The Walt Disney Studios has officially announced its “Tomorrowland” movie. But the film’s storyline remains a mystery, one that begs to be solved, and begins with director Brad Bird and producer Damon Lindelof posting a photo that might offer clues about the project. On Feb. 4, Walt Disney Archives Director Becky Cline analyzed the photo’s contents with an eye to unlocking the mystery.
Bird and Lindelof raised the profile of “Tomorrowland” by posting photos of a banker’s box labeled “1952,” the film’s working title, to Twitter last month. The photos went viral as Disney fans, Twitter followers and the media attempted to identify the box and its contents; they are presumed to be clues about the project.
D23: The Official Disney Fan Club enlisted Cline, who has been director of the Walt Disney Archives since 2010, to help with its own investigation. While Cline has no inside scoop on “Tomorrowland,” her expertise and insights provide information that may be useful to further speculation about the movie.
In her 12 points about the box’s contents of the “1952” box, Cline points to a copy of the science-fiction magazine “Amazing Stories” from August 1928. Other media sites have focused on that issue’s introduction of Buck Rogers. Cline instead mentions the issue’s cover story “The Skylark of Space,” written by Elmer Edward “Doc” Smith and Lee Hawkins Garby. She also notes Walt Disney’s interest in flight and futurism, as well as points out Disneyland’s Tencennial featured a man operating a jet pack.
In another point, Cline identifies a 1943 photo of Walt Disney taken with Major Woodlief of the U.S. Army Reserve General Fund. She goes on to provide additional context for the studio’s relationship with the government and military during that time period.
Read D23's post, which include all of Cline’s 12 points about the contents of the “1952” box.
Interestingly, Cline doesn’t specifically identify the box as being “an old banker’s box from the 1965 production of ‘That Darn Cat,’” a comedy centered on back robbers, the FBI and a cat. But D23, in its blurb for Cline’s point, does. Hmmm.
D23 also introduces Cline’s analysis with the question, “Has The Walt Disney Studios uncovered a lost treasure?”
It’s a good question for Disney fans and mystery lovers alike. Does the media campaign for “Tomorrowland” suggest Bird and Lindelof have gone back to the Disney vaults and found an unproduced movie? Or is it, as has also been speculated, a film that will provide a look at Disney history and the Disneyland theme park?
Fans don’t know…yet, and Disney is keeping much about “Tomorrowland” under wraps. What is known, however, is that the Bird and Lindelof know how to raise interest in the movie. Oh, and that “Tomorrowland” stars George Clooney and will be released Dec. 19, 2014.