Escape from Tomorrow

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German title Escape from Tomorrow
Original title Escape from Tomorrow
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 2013
length 90 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director Randy Moore
script Randy Moore
production Soojin Chung, Gioia Marchese
music Abel Korzeniowski
camera Lucas Lee Graham
cut Soojin Chung

Escape from Tomorrow (English for fleeing tomorrow ) is an American surrealist black and white - film from the year 2013, the Randy Moore wrote and directed. It takes place at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort , where it was secretly recorded without permission from the Walt Disney Company . Contrary to the fears of the maker and journalists, Disney did not file a lawsuit against the film.

It premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in January and was released in American theaters in October.


During a family vacation at Walt Disney World Resort , father Jim is dismissed on the phone by his boss on the morning of the last day, something that he hides from his family in order not to spoil the day. While taking the train from Disney's Contemporary Resort Hotel to the park, he notices two French underage women who he keeps noticing in queues. To pursue them, he takes his son Elliot, who wants to ride a Buzz Lightyear attraction, on the Space Mountain roller coaster , which makes the boy nauseous, and then takes his daughter Sara to the Magic Kingdom , where she is injured on the way . The nurse treating her casually explains that the cat flu is around.

Spaceship Earth in Epcot Park

After a woman hypnotizes him with a flashing locket, he wakes up in her bed while she has intercourse with him. She claims the princesses in the park are a secret prostitution ring for Asian businessmen. Jim returns with Sara to his family at the hotel pool, where he tries again to talk to the French women and argue with his wife. In Epcot Park, he gets very drunk until he vomits while driving, whereupon his wife's anger escalates. She even beats her daughter and goes away with her son ashamed. In the waiting area for the Soarin ' attraction , Jim is approached by one of the French girls and spat in his face. Then he notices that Sara has disappeared and runs through the park looking for something until he is fazed by guards unconscious . He wakes up tied to a chair in a secret facility under Spaceship Earth with computers and monitors when a scientist explains that Jim was part of an experiment by Siemens , and had been since he visited the park with his father as a child. The scientist describes a man who can be seen on the screens with his family as the "real Jim".

Jim escapes by beheading the scientist, who turns out to be a robot. After causing a riot in a group of visitors watching fireworks, he goes to the other woman's hotel room, where he finds Sara sleeping, disguised as Snow White . The woman disguised as an evil queen says she used to work as a princess in the park. Returning to his own hotel room with his daughter, Jim suddenly feels indigestion and vomits blood and hair into the sink, whereupon he remembers the mention of the cat flu. While he is bleeding to death in the toilet, his son opens the door briefly and then closes it again without reacting. Only in the morning does his wife find him dead. Cleaning staff removes the body and all traces and installs false memories into Elliot that he took the Buzz Lightyear ride. While the corpse is being removed, the family of the "real Jim" is checking in again.

Idea and Production

Inspiration and development

Randy Moore, who wrote the film and made his directorial debut, was inspired by his own family outings to Walt Disney World Resort . He said it was a Disney World product more than anything. In his childhood his parents lived separately, his father in Orlando , so that Moore flew to him several times a year and visited Disney World. After starting a family of his own, he visited the park with his two children and his wife, a nurse from the former Soviet Union . Adopting your perspective brought back emotions he hadn't thought about since childhood, whereupon the visit felt like his father was there as a ghost. He then began to think deeply about Disney, to immerse himself in Disney culture, and read Neil Gabler's biography on Walt Disney . In the press material for the film, Moore described its origins as follows: “Heavily influenced by various strange excursions that I endured as a boy with my father […], Escape from Tomorrow is my personal attempt to find meaning in what seems like a very artificial one Felt like childhood, caused by our cultural obsession with the false, fabricated worlds of so-called fantasy. "

Moore wrote three scripts in a month, including Escape from Tomorrow , which he chose to direct the film himself because he wanted to direct the debut film he had written and believed it was the easiest to turn. “I was just thinking about the story, I was writing the scripts so fast that I was really writing from my gut. I wrote about the things I knew and felt; the external circumstances came later. "

The budget for the production was $ 650,000 - three times more than Moore had planned - half of which he raised; afterwards friends and family helped out. He financed it mainly through an inheritance from his grandparents.

