Saturday, May 27, 2017

World of Tomorrow (2015)

I remember an episode of The Ren and Stimpy Show, The House of Next Tuesday.  I don’t remember much about the episode itself, as I saw it almost 30 years ago, except that it was a play on the tendency to make something sound futuristic by calling it The Thing of Tomorrow.  I’m not sure how Tomorrow became the standard.  I guess it sounds like it’s coming soon.  The Thing of the Future sounds like it’s postponed indefinitely.  The Thing of Tomorrow sounds like you could get one right away.

I had been putting off watching The World of Tomorrow indefinitely.  The premise seemed interesting, even if it was cliché.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to commit much time to watching something last night.  Then, I noticed that it was only 16 minutes.

The movie starts with a young girl, Emily, receiving a phone call from an older version of herself.  Actually, the older Emily is a clone of a clone of the young Emily.  (The clone refers to her younger self as Emily Prime.)  You see, in the future, people can have a perfect clone made of themselves.  Emily was impregnated with her perfect clone.  When the time came, her memories were transferred to the clone and thus extend her life.

Emily the Clone transports Emily Prime into the future to show her around.  It’s basically Clone Emily telling Emily Prime about their life.  Clone Emily, for instance, worked on the moon managing work robots who needed to stay in the light to survive.  She fell in love with a rock and was sad when she had to leave.  Not everyone gets clones made of themselves.  Poorer people, like their grandfather, have their memories transferred to little boxes.

While Emily Prime is full of life, as you might expect from a little girl, Clone Emily tends to be less emotional.  This leads to a lot of deadpan humor.  Clone Emily tells Emily Prime how time travel is sill unpredictable and dangerous right before transporting herself to the future.  The movie also goes through some of the clichés of time travel, like having to worry about the position of the Earth.

While Emily Prime’s present is simple, the future tends to look kind of trippy.  It didn’t vary much from what I saw on the cover.  The animation wasn’t distracting, though.  It was effective in helping to tell the story.  You get a look at what you come to realize is the decline of humanity.  You’d think that the world of tomorrow is a happy place.  Not necessarily.

I wouldn’t say that the movie is depressing, but I don’t think it’s going to be for everyone.  It seems to be geared towards people who are at least familiar with science-fiction plots.  I don’t know that it’s exactly satire, but it does play on a few aspects of time travel.  I’m sure certain aspects of the story will be lost on some people.

As a short film, I don’t expect to see it on DVD, at least not by itself.  It would be interesting to get a DVD with several shorts on it.  Those seem hard to find, though.  Netflix doesn’t have a category for it.  I have been able to find shorts there, which is where I found this one, but you have to do it by a more mainstream category like drama or animation.  Perhaps one of these days, I’ll do a ten-best list or something.

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