Warning: This post contains plot spoilers for Tomorrowland. If you haven’t seen the film, you might want to skip this video for now.
Tomorrowland features George Clooney as a former boy-genius named Frank. As a kid, Frank gained entry to “an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space known only as Tomorrowland.” As explained in the theatrical cut of the film, Tomorrowland was created by Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, Jules Verne and Gustave Eiffel, a group dubbed Plus Ultra. However, according to Business Insider (via Movies.com), originally, director Brad Bird planned to give Plus Ultra much more screen time via a short animated sequence that was created by the folks at Pixar.
Eddie Pasquarello, the co-visual effects supervisor on the sequence, explained where Bird intended to include the video:
“It was pitched as a ride under a ride. When Frank drops below the ‘It’s A Small World’ ride instead of going right to the portal to Tomorrowland he would have taken this ride first, like a ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ boat ride. Moving set pieces, mist curtains, it would have been literally riding a classic Disney ride and it would have told the backstory of Plus Ultra.”
Apparently Pasquarello and his team stopped working on the video when Bird realized that it wouldn’t fit in the final cut of the film, but Bird still shared it via Twitter about a month ago. It’s certainly a cool looking video that clearly conveys key details about Plus Ultra, but if you’ve seen Tomorrowland, you’re probably well aware of the fact that the movie is already very heavy on exposition. It definitely didn’t need this three and a half minute sequence dishing out even more information and apparently Bird thought so himself. Here’s what Tomorrowland production designer Scott Chambliss told The New York Times:
“It’s a great cartoon, and we all loved doing it, but it stopped the movie dead, according to Brad.”
Tomorrowland is currently in theaters and also stars Britt Robertson, Raffey Cassidy, Hugh Laurie, Tim McGraw, Judy Greer, Kathryn Hahn, Keegan-Michael Key and Thomas Robinson.