Preparations and shooting in Disneyworld / Disneyland

Moore shot the film in Disney theme parks in 2010 without asking permission from the Walt Disney Company . Therefore, he had to keep the work a secret and use guerrilla film techniques that would not make it apparent that it was being filmed. So everyone who worked on the film shouldn't tell anyone, not even close friends, what they were working on. Although the setting in the film is shown as a single park resort, filming took place at both Disneyworld in Orlando for ten days and at Disneyland in Anaheim for two weeks, for which the participants had purchased season passes in order to see them as “normal visitors “To enter, so that a mixture resulted and attractions from both parks can be seen.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II SLR camera

In order not to attract attention as a film crew, intensive preparation and unique steps in the parks were necessary before filming. Moore sums up: "We have to go through the entire film at least eight or nine times in multiple exploratory trips before we even run a camera." Only small groups of the cast entered the parks at a time in order not to attract attention. The cameraman and assistant director conducted intensive site research beforehand and the schedule was carefully planned weeks in advance in accordance with the mapped position of the sun for each shot to compensate for the lack of lighting equipment.

The entire film was shot on handheld Canon EOS 5D Mark II digital SLR cameras , which made it appear as if visitors were documenting their vacation. Moore attributes the fact that the production was never stopped by anyone in the park because one of the most natural acts is to get a camera out and hold it in front of people in the park. The decision to film in black and white was only made by Moore after exploring the locations, which gave him the ghostly and dreamlike atmosphere that he wanted from the start. According to Moore, it felt like he had discovered a secret and hidden world.

One day's dialogues were rehearsed in Moore's hotel room in the morning and stage directions were initially only reviewed with the actors, then with the cameraman while the actors waited for their cue. Recordings were limited to three to four shots in a row before the location was changed so as not to attract attention. Instead of printing out scripts, all information was collected on iPhones and passed on to make it look like the actors were just reading their phone messages, and communication between the cast was via electronic devices so that they could stand further apart and not form a conspicuous group. Smartphones, as well as digital recorders attached to the actors and recording all day long, were also used for sound recordings.

The It's a Small World themed ride was used by the actors and cast at least twelve times while filming non-stop. Moore expressed surprise that the operator did not understand what was going on. For a scene in which figures meet in oncoming carriages of the monorail, they had to use it again and again for hours because Moore could not calculate the exact point in time. It was only on the last day of filming at Disneyland that there was an incident with the security service, who mistook the camera crew for paparazzi and the actors who portray a family in the film as celebrities.

Post production

To maintain secrecy, Moore brought the film to South Korea for post-production , where it kept flying from Los Angeles for two years. There the visual effects were created by the same company that worked on the film The Host . On average , the actual dialogues first had to be selected and filtered from the entire sound recordings of the days. The music was recorded by composer Abel Korzeniowski on the Eastwood stage of Warner Bros. Studios. Although Disney's images and products can be seen throughout the film, the familiar music from the It's a Small World attractions and the Enchanting Tiki Room has been removed and the film shown during the Soarin ride has been replaced.

Demonstration and publication


In 2012, according to Moore, the film was selected by about 25 small foreign film festivals, while Moore believed it would never screen at an American festival. But after producer Chung met a Sundance Film Festival programmer , John Nein, at a Film Independent event in August , Moore received a call three months later that the film had been selected for the festival. He said getting out of all the other festivals in advance for Sundance was difficult. Escape from Tomorrow premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in January in the NEXT section. Moore, who had never attended the Sundance Film Festival before, was surprised that the film was accepted. Festival director Trevor Groth said before the screening that choosing the film had been his highlight and the film had "blown him away". The advertising for the festival did not give details in order not to bring Disney into play, which was likely the reason for some empty seats at the premiere. After the premiere, however, all other screenings were sold out.

The film rights were represented by Producers Distribution Agency, a Cinetic Media company. Its founder John Sloss had already brought the Banksy film Exit Through the Gift Shop , which also contains a sequence secretly filmed in Disneyland, to the Sundance Film Festival in 2010 . Faced with fears that Disney would crack down on the film's distribution, Moore, expecting no standard distribution deal, said, “It's out and no one can change that. […] I made it and it is in the world. That's all I wanted. "Sloss invited for screening at Sundance the legal scholar Tim Wu of Columbia University Law School a.

The film critic Roger Ebert personally selected the film for his film festival, where it was shown on April 20, 2013 a few days after Ebert's death.

