A lot of people have been throwing many a varied opinion around about Tomorrowland and its perceived quality or lack thereof. But regardless of your thoughts on the film as a whole itself, one thing is fairly certain: it is the perfect little feminist primer film for any young girl in your life. If you want them to be inspired by intelligent, strong, and movie-saving young girls who save the world simply by being themselves, this is the film you should take them to see.
The heroes of the film are two young girls: Athena, the robot in charge of recruiting the brightest minds on Earth and Casey Newton, a whipsmart, optimistic genius type who’s tasked with saving the world — both in its present and future iterations. Both girls are shown not only as free-thinking, independent types with autonomy all their own (yes, even the robot has autonomy), but they’re strength comes from their intelligence and wit rather than relying on outdated tropes like “feminine wiles” or other equally as offensive stereotypes. These girls buck ’em and the grain as far as their interests are concerned.
Casey is introduced as a bit of a rule-breaker, but one with an incredible gift: that of optimistic determination. Her co-conspirator in the film, Frank (played by George Clooney), was originally viewed by Athena as a potential savior of the future and present of earth. But when Casey comes around — with her far higher score on their fancy, made-up intelligent-future-savers test (obviously that’s not the official name) — that “guaranteed” future of destruction becomes less so, thanks to her belief in the possibility of anything.
Add Athena to that and you can see a secure future is suddenly possible under their tutelage. Athena is an equally as powerful force as Casey: from her ass-kicking takedown of the bad robots’ toy store to her decision to go against David Nix (Hugh Laurie)’s wishes and invite Frank to Tomorrowland. Her independent tenacity goes against everything that is deemed practical, logical, and “the way.”
What makes it all even better? The film doesn’t make a big deal that they’re girls. They’re never sexualized, nor is their relationships to the men in the movie a main focus at any point. They’re not Strong Female Characters and put up on a pedestal for it. They’re just human beings trying to be the best they can to create the best future possible. The film operates on their abilities to see the future as it can be, not what it’s expected to be according to all those lame, jaded adults. And it’s only through that the world might actually be saved.
Which is exactly what makes Tomorrowland worthy, ultimately. Whether or not you believe the film has merits on a storytelling level, the characterization of these two young girls is wildly extraordinary because it allows them to be more than their gender. And for that reason it’s a must-see for any young girl. Growing up it was hard to find such nuanced, exciting young girls on screen, and now that they’re there, they should be celebrated for their step forward that they are in the quest to create equality in the representations and perceptions of women on screen. Start ’em young and just imagine the possibilities. Because they’re endless.
GIF Image: Giphy 
Alicia Lutes is the Associate Editor of Geek & Sundry. Find her on the Tweet Machine @alicialutes.