Bound by a shared destiny, a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor jaded by disillusionment embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory as “Tomorrowland.”
Frank Walker (George Clooney) is talking to an unseen audience about the future when a female voice interrupts him, tell him that his wording is a touch 'bleak.' When the female asks him to think back to when he thought of the future as an optimistic place, he talks about when he went to the 1964 World's Fair in New York City as a child.Young Frank (Thomas Robinson) eagerly enters the Hall of Inventions carrying a very large duffle bag containing his invention: a jet pack he made. Though the judge David Nix (Hugh Laurie) does not show much enthusiasm for the device (which Frank admits doesn't work properly), a little girl named Athena (Raffey Cassidy) seems to think Frank's invention has potential.Outside the hall, Athena catches up with Frank. Giving him a small pin, she requests that he follow her behind a small group. The group also includes Mr Nix, and some guests of his.Putting on the pin, Frank follows the group to the "It's a Small World" attraction, where Frank bypasses the line and boards one of the boats by himself. During the ride, a laser scans his pin, and he's suddenly plunged down a secret chute, underneath the ride. The boat Frank is on then pulls up at a small transport station.After a disorienting ride, Frank finds himself on a foggy platform, but sees a strange flying vehicle taking off nearby, with Athena waving to him. Frank attempts to follow, but finds himself on the edge of a platform. Suddenly, construction robots arise, creating new structures, but knocking Frank down to a lower level. As his jetpack clatters to the platform, a robot nearby suddenly grabs it. Frank fights to get back his invention, but he is surprised when the huge automaton fixes it. However, Frank inadvertently falls from this platform as well, but upon igniting his jetpack, he finds himself soaring amid a gleaming white cityscape unlike anything he's ever seen before. Eventually, he sees Athena and the others, and touches down right in front of Mr Nix…who only seems mildly amused that Frank's invention can actually fly. Even so, Athena gives the young boy a reaffirming smile.Frank then becomes pessimistic again, when the female voice interrupts that he's seeming negative again. When Frank asks if the unnamed voice would like to take over telling the story, it obliges. We are then introduced to Casey Newton (Britt Robertson), who happily proclaims she's 'an optimist.'After a brief glimpse of a young Casey naming stars in the night sky, we cut to the modern day. Late one evening, Casey surreptitiously enters a Cape Canaveral, Florida NASA launch pad that is being demolished. She sabotages three construction cranes. When she returns home, her dad tells her 'the end' of the space shuttle's former launch site is inevitable. Casey still feels she's contributing something with trying to slow down the deconstruction.Unseen by Casey, a dark figure trails her from the NASA site to her home, and quietly slips a small pin into her helmet, dangling from her motorcycle handlebar.The next day, her father Eddie (Tim McGraw) laments how even though he's a NASA engineer, there's very little hope for him to do anything useful. Ever the Optimist, Casey reminds him of the metaphor of two wolves: light and hope, darkness and despair. In the end, as Eddie told Casey, the one who will win, is the one you feed.Casey goes to school, but becomes a bother in all her classes. Her teachers tell of nuclear annihilation, planetary meltdown, and governmental collapse, but Casey just wants to know one thing: "how can we fix it?" However, this question receives no answers.After hearing word that NASA has brought in working equipment from Orlando to continue disassembling the platform, Casey goes out to stop them, but is caught by NASA security.After her father bails her out of jail, Casey collects her things, but is surprised to find a small pin with the letter "T" on it. Picking it up, she is surprised when it seems to transport her to an endless field of wheat, with a futuristic city off in the distance.On the ride home, Casey attempts to show the pin to her father, but when Eddie touches it, nothing happens.Later on that evening, Casey sneaks out of the house, and bicycles to a large field. Touching the pin this time, she finds herself in the center of a dazzling futuristic city, with jetpacks and hovertrains. She also becomes enamored seeing a rocket launch station, and follows a group of space travelers…before the pin suddenly runs out of power, and she finds herself having wandered waist-deep into a lake.Waking up her little brother Nate (Pierce Gagnon), she asks him for help trying to find another pin on the Internet. Their search takes them to a website of Blast From The Past, a store in Houston, Texas. Strangely, they only have a street address, but don't list an email or phone number.Casey tells Nate to cover for her while she takes a bus to Houston to talk to the store owners. The next day, Athena sees Nate in front of their home who asks to see Casey. When Nate attempts to tell Athena that Casey is away, she claims he's lying, and asks where she "really" is.Arriving at Blast From The Past, Casey meets the store owners, Ursula (Kathryn Hahn), and Hugo (Keegan-Michael Key). They tell her that the pin supposedly was a key to showing a world created by some of the greatests geniuses