On January 23rd, 2013, Tomorrowland director Brad Bird and screenwriter Damon Lindelof tweeted pictures of a box labeled "1952." The box was rumored to have been found in Disney's vaults, and its contents allegedly inspired the concept of the film.

It is unclear which of the items, if any, are legitimate artifacts from the Disney archives. Unquestionably, some (if not most) of the box's contents (if not the entire box itself) were fabricated specifically for the Tomorrowland film.

Regardless of the historical or fictional status of the box's contents, they offer a glimpse into the story of the film. At the 2013 D23 Expo, after an onstage presentation by Bird and Lindelof during Saturday's live action panel, an exhibit booth was curated to showcase these items. Additionally, Disney released a mobile app with select images, audio files, and information related to the box.

Here, Tomorrowland Times will  recap the box items most relevant to the film's story:

THE BOX
The first image of the box itself offered our first glimpse of the "+U" logo for the Plus Ultra secret society which would later be established in The Optimist ARG:

On the label in the upper right hand corner, the symbol was either stamped or written in red ink. The presence of this logo creates two possible implications for the box itself. It seems unlikely that the production would augment a historical artifact with the symbol from the film's fictional "secret society." Alternatively, it is possible this symbol was present on the actual box and speculations as to its unexplained meaning inspired Bird and Lindelof in the writing of their story.

THE IASW BLUEPRINTS
As established in The Optimist, recruitment for the Plus Ultra society was connected with a secret room beneath the It's A Small World attraction at the 1964 World's Fair in New York. (Game content strongly suggested it housed a portal to Tomorrowland's alternate dimension.)

The box contained blueprints with blacklight-hidden plans for this room. The presences of the +U symbol strongly suggest they were fabricated for the film. Additionally, The Optimist indicated an alternate narration for It's a Small World, for VIPs of Plus Ultra:


SCRIPTS
Several scripts for WED produced Televion programs bear the +U symbol:

The Optimist established that these TV programs were connected with recruitment for Plus Ultra, as evidenced in this "telegram" players could receive during one of the game's hunts:


TRYLOSPHERE
One of the more mysterious items in the box is this statue. The two shapes represent the Trylon and Perisphere from the 1939 World's Fair. The most peculiar aspect of the item is the power cord and unearthly plug. Is this device from Tomorrowland's alternate dimension?

The plaque on its wooden box contains a line-dash code, the same that is visible on the left margin of the IASW blueprint. (pictured above) What is the connection between these two items? Could the trylosphere device somehow communicate between worlds? Or act as a key?


PICTURES
The box contains several images significant to the unfolding story of Plus Ultra. A "doctored" image of Walt and follow society member Amelia Earhart years after her death ties into the record narration from The Optimist, which describes advanced methods for the preservation of life in Tomorrowland. Amelia Earhart was also one of the main characters in Before Tomorrowland, the prequel account of Plus Ultra's rocky relationship with "the other world" (Tomorrowland).
Additionally, the image of a pin (with the now-familiar Tomorrowland logo from the Disneyland TV show) is present, but no physical pin in its case in an included hollowed-out book. This pin is perhaps a precursor to the society pin presented to "inductees" in the optimist finale, as well as those spotted on extras during the filming of the World's Fair scenes.

As we now know, these pins are what enables members to gain access to the secret room below it's a small world.

AMAZING STORIES / JET PACK
The August 1928 edition of AMAZING STORIES, the first appearance of Buck Rogers, features a Jet Pack on the front cover. A cipher page with cut-out holes line up with a specific page of the story to reveal the message:
“I have seen across the gap between I began practical penetration into the world. Secret retreats needed The perfection of mechanical labor and organization of industrial resources almost at hand.” 

Additionally, what appears to be a rocket thruster and a series of design sketches by Imagineer Bob Gurr were included.


DISC
The most significant piece in the box is the "Orthacousitc Transcription" disc. Aside from the first visual confirmation of the "Plus Ultra" name, this fantasy piece of technology was touted to hold an "unseen" bit of Disney animation. This footage was shown at the 2013 D23 Expo live action presentation. Acting as a history of Plus Ultra's founding:

"... fellow traveler, that’s why you were invited here. At long last we are building that tomorrow. A shinking beacon of hope. In just 20 short years, we will share this extraordinary place with the entire world. Would you like to see it?”

While animated in a style referential of the purported era, it was clearly created for the film. Especially evident to those participating in the Optimist, when the bold +U logo appeared at the close of the footage.


The footage on this disc is now available, and accounts for the formation of Plus Ultra, and the origins of Tomorrowland. Based on the narration, it appears that members inducted into the society, would be shown this before being given their pin to access the room under it's a small world:




1 comment:

  1. I know this isn't exactly relevant anymore, but It'd be nice to see some of these older pages updated with some of the newer info We've gotten from the book and marketing.

    ReplyDelete