Chatting With Brad Bird #TomorrowlandBloggers

Chatting With Brad Bird

During my Tomorrowland press trip we had fifteen minutes to chat with Brad Bird about the movie and his career.  Bird recently directed the worldwide hit Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.  He also won Oscars for writing and directing Ratatouille and The Incredibles.  Bird began his career in film making at a very early age, he was eleven when he began working on his first film, an animated short, which he finished three years later.  When we were chatting with Bird he shared that he was lucky to have parents that helped him achieve his dreams.


I was blessed with really great parents who didn’t want to interfere with it but were doing anything they could to add fuel to it.  So when I started doing a lot of drawings I had lots of paper and lots of pencils all the time. And when I started getting into animation they made sure that I could get a camera that could shoot one frame at a time. And my dad bought a used enlarger and we kinda kluged it together, and stuffed the camera inside the enlarger with some newspapers.  I didn’t have pegs so I took two pieces of tape and I laid down about four layers this way and four layers that way and I shoved the drawing into the corner of the paper and that’s how I registered it.

Bird said that people like Walt Disney inspired him when he was a child growing up.  It was through Disney that he learned about fun jobs like creating movies and entertaining people.

I remember parties where there was this forest of legs and everybody seemed to be slow-moving and I knew I don’t wanna be one of these. “Am I gonna turn into one of these?!”

And then there were people like Walt Disney who were in your living room every week and they always seemed to be introducing something new and different. I mean, one week he would be talking about animals in the wild.  The next week it would be a historical drama like Scarecrow a Brahm Eating Marsh and then there would be cartoons or something about the history of fairytales or outerspace.  And that was his job. So that was “a job” that existed in the world. And suddenly it seemed to me that the world was full of really cool jobs. And that’s when it became like “there’s a way for me to go here,” you know?

Brad bird

We asked Bird about his memories at Disneyland, he said they didn’t get there much as a child because they lived in Oregon.  He did share with us his favorite memory of visiting the park.

I remember the first time going on Pirates Of The Caribbean I could not make sense out of how did this whole world, “How is that contained in this building?” You know like, here’s this building and I just went in there and I was in a swamp in Louisiana and then I went down a waterfall and now I’m in a cavern and there’s a storm and then I’m in-between a ship and a fort and they’re shooting cannonballs and the village is burning up and now I’m going up the waterfall and this is in this building, you know? I couldn’t make sense out of it. But it was absolutely magical to me.


One of the final things I wanted to know about was the scene in the movie when the pin gets touched and they show the person in the corn field.  I wanted to know why put people in the middle of the field and not in the city.  He said it’s a symbol kind of like the rose that grew out of concrete.

We have a very complicated idea for that but we didn’t want to explain it. We wanted that image of everybody in the field. I think that it’s setting the dream off and you have to go to the dream.  The dream doesn’t come to you. You know where it is, you see it, but you have to go toward it. And that’s part of the idea of the future is “We have to imagine what it is, say that we want to go there, and then take the steps.” It’s not gonna happen everybody says, “Dreams are important.” They are, but they’re only Step One.

Dream is what is the easy part, it’s–– it’s the important part but it’s the easy part because all you have to do is “have it.” To then pursue it is the hard part. And that’s part of what it is, is then you have to go toward it. And you might, there might be a lion hiding somewhere in there, you don’t know. There’s gonna be the most pernicious weed and you deal with it in movies all the time is “doubt.” It’s like there’s these seeds that you scatter them and then they grow instantly 20-feet high, you know.

tomorrowland pin

Tomorrowland will be released tomorrow, October 13th on Blu-ray Comb Pack, Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere.  Check out this clip of actress Raffey Cassidy behind the scenes on the set of Tomorrowland.

15 Minutes with Raffey Cassidy and Thomas Robinson #TomorrowlandBloggers

15 Minutes with Raffey Cassidy and Thomas Robinson

Last week during my Tomorrowland press junket we had fifteen minutes to chat with two stars of the movie.  Raffey Cassidy who plays Athena and Thomas Robinson who plays young Frank.  The scene with Thomas and Raffey at the beginning of the movie at the World’s Fair made my kids want to see Tomorrowland in theaters.  When chatting with the pair we had to find out what was their favorite scene from the movie.  Thomas said he liked the ‘Blast From the Past’ scenes.

Tomorrowland Kids Group Photo

At the time of our interview both kids stated they were thirteen but the movie took some time to film. Thomas shared that he actually started filming two days before his eleventh birthday.  So he was actually ten when filming started and Raffey was eleven when the cameras started rolling.  It took Brad Bird about one and a half years to complete the movie.


During the film Young Frank and Athena develop a relationship when they are young, and Raffey and Thomas seem to also have a friendship as well.  They both agreed it was fun and cool to be on the set with each other.