in history, who called themselves Plus Ultra.When the two press Casey for more information on where she got the pin, her claims that she just 'found it' cause the two to get upset. Things take a turn for the strange when the two grab two actual-working laser guns, and attempt to kill her.Casey is saved when Athena appears, stopping the two in their tracks with a time-bomb (a device that stops time temporarily in a 15 foot radius). As the two get free, Casey and Athena fight them, with Athena pulling off Ursula's head, and Hugo being skewered. Both Casey and Athena rush out of the store before Hugo self-destructs, with the small girl then breaking into a car, and allowing the two of them to get away.In the car, Athena tells Casey that the two people they encountered, were Audio-Animatronic figures, and it was she (Athena) who gave Casey the pin. However, the fight has damaged Athena, and Casey panics when she realizes that the little girl is also a robot!Casey attempts to flee with Athena giving chase…but not before a truck slams into the small robot; Casey uses the opportunity to take the truck, but Athena quickly recovers, and chases after Casey, managing to catch up to her' Athena claims she is from the place Casey saw when she touched the pin (which happened to be her last one.), but it may not be there much longer.After a small discussion, Casey is willing to accept that Athena will not harm her. Athena wishes them to drive to Pittsfield, New York, to meet a man named Frank Walker.Back in Houston, Police are combing through the wreckage of the store, when a black van pulls up, and several people get out, led by a smiling man who calls himself Dave Clark (Matthew MacCaull). When one of the officers finds the charred remains of Ursula's head, Dave pulls out a device that disintegrates the nearby officers. Once they are done away with, he informs the other members of his party to contact Governor Nix.Eventually, driving all-night wears Casey out, and she relinquishes the driving duties to Athena…only to awaken on the side of a road, with Athena driving away!Seeing a mailbox nearby with the name "Walker" on it, she ignores the no trespassing sign and comes onto the property. She soon encounters a barking dog, but upon seeing it leaving no paw prints in the dirt, finds that it is simply a realistic hologram.Going to the front door, a man on the other side tells Casey to leave. When she demands to be taken to the place the pin showed, a concussive blast sends her flying backward, and Frank emerges.While she pleads to be taken to the place she saw, Frank tells her it doesn't actually exist. What she saw was a 'commercial' for this place, and they threw him out, and sealed off all ways to get back in.Frank once again tells Casey to leave, but she refuses to. As day turns to night, Casey notices a number of cables leading from the main house, and finds they are all attached to an array of antennas and satellite dishes.Setting a nearby tractor on fire, Casey gets Frank to leave the house, and get inside. Frank manages to put out the fire, but Casey refuses to let him back in until he takes her where she wants to go.Exploring the house, she finds some futuristic-looking devices, and a room showing numerous world and political turmoil, along with a countdown clock, and a 'probability' detector.Frank manages to get back in the house, and attempts to get Casey to leave once again, but she demands to know what she has just been witness to. When Frank realizes she won't just leave, he posits a question: "What if I could tell you the exact day you would die?"Casey claims she'd naturally want to know, but then if she did find out, she wouldn't believe it, and would try to find some way to change the future. Suddenly, the monitors behind her all flicker, and the probability numbers drop by the smallest percentage…but it's still enough to make Frank take notice.Suddenly, sensors indicate intruders, and a black van with dark-suited figures is seen. Frank attempts to fortify his house, but the intruders break in, revealing they are audio-animatronic figures. Frank manages to grab some things and stuff them in a bag, before he and Casey get into a bathtub, which rockets them out of the house as the former inventor self-destructs his birthplace.The tub lands in a nearby pond, and Casey and Frank emerge to find Athena in a truck nearby. The group begins to drive away from the house, but Frank quickly gets into a small argument with Athena.Athena ends up taking them to a television station, hoping Frank can take them to "The Spectacle." Frank at first refuses, but finally relents, willing to accompany them.Leading them into a utility shack, he reveals a secret underground entrance, wherein lies a teleportation machine. As he covers Casey's eyes and ears as part of the teleportation procedure, Frank asks why Athena chose someone like Casey."Because she hasn't given up," the small automaton replies.In a matter of moments, the three are transported to their new location: atop the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, France.After subduing a guard, the group find their way into a small room, wherein are figures of Thomas Edison, Gustave Eiffel, Jules Verne, and Nicola Tesla. Frank claims that the Eiffel tower functions as an antenna, and a secret gateway the men made, as an emergency entrance to reach their secret city. Frank reveals an Edison Tube, that when put on a phonograph, opens a secret entrance.As the group watches, the tower splits in