"Escape from Tomorrow": Disney Will Destroy You

Contrary to the buzz, Randy Moore's Escape from Tomorrow was not entirely shot guerrilla-style at Disneyland and/or Disney World. At least a quarter of the picture — which follows a suburban man (Roy Abramsohn) descending into madness during a miserable family trip to an unnamed-yet-familiar theme park — was shot in hotels, in front of greenscreens, and on honest-to-goodness sets. That doesn't make the three-quarters that was indeed filmed without permission in both the Anaheim and Orlando parks any less fascinating, and there's a lot to chew on for copyright nerds: No Disney music is used, but trademarks such as Buzz Lightyear and Epcot are mentioned, and the beloved monorail announcements are heard. For a film that obviously required so much planning, however, the script is unaccountably weak. Moore wisely cast experienced actors, so Escape from Tomorrow doesn't play like the home movie it often looks like, but the character of the wife (Elena Schuber) is written as a shrill, withholding harpy. It's almost a wasted opportunity, focusing on one man's midlife crisis rather than the potentially more relevant theme of a dysfunctional family banding together to survive that vortex of enforced whimsy known as a Disney theme park, but Escape from Tomorrow's very existence is audacious enough to make up for it.

 
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