and enter the other dimension when given a special pin and in Christianity humans enter the kingdom of God when they believe. In the movie the pin is given by invitation to those who are deemed worthy because they are dreamers; those with a positive attitude and dream of a better world where anything is possible. In Christianity all are invited, worthiness is not the issue, but those with an open heart to trusting God are the ones who choose to receive the gift of Jesus’ free salvation. Here there is a strong, though not identical, correlation between dreamers and believers. To believe one must set aside skepticism and embrace the possibility of a good and gracious God who offers a beautiful land. This is quite similar to the dreamers who are willing to see the possibility of a good and beautiful future. A significant qualification must be made about Christian believers; they are poor in spirit claiming no inherently good quality within themselves that makes them better than others or self-worthy. In the movie there is a messiah figure, Casey Newton, who is referred to as a very “special person” who can “fix the problem” which will save the world. In Christianity there is a special person, Jesus the Messiah, who is special because he is a divine person, the Son of God. Jesus indeed came to “fix the problem” and save the world through his atoning sacrifice. In the movie there is also a sacrificial death. The image of the messiah transfers to Athena who is able to use her self-exploding body to destroy the evil enemy machine. At the end of the movie a new generation robots like Athena are sent out to invite a new generation of human dreamers to the new Tomorrow Land and this is profoundly like Jesus commissioning his disciples to go into the whole earth and preach the good news, or invite people to believe and enter the beautiful kingdom of God.

These types of themes are not unusual. We seem them in literature from most cultures of the world, in ancient and modern writings. It is not demeaning of the movie to make these observations as though the writers plagiarized the plot. These are universal themes. I do not think that the writers were deliberately making a film to advance Christianity or even draw strong allusions to Christ. I do think it shows the universal appeal of the savior archetype and the hunger in the human heart for a better world beyond our corrupted world. I think it is very sad that viewers will be led to embrace an illusion of humans as our own self-messiah. I think it regrettable that when Christians propose a beautiful kingdom that is beyond the veil of human eyes they are mocked but Hollywood still is drawn to the dream. I do agree with the movie that all people should seek to make this world the best that we can. I agree that all people, especially those who embrace the kingdom of God should be leaders in positive attitudes to improve the living conditions of humanity. However, I think the writers of Tomorrow Land are naïve about human nature, proposing that certain creative people are above the greedy corruption that plagues the rest of humanity. Do they think that the great creative minds of human history were exempt from corruption? Even though Tomorrow Land adapts several Biblical archetypes, its premise diverges greatly and does not offer true hope for the desperate situation of humanity.

 


Glow, an illustrated poem on codependency

Copyright Rachel Domingo

There were two baby sunflowers, bright and shiny yellow, reaching up to feel the warmth of the sun. Babies they were, young and tender with tender roots and weak knees, soft faces and happy hearts. Early in the morning they would come out with the other flowers to enjoy the morning sun listening to the birds singing praise.

In the middle of the day when the sun rose up high it became quite hot and their soft young petals began to wilt in the heat of the midday sun. It was very hot and they were young, with tender roots and weak knees, soft faces and happy hearts.

Near by were two big sunflowers with thick roots and strong knees, glowing bold faces and generous hearts. The two baby said to the two big sunflowers, “May we stand in your shade in the middle of the day when the sun is so hot that it begins to wilt our soft young petals? For we are young, with tender roots and weak knees, soft faces and happy hearts.” The two big sunflowers said, “Of course we would love to share our shade with you for we were once young too. We have think roots and strong knees, glowing bold faces and generous hearts.” So the two young flowers moved close to the two big flowers during the heat of the day and they were safe in the shade of their big friends.

One of the big sunflowers that was giving shade turned to the young flower in it’s shadow and said, “How small you are, I was once like you. I will give you shade and cover you always, even if we do not grow.” So these two sunflowers gazed upon each other gradually forgetting the sun. Their faces lost their shiny yellow glow, like sleeping flowers their heads sank low. But the other big flower said to the young flower in its shade, “You may share my shade, a welcome friend ou are. But I must fix my gaze on the sun always, for I am a sunflower and I get my shiny yellow glow from the sun.

The little sunflower in the shade of the big flower that kept on gazing at the sun gradually started to grow up and gaze upon the sun all day long. The shadow of the big sunflower became too small for the young flower, it needed more room to grow. So it said, “I want to gaze upon the sun and your shadow has become darkness to me. For I am a sunflower and get my shiny yellow glow from the sun.” Her roots began to grow thick and her knees strong, her face was growing boldly and she now had a generous heart. The two flowers continued side by side both gazing upon the sun. For they are sunflowers, with think roots and strong knees, glowing faces and thankful hearts.

For the complete illustrated version see the pages under “Glow” at the right. Please respect our copyrights on this. Copyrights by Mark Anderson and Rachael Domingo; rachaeldomingo.com