two, becoming a gantry, and a rocketship emerges from a compartment beneath the ground. Getting into the rocket, the three find French robots also attempting to stop them. However, the rocket blasts off before they can get to the three.After breaking free of Earth's gravity, the main compartment of the rocket flips around, and hurtles back towards Earth, breaking through into another dimension.The three emerge near the rocket area that Casey saw in the commercial, only it's desolate and deserted. Seeing a group of vehicles approach, Frank hands Athena a small device: a 1-kiloton bomb the size of a small ball, that she hides in a compartment inside herself. Frank claims they may need it for leverage.As the group watches, a hover train arrives, and Governor Nix emerges, looking just as he did when Frank first met him. Nix exchanges some short 'pleasantries' with Frank and Athena, and is then introduced to Casey. It is here that Frank explains about the probability blip he saw, feeling she can change things.The group then heads to a central tower, with a giant sphere nearby, sending energy into it. A platform transports the group up, with tachyons bathing the group, showing glimpses of things several moments in the future.As the platform rises into the sphere, a globe rises up on a pedestal in the center of the room. Frank shows Casey that it can take people in and out of places, and go backwards and forwards in time, showing people the Earth. Casey tests it out, and Nix is surprised how quickly she adapts to using it.Zeroing in on the NASA landing platform, Casey pushes into the future, but is surprised when the image becomes fuzzy. Pushing forward, she sees fire and smoke. Going over the globe, she sees other things: cities being destroyed, tornadoes and freak thunderstorms, before seeing her family's home underwater.Frank claims that what they see is said to be coming in a month's time or less. Casey is angered as to why Nix hasn't told anyone on Earth about what will happen, but Nix shows no reason to be concerned: what will happen will happen on Earth. The city will survive. When this prompts Casey to ask why Nix doesn't allow those on Earth to come to the city, he counters that there is too great of a risk for humans to destroy it, just like the Earth.Casey then shows her optimism by refusing to give in to what the machine has shown them, when suddenly, the panoramic view brightens, and the environment looks normal. Frank eagerly tells Nix that he has witnessed what he was talking about, but the Governor taps Frank with a device, knocking him out.Frank awakens in a confined room, with Athena and Casey nearby. Athena tells Frank he is once again to be banished, with Casey upset that Frank didn't tell her about the impending end of the world. Frank tells Case that he knows she's 'special,' but her optimism seems to have dried up. Feeling lied to that the pin seemed broadcast into her mind a vision of a bright future…she suddenly comes to a startling conclusion.Frank's antennas and dishes were grabbing feeds of what the device was broadcasting. But what if it the machine isn't just predicting the future…it is causing people to give in to these visions, and just accept what will happen: a self-fulfilling prophecy doomsday device.The three are brought before Nix, who has decided to banish them to a deserted island, via a portal. Frank attempts to tell Nix about what they found out, but he claims that shutting down the sphere won't make any difference. Casey is still upset that given everything they've seen, little glimmers of hope, this futurist can't seem to see reason, before Frank explains that the sphere was Nix's idea (of which Frank helped to assemble it).Nix's idea was reasonable: broadcast a future in which humanity would be galvanized to do something about what they believed would happen…but instead, all the visions did was make people accept what they saw, and give in. They repackaged what they saw into media, and seemed to care only for the here-and-now, never willing to consider what their actions could mean for the future.The three are about to be put through the portal, when Frank activates the sphere's lift via the controls on Nix's watch. As the two struggle, Frank tells Athena to use the 1-kiloton device to blow up the sphere.However, Nix activates two robots, and Athena is detained. Tossing the device to Casey, she climbs onto the platform. She manages to arm the device, but during Frank's struggle, Nix manages to keep the platform from ascending. With the device armed, and no way up, Casey hurls the device through the portal, with Athena shutting it just before it explodes. However, the blast loosens a piece of architecture, and it crashes down on Nix's leg, pinning him to the ground.Suddenly, Athena sees Nix shoot Frank with a laser gun…only to see it was a tachyon glimpse of the future. Seeing the real thing unfold before her, she rushes into the line of fire, and takes the blast.Frank attempts to get Athena to a repair station, but she tells him she can't be repaired. As she begins to shut down, Athena reveals to Frank glimpses of her memory, via logs:one tells of how she fears what will happen when he finds out she isn't human, but wishes to support him, as it seems she helps spur on his creativity. – another tells how she may be having emotions towards him, but has decided not to report this.the final transmission, shows the year 1984, in which Frank was exiled from Tomorrowland, blaming Athena for what happened.