Legal questions to answer Disney's

Following the premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, which made the recordings of protected Disney property known, legal action was expected from Disney to prevent the film from being distributed for copyright infringement. At the premiere, Sloss was asked how he would release the film, as Disney was one of the most litigation companies. Brooks Barnes of the New York Times also noted that a strong reaction from Disney could increase public awareness of the film (see Streisand Effect ). Peter Sciretta of SlashFILM believed the film will probably never be available to the public outside of Sundance; In addition to the copyright issues, he also stated that many people appear in the film who have not signed a release. “Real families and children can be seen in the background of almost every setting. None of them gave their permission or knew they were being filmed for a feature film. This also includes those involved in the parks, not just those in costumes. "

In an essay, Tim Wu believed that Disney had a good chance of success in litigation was wrong. The film falls as a "commentary on the common social phenomenon" Disneyworld under a category of fair use , which negates technical copyright infringement, which depends on the intended use of the Disney material. It was not used for embellishment or decoration and also does not replace the viewer's own visit to the park. “There's no real chance anyone would convincingly believe the film is Disney sponsored or affiliated with Disney. The scene in which a princess tries to crush a child seems to eliminate this possibility. "

Entertainment attorney Michael C. Donaldson , who specializes in fair use, reiterated: “There's nothing wrong with making a movie in Disneyland. Each copyright system allows you to use someone else's work to create something new, and Escape from Tomorrow shows the Disney properties in ways they were never intended to be used for. ”Sloss hired Donaldson to take care of insurance for the film. He said the challenge was that instead of just one, the film had all of the problem areas in it; In a letter to the insurer, he had to present the fair use, trademark and public domain case and also covered the case that someone who saw his personal rights violated would sue. While he usually completed letters of this kind within ten days, it took his law firm four months for this one, which had been the longest for them. For the scene with a Siemens scientist, Donaldson Moore suggested using the version not used in the Sundance version, in which his head is cut off and he turns out to be a robot; so no judge could overlook the comment on Siemens.

Contrary to fears, Disney did not respond to the film and requests for comment and did not take legal action; instead it was decided to ignore him. According to The Hollywood Reporter , the strategy was not to pay any attention to the film. Because the movie's allure depends on its reputation for challenging Disney, Disney's shrug of excitement could take the air out. For Matt Goldberg from Collider it is likely that the film will remain a curiosity for film buffs instead of gaining mainstream attention .


After the statements of Wu and Donaldson, which had increased the confidence that the film could be released, offers came from distributors, but Sloss found them "not overwhelming", so Moore accepted Sloss' offer through his Producers Distribution Agency to evict. After the insurance was awarded, marketing started in September 2013 with a trailer and the film poster, which shows a blood-drenched Mickey Mouse- like hand and uses the Disney font for the title.

The film was released in American cinemas on October 11, 2013 and grossed just over $ 170,000 in six weeks. For transparency, John Sloss released box office results after two and a half weeks through video on demand and digital publications, which were around $ 120,000. It was released on DVD and Blu-ray at the end of April 2014.

The film was released in Germany on April 23, 2015.



Escape from Tomorrow received mixed reviews from critics; He has a rating of 57% with Rotten Tomatoes based on 87 reviews and with Metacritic of 58 based on 27 reviews.

Damon Wise from the Guardian writes positively , even if the acting is not perfect and the dream state of the film is too hard, the film has an otherworldly atmosphere that captivates and occupies. He is staging a "subversive satirical attack on the totalitarian nature of mass entertainment." Eric Kohn of IndieWire , who awards the grade A-, describes the film as a "labyrinthine descent into the grotesque extremes of a Disneyfied society" and a "daring venture, literally by Disneyworld." to raid inside. ”Given the production conditions, it is no surprise that some scenes suffer from patchy quality that occasionally detracts from the complex levels of the narrative; at best, the film creates "a phantasmagoric nightmare on a par with something Terry Gilliam could have dreamed of in the days of Brazil ."

Peter Sciretta from Slashfilm is somewhat critical of the fact that it is not a great film, the story has good ideas, but the implementation is uneven. AO Scott of the New York Times writes that the implementation puffs and gasps and lashes out by doing too much of a good thing and running out of breath. "Nothing is as creepy or funny as it should be, but what started as a cunning memorandum to corporate power ends as a muddled and amateurish homage to David Lynch ." Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy complains that there is a lot of redundant and filler material; the film is at least fifteen minutes too long and could be improved by scarcity, but its saving element is the film music.

Most negatively, Michael O'Sullivan of the Washington Post characterizes the film as childish, torn, and sometimes senselessly repulsive, even if there are few moments of disturbingly blatant visual beauty. "Without the legal Bohai, there is hardly anything to be curious about."

