“Escape from Tomorrow,” the beloved Sundance curio from writer/director Randy Moore about a man who goes mad while visiting Walt Disney World, seemed like something that would never see the light of day outside of the festival circuit, considering both the way the filmmakers obtained footage from the park surreptitiously and for the way they used that footage to paint a devastatingly bleak portrait of the company. Well, it is coming out, and marketers have become even more brazen about the Disney connection, flaunting it in the studio’s face while waving a painted bulls-eye. The trailer that just premiered is the most shocking fuck-you yet. Watch it below.
The trailer starts off with a riff on “The following motion picture has been approved for all audiences” tag that starts off most trailers. Instead of the calming lime green background, though, this is black and white and says “The following motion picture has not been approved for all audiences by the Walt Disney Company.” In other words: it’s on.
For the next minute, we’re treated to black-and-white images from Walt Disney World (although it was also filmed at Disneyland) while characters in voice over say stuff like “Bad things can happen anywhere.” At about the halfway point, the surrealism starts to kick in: a child’s eyes turn an inky black, a fireball ascends towards the sky, fairies hover above the Florida park’s Contemporary Resort, and a man appears with a head shaped like EPCOT‘s iconic geodesic sphere Spaceship Earth (aka the giant golf ball). At the end of the trailer, a small child says, “Daddy, can we go home?”
It’s eerie, haunting stuff, for sure, and only intensifies our desire to see it, although it also intensifies our speculation of how Disney is allowing this thing to go forth (this was a movie that Moore edited in South Korea in an attempt to keep its existence from Disney a secret). However it slipped through, the movie will be released theatrically and on VOD on October 11th, hopefully with lines that are shorter than the ones for Space Mountain. The music at the beginning? Lifted from Krzysztof Kieslowski’s “Blue,” which is one of our favorite scores ever by Zbigniew Preisner. What a terrific piece of music, even if it’s just a brief sting (full score is must have).