Sometimes documentaries get made about topics that the subject didn’t know about. But this time, a company as large as Disney didn’t know an indy film was shooting right on it’s own property until it was too late. Escape from Tomorrow is a independent, drama, sci-fi…whatever film that takes place entirely on Disney World property. The real draw for the film was that it was shot entirely guerrilla style on Disney property without the company knowing.
Shot in black and white, the movie follows a family on it’s last day of vacation in Orlando, Florida and opens with the father finding out via a phone call that he’s been laid off from his job. His bosses last suggestion is that he take his kids on EPCOT’s Soarin’, his “kids loved it.” As the day progress the Father slowly begins to lose his sanity from a wife who was given a not so kind nickname from my roommates, and a son and daughter who are relentless in their attempts to ride Buzz Lightyear. The film slowly starts to become stranger and stranger as the Father loses his grip on reality and seemingly becomes involved in some strange government/Disney plot involving the Siemens corporation from Spaceship: Earth, Walt Disney World and some kind of Star Wars-esque cloning company. Oh, did I mention there’s sex and nudity, teenage french girls that we’re meant to lust over, cursing, and a weird fat guy with a bad accent in a neck brace riding a power scooter thing?
Yup, it’s as strange as it sounds. But it’s real draw is seeing the shots that are so obviously done on Disney Property and wondering how they got away with in. Certain scenes and shots are obviously green screened as they would be too ridiculous to shoot on Disney property, including a bunch of Asian tourists feeling up Ariel, Belle and Cinderella for a photo op. But sometimes you cant help but notice the authentic reactions of tourists who don’t know they’re in a movie.
When it comes down to it I guess It’s A Small World would drive anyone nuts, especially if you just got laid off…But in the end Escape from Tomorrow is nothing special. A film that would be more at home with the B-Films of the 50’s and 60’s than it is today. Is it worth seeing? Yes, once, but other than that the film is easy to pass over. Die-hard Disney fans will enjoy the little homages to the parks that are thrown in along with the guerrilla style cinematography, but casual movie goers will want to pass this one up.
Pete gives it a 3 out of 5 stars, just because he kinda feels bad that this movie isn’t better.