Raffey currently live in England but she shared with us her hopes for moving to California, “the weather would be more reliable here than a lot of places,” said Raffey comparing it rainy weather where she currently lives.  I have to say I was quite impressed with her character Athena, before seeing the movie I didn’t realize how big her role was in the film.  Without Athena’s drive and determination who know’s what would have happened.


There’s a scene in the movie where Raffey is driving a car.  We asked her if she was actually driving and she said yes, she learned how to drive for the movie.  Before filming started they training for two months to learn stunts and action scenes.  Thomas actually completed twenty hours of indoor skydiving classes to prepare for one scene in the movie.  He was proud when he told us it was the equivalent of 15,000 skydives.


We wondered what the kids took home from the set and souvenirs, especially Thomas.  We asked did he have the jet pack at home.  He laughed and said no, it was very heavy.  The actual pack weighs in at 40 pounds and according to Thomas the so-called light version was 39 pounds.  He couldn’t stop smiling when telling us about those packs.  Raffey said she took home a few pieces of rubber glass from a scene she filmed with Britt Robertson.

Tomorrowland Concept Art – Photo Credit: Disney

Both actors shared their plans to continue their educations and attend college.  Raffey has plans to attend British University while Thomas aspires to be a chef and attend culinary school.  Both said they plan to continue acting.  One of the last things we asked both kids was what they wanted people to know about the film.  Thomas said that it’s a reminder to remain optimistic and reach for the stars.  Raffey’s responded saying hopefully it impresses people and encourage them to believe that one person can change the world.

About Tomorrowland

tomorrowlandDreamers Wanted…Disney invites you to an incredible world of epic imagination where anything is possible. Buckle your seat belt, as the director of The Incredibles takes your family on an action-packed thrill ride.

Join former boy genius Frank (George Clooney), optimistic, science-minded teen Casey (Britt Robertson), mysterious Athena (Raffey Cassidy) and the brilliant David Nix (Hugh Laurie) in a world of pure Disney imagination. Tomorrowland transports you on an inspiring and magical journey of wonder and adventure to a place where if you can dream it, you can do it.

Disney’s Tomorrowland will be released on Blu-ray combo pack, Digital HD, and Disney Movies Anywhere on October 13th.  Visit a Disney Store or online to pre-order.

Disney’s Tomorrowland Now Playing

Disney’s Tomorrowland Now Playing

Honestly when I first saw the previews for Disney’s Tomorrowland I wasn’t to thrilled.  I knew we would see it but probably not in the movies.  During the Monkey Kingdom Event we had the opportunity to spend some times in Tomorrowland and see a 12 minute preview of the movie.  I’ve been excited ever since.  Disney’s Tomorrowland now playing nationwide is a must see this holiday weekend.  This PG rated film is a great option for the whole family.  My six year old son has been excited ever since he saw the trailer where young Frank gets to fly with the Jetpack.  His exact words “I wish I was playing him, he gets to fly a Jetpack!”  We’ve already made plans to take him for his birthday to see the film.

tomorrowland poster

While at Magic Kingdom we spent a little time in Tomorrowland.  I didn’t ride much of the rides over there but I did get on the Carousel of Progress.  IF you haven’t I suggest you ride it the next time you visit WDW.  It’s a slow-moving ride the whole family can enjoy and it shows the progress that society has made in the way of technology over the years.

About Tomorrowland:

From Disney comes two-time Oscar® winner Brad Bird’s riveting, mystery adventure “Tomorrowland,” starring Academy Award® winner George Clooney. Bound by a shared destiny, former boy-genius Frank (Clooney), jaded by disillusionment, and Casey (Britt Robertson), a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity, embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space known only as “Tomorrowland.” What they must do there changes the world—and them—forever.

 Featuring a screenplay by “Lost” writer and co-creator Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird, from a story by Lindelof & Bird & Jeff Jensen, “Tomorrowland” promises to take audiences on a thrill ride of nonstop adventures through new dimensions that have only been dreamed of.

britt robinson

I loved the preview I saw of this film.  It was exciting and inspiring and I have a feeling this movie is going to leave an impression on kids of this generation to strive towards being great.  I can see it in my own children eyes when they look at the trailers their eyes light up, they get excited and they ask all the time can they go see the movie.  That’s major because this isn’t an animated feature or one based on their favorite characters.   Check out the official trailer for Tomorrowland below.

IF you’re still interested in learning more before heading out to the movies check out these two special features about Tomorrowland.

“What Is Tomorrowland” featurette

“Citizens Of Tomorrowland” featurette

This holiday weekend is the perfect chance to take the family to see Tomorrowland.  Usually movie theaters have special pricing on holidays so it could be a great time to check out your local movie theater for special pricing.

tomorrowland pin

Finally be sure you get the Tomorrowland pin if you have the opportunity.  I am on the search to get one for myself.  It’s just a cool way to think of the movie after you’ve seen it and a nice pin to get you started with pin collecting or adding to your collection.  Remember Tomorrowland is rated PG, fun for the whole family and it’s now playing everywhere.

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