Movie Review: ‘Tomorrowland’ – ‘Feed the right wolf’

Go Lean Commentary

We are now mid-way through the 2015 Summer Movie Season. There have been some BIG ONES. The following is the highest Box Office performance of summer movies thus far in the US alone:

CU Blog - Feed the Right Wolf - Photo 2

Movie Opening Weekend US
Jurassic World $209 million
Avengers: Age of Ultron $191 million
Furious Seven $147 million
Minions $116 million
Inside Out $90 million
Pitch Perfect 2 $69 million
Ant-Man $57 million
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation $56 million
San Andreas $54 million
Insurgent $52 million
Mad Max: Fury Road $45 million
Ted 2 $34 million
Tomorrowland $33 million
Spy $29 million
Terminator Genisys $27 million
Fantastic Four $26 million
Magic Mike XXL $13 million
Entourage $10 million

Movies play a unique role in our lives.

In a previous blog/commentary regarding Caribbean Diaspora member and Hollywood great, Sidney Poitier, it was declared that …

“Movies are an amazing business model. People give money to spend a couple of hours watching someone else’s creation and then leave the theater with nothing to show for the investment; except perhaps a different perspective”.

This foregoing statement sets the foundation for appreciation of one movie in particular from the foregoing list, Disney’s Tomorrowland: A World Beyond which admonishes us to:

Feed the right wolf.
There are two wolves. One bright and hopeful and one dark and cynical. Which wolf wins? Whichever one you feed.

This quotation from the movie aligns with the reality of the Caribbean – art imitating life. The region is in crisis due to calamities and socio-economic changes in the region … and globally. The region has not even kept pace with the “push-and-pull” factors drawing many Caribbean citizens to flee…and abandon their beloved homelands. Already that brain drain among the college-educated population is up to a 70% rate among the entire region, with some communities experiencing alarmingly higher rates: Jamaica 85%; Guyana 89%.

The region is now at the cross-roads: maintain the status quo and watch the societal abandonment and decline continue (dark and cynical) … or … foster change and grant the Caribbean region a new (bright and hopeful) future.

Which wolf/future will win?

The book Go Lean … Caribbean asserts the option of fostering a bright and hopeful future. It provides turn-by-turn directions on how to arrest the societal abandonment and elevate the region’s economic, security and governing engines.

The book describes how/when/why to feed the right wolf!

This book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), a technocratic agency seen as the Caribbean’s best hope to avert the current path of disaster, human flight and brain drain, and grant the Caribbean a meaningful future for its youth.

This roadmap aligns with the movie plotlines:

Title: “Feed the right wolf.” Disney’s Tomorrowland (2015 film)
Reel Roy Reviews – Movie Review Site; posted May 23, 2015; retrieved 08-21-2015 from: 

CU Blog - Feed the Right Wolf - Photo 1

“Find the ones who haven’t given up. They are the future.” So says George Clooney at the end of Brad Bird’s latest Disney offering Tomorrowland, inspired as much by Disney’s ubiquitous theme parks (from which it derives its inspiration) as it does Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and … Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth.

In fact, this may be the first children’s film that directly addresses – so darkly, so interestingly, so strangely – global warming among other mankind-created global calamities. I can’t recall the last kiddie flick that depicted so darn many mushroom clouds, or had such a nihilistic sentiment at its gooey center. Good for Brad Bird.

Clearly a passion project for the director, the film suffers, alas, from a narrative lumpiness. It is composed almost like a junior novella, with very abrupt chapter breaks, and an unclear sense of the overall purpose until the crackerjack final act.

Regardless, the journey is an entertaining and worthwhile one, at least philosophically. As I find myself personally at a crossroads in life – looking back at what erroneously seemed an idyllic small-town, all-American way-of-life and now dreaming of a much-needed present/future state when we all can embrace empathy, kindness, and love, regardless our geographically defined boundaries – the film hit a raw nerve for me.

Ostensibly, the film is about Britt Robertson’s Casey Newton, a young, overeager space-loving kid horrified that America has given up on all dreams of galactic exploration. Casey discovers a magic pin that gives her glimpses of a sparkling utopia where we all live hand-in-hand, driving electric cars, zipping to-and-fro in bullet shaped sky-trains, and all wearing flowing garb designed in collaboration between Vera Wang and Judy Jetson (?). (Oh, and everybody in the future is fit. No fast food, no gluten, and, yeah, I bet vegan. Go figure.)

In truth? The film is really about George Clooney’s Frank Walker, a bright-eyed young boy born of nuclear optimism now a middle-aged sot calcified by millennial atrophy. He sees a world that he hoped would be (pushed to be), its limitless potential now squandered by petty greed and intentional hate. The classic baby boomer dilemma.

Casey sparks a reluctant optimism in Frank, as they meet cute, amidst a gaggle of murderous robots blowing up Frank’s steampunk farmhouse. They travel to Tomorrowland in hopes of preventing global catastrophe. Tomorrowland, you see, is an alternate dimension designed as a free-thinking societal construct, intended to gather humanity’s best and brightest in order to effect great change, but now turned to seed. Hugh Laurie, all glowering smarm, is its chief magistrate.

Robertson, who unfortunately has the acting range of a peanut, mugs and screams shamelessly, but Clooney with his oily charm is the perfect antidote. It takes quite a bit of screen time for him to finally emerge, but when he does the film starts firing on all cylinders.

