Brad Bird got his start in animation (he directed both The Iron Giant and The Incredibles), so it would be totally appropriate for him to include animation in his live-action work. Unfortunately, we never got to see a cartoon Tom Cruise running around in a special sequence of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. And also unfortunately, we won't get to see the animated sequence produced for his latest, Tomorrowland, as part of the movie.
But we do at least get to see it online. Check it out below.
This little animated short, created by the folks at Pixar, functions as a backstory prequel laying out some alternate history informing the plot of the feature, which is inspired by the same-named section of Disney's theme parks. Here we learn that Jules Verne, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla and Gustave Eiffel came together as a kind of 19th century Avengers called Plus Ultra, only they were "dedicated to the cultivation of mankind's greatest resource, imagination" instead of saving the world from aliens and evil robots.
Here's where it was originally supposed to fit into the movie, as explained by Eddie Pasquarello, the co-visual effects supervisor on Tomorrowland [via Business Insider]:
“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.”
With narration from Maurice LaMarche (the voice of the Brain on Pinky and the Brain), who we're pretty sure accidentally quotes a Paul Simon song at one point, these sequences remind us of the old Disney animated educational films.
Those who watched the movie will recall that this information was relayed in a different, more efficient way, as the filmmakers thought the inclusion of this short would just slow the story down.
What do you think?