Honoring the film music

Film composer Abel Korzeniowski , who also wrote the music for Romeo and Juliet that year, was named composer of the year for both films at the IFMCA Awards, as well as Escape from Tomorrow for best score in a fantasy / science fiction / horror film and the Nominated for the best film music composition of the year. His work has been viewed as a satire on traditional Disney music and has been praised for its sense of irony.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Release certificate for Escape from Tomorrow . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , March 2015 (PDF; test number: 150 478 V).
  2. a b c d e f g Eric Kohn: Sundance 2013: 'Escape From Tomorrow' Director Randy Moore Says “I'm a Product of Disney World” . In: IndieWire . January 27, 2013. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  3. ^ Scott Macauly: The Outlaw Pleasures of Escape from Tomorrow . In: Filmmaker . January 19, 2013. Retrieved April 11, 2021.
  4. Matthew Carey: Why Disney might want to 'Escape From Tomorrow' . In: CNN . January 24, 2013. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  5. a b c d e f g h Steven Zeitchik: Sundance 2013: How did a newbie make an unapproved film in Disney parks? . In: Los Angeles Times . January 19, 2013. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  6. a b c d e f g h Peter Sciretta: 'Escape From Tomorrow': A Feature Film Shot in Disney Theme Parks Without Disney's Permission [Sundance 2013 Review ] . In: slash film . January 21, 2013. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  7. a b Jane Schoenbrun: Five Questions with Escape from Tomorrow Director Randy Moore . In: Film Magazines . January 19, 2013. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  8. a b c Brooks Barnes: It's a Grim World, After All . In: New York Times . January 20, 2013. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  9. a b c d Jason Guerrasio: How the Director of 'Escape From Tomorrow' Made a Crazy Guerrilla Movie In Disney World - And Got Away With It . In: IndieWire . October 9, 2013. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  10. Nan Chalat-Noaker: "Escape" takes audience on horror-filled roller coaster ride . In: Park Record . January 19, 2013. Archived from the original on April 10, 2013. Retrieved on April 12, 2021.
  11. Kate Kulzick: Ebertfest 2013: Day 4 looks at mythology and the difficult road to self-knowledge . In: PopOptiq . Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  12. Tim Wu : It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Disney World . In: New Yorker . January 22, 2013. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  13. Disney Will Ignore Escape from Tomorrow Rather Than Pursue Legal Action . In: Movieweb . September 18, 2013. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  14. ^ Seth Abramovitch: Disney's Non-Strategy Strategy to Combat Unauthorized Disneyland Horror Movie . In: The Hollywood Reporter . September 18, 2013. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  15. ^ Matt Goldberg: Disney to Combat ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW with Indifference Instead of Litigation . In: Collider . September 18, 2013. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  16. Box Office Mojo , accessed April 12, 2021
  17. ^ Paula Bernstein: John Sloss Releases VOD Numbers for 'Escape From Tomorrow'; Urges Other Distributors to Show Us the Numbers . In: IndieWire . October 28, 2013. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  18. Jonathan James: Escape From Tomorrow Blu-ray / DVD Release Date and Cover Art . In: Daily Dead . March 10, 2014. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  19. Maren Koetsier: "Escape from Tomorrow": German trailer premiere for the fantasy horror film secretly shot in Disneyland . In: film starts . March 15, 2015. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  20. Escape from Tomorrow at Rotten Tomatoes (English)
    Escape from Tomorrow at Metacritic (English)Template: Metacritic / Maintenance / Various experts in Wikipedia and Wikidata
  21. Damon Wise: Escape From Tomorrow - first look review . In: The Guardian . January 28, 2013. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  22. Eric Kohn: Sundance Review: 'Escape From Tomorrow' Is a Surreal Indictment of Disneyfied Society That Disney Will Never Let You See . In: IndieWire . January 18, 2013. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  23. AO Scott: Whoa, Are Snow White and Mulan Really Working the Street? . In: New York Times . October 10, 2013. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  24. ^ Todd McCarthy: Escape From Tomorrow: Sundance Review . In: The Hollywood Reporter . January 24, 2013. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  25. Michael O'Sullivan: 'Escape From Tomorrow' movie review . In: The Washington Post . October 10, 2013. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  26. Abel Korzeniowski receives IFMCA Awards for Romeo & Juliet, Composer of the Year . In: IFMCA . Retrieved April 13, 2021.