Tomorrowland (the place … in the film) is a marvel of design, taking many cues from but never limited by the aesthetic of Disney’s theme park Tomorrowland(s) as well as the original designs for EPCOT – all swooping spirals, glittering towers, and burnished concrete.

As I understand it, Walt Disney and Ray Bradbury were pals, and they and their creative legacies share a similar take on the “future,” a concept as nebulous as it is thrilling. For these mid-century marvels, the future is a pearly veneer with a toxic venom ever curdling underneath. Both men telegraphed a healthy agnosticism and distrust of humanity – see Bambi, for one – with a deep desire to see us collectively rise above our own insularity and self-absorption … once and for all. Fat chance.

Brad Bird does a fine job capturing and forwarding this idea in Tomorrowland. The film is not perfect, a bit tedious at times, but it is a worthwhile summer blockbuster exercise in challenging how stunted we have become. At one point Casey says something to this effect: “There are two wolves. One bright and hopeful and one dark and cynical. Which wolf wins? Whichever one you feed. Feed the right wolf.”

Feed the right wolf.


VIDEO – Trailer for Movie: Tomorrowland –

The Go Lean roadmap synchronizes with the theme of the movie Tomorrowland. On Page 21, Go Lean presents a series of community ethos – the fundamental spirit that informs the beliefs, customs, or practices of a society – that must be adapted to forge change in the Caribbean; listed as follows:

  • Impact the Future (Page 26)
  • Impact the Greater Good (Page 37)

Life imitating art; art imitating life.

This is what movies help us to appreciate; many times, they allow us to look at ourselves and take a retrospective view. Which wolf are we feeding?

The CU/Go Lean roadmap seeks to forge change on Caribbean society with a new level of collaboration to contend with global/regional threats and to fix the defective societal engines. In fact, the prime directives of the CU/Go Lean roadmap are pronounced as these declarative statements:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improvement of Caribbean governance to support these engines.

The Go Lean book opens with a quest for regional integration, with the Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 11 – 14), including these pronouncements:

i. Whereas the earth’s climate has undeniably changed resulting in more severe tropical weather storms, it is necessary to prepare to insure the safety and security of life, property and systems of commerce in our geographical region. As nature recognizes no borders in the target of its destruction, we also must set aside border considerations in the preparation and response to these weather challenges.

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xii. Whereas the legacy in recent times in individual states may be that of ineffectual governance with no redress to higher authority, the accedence of this Federation will ensure accountability and escalation of the human and civil rights of the people for good governance, justice assurances, due process and the rule of law. As such, any threats of a “failed state” status for any member state must enact emergency measures on behalf of the Federation to protect the human, civil and property rights of the citizens, residents, allies, trading partners, and visitors of the affected member state and the Federation as a whole.

xxiv. Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

xxvii. Whereas the region has endured a spectator status during the Industrial Revolution, we cannot stand on the sidelines of this new economy, the Information Revolution. Rather, the Federation must embrace all the tenets of Internet Communications Technology (ICT) to serve as an equalizing element in competition with the rest of the world. The Federation must bridge the digital divide and promote the community ethos that research/development is valuable and must be promoted and incentivized for adoption.

The Go Lean book accepts the premise that a crisis is a terrible thing to waste (Page 8), that these challenging circumstances allow people of goodwill – as conveyed in the foregoing movie review/article: “the ones who haven’t given up … they are the future”  – to emerge and forge the necessary improvements in society. These previous blog/commentaries have also drilled deeper on this vision and opportunity for change now. See the list here: Better than America? Yes, We Can! Forging Change – ‘Food’ for Thought Art and Science of Collaboration How One Entrepreneur Can Rally a Whole Community Caribbean grapples with intense new cycles of flooding & drought Book Review: ‘Chasing Youth Culture and Getting It Right’ Book Review: ‘Prosper Where You Are Planted’ All is not well in the sunny Caribbean Only at the precipice, do they change Ailing Caribbean island open to radical economic fixes

The Go Lean roadmap asserts that change must come to the Caribbean. But the book posits that this burden is too big for any one Caribbean member-state alone, and thus the collaboration efforts of the CU is necessary, as the strategy is to confederate all the 30 member-states of the Caribbean into an integrated “Single Market” – this is the only viable solution.

This is how we “feed the wolf” that is representing a bright and hopeful future.

The following list details the community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to “feed the right wolf”:

Community Ethos – Forging Change Page 20
Community Ethos – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Return on Investments Page 24
Strategy – Strategy – Caribbean Vision Page 45
Strategy – Agents of Change – Globalization Page 57
Tactical – Growing the Caribbean Economy to $800 Billion Page 67
Tactical – Separation of Powers – CU Agencies versus Member-States Page 71
Planning – 10 Big Ideas for the Caribbean Region Page 127
Planning – Ways to Make the Caribbean Better Page 131
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs Page 152
Advocacy – Was to Improve Governance Page 168
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Hollywood – Global Box Office – Imitating Life Page 203
Advocacy – Ways to Preserve Caribbean Heritage Page 218
Appendix – Hollywood Box Office Model Page 345

Considering the review of the movie in the foregoing article, we see that Caribbean “life can imitate art” of that movie. The moral of that story can be an inspiration for us all in the region. This vision is conceivable, believable and achievable!

The Go Lean roadmap has a simple motive: enable the Caribbean to be a better place to live, work and play. If not now then for the future, for our Tomorrowland.  🙂

Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!


Appendix VIDEO – Featurette: The Making of Tomorrowland

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