“If I was walking down the street and saw some kid with a jet pack fly
over me, I’d believe that anything was possible. I would be inspired.”
– Young Frank Walker, Disney’s Tomorrowland
Young Frank Walker steps into the Hall of Invention at the 1964 World Fair in NY. Dressed in his brown jacket, blue jeans, and white tennis shoes he carries his cumbersome jet pack with him for the hopes of winning a $50 prize. He presents his invention to an apathetic judge. Walker, who put a great deal of energy and effort into the jet pack, admits to the man that it “doesn’t really fly” but he will get it to work. Rejected and discouraged, young Frank meets Athena who informs him that she is the future. She instructs him to follow her, to what seems like a simple carnival ride, instead Frank is taken through a portal to a parallel dimension. He arrives in Tomorrowland. This is where his live changes, he takes his first flight with his jet pack, with the help of an aggressive robot.
That was the opening scene from Disney’s Tomorrowland. Frank Walker (George Clooney) talks about when the world was a better place (when he was a kid) and things were different then has this flashback. This is my favorite moment from the film. I especially enjoy the scene when young Frank Walker sees his reflection of him flying. You can feel his sense of pride and excitement. As a parent I have witnessed that same look on my child’s face. Kids want to be inspired, dream, and have fun.
Thomas Robinson is the young actor who portrayed young Frank Walker in Tomorrowland. He did a fabulous job, I wish we could have seen more of him in the movie. Fortunately, I had the fun opportunity to sit and talk with him about Tomorrowland. He seemed quiet, down-to-earth and shared that he “hardly knew who he was” when asked what was it like working with George Clooney. Classic! I enjoyed getting to know the boy behind the jet pack adventure.
What was your favorite part of making the movie?
I really liked all the stunts. The stunts were so much fun to train and film the falling sequence, I actually did it in, an indoor skydive thing. Have you been to, that iFLY? It’s really cool, and I think of that – probably that’s what the stunt where I was thinking is about twenty hours in one of those just training and filming that because I had to be in control of it to look like I was out of control, which takes a lot of practice. So that was probably the coolest thing that I got to do on that set.
Who would you give a Tomorrowland pin?
I would probably give it to my friend, Sam. He is also an actor, he has such an open mind, and he’s always game for just anything, and he’s really optimistic, and I think that he would fit in.
How would you get around in Tomorrowland?
How was being in harness?
Um, those things are so uncomfortable. They dig in all the wrong places. I think one of them had sixty different ways, they could connect a wire to it and, like, twelve different buckles just to get it on. So it took, thirty minutes- maybe forty-five every day, just to put that on. And if I had to take it off for lunch or something, that just adds more time. But it was definitely worth it to be able to do all that cool stuff with the wires and the air tunnel-the wind tunnel.
Was it scary?
Not really, because at first, I thought I was afraid of heights. Then they took me up on a forklift, like twenty-five feet in the air, and I didn’t really mind it. And then two months before – the real training started. They signed me up for flying trapeze lessons. Now the instructor there is a really good friend of our family, and we’re gonna go back. It was really fun.
What was it like when you saw the finished movie for the first time? Was it different than you imagined?
Yeah, it was kind of cool seeing, the CGI and the live action stuff all just come together and form the movie. I really do not like watching myself act. I’m just cringing. But I do like the rest of the movie.
Besides acting, what are some things that you aspire to do as you get older?
I want to be a chef. I like baking, and I really like chopping! I like making lemon bars. Those are probably my favorite. I like desserts I like making fudge, caramel, and appetizers, like jalapeno poppers.
What advice do you have for other kids that want to act?
I think in the audition process, you are going to get a lot of no’s because there’s a ton of people trying out for all these parts. Don’t let that bother you. Just be yourself in the room!
Tomorrowland is out on Blu-ray on October 13th!
* I attended an all-expense paid trip hosted by Disney (featuring Tomorrowland, Aladdin & Disney Movies Anywhere). I was not compensated. Opinions are my own.