Official Site :: Case Study


Walt Disney famously said, "If you can dream it, you can do it." Decades later, Disney's optimistic vision for the future resurfaces with Tomorrowland, an original action adventure film, the namesake of the renowned theme park attraction. Releasing Tomorrowland amidst a crowded field of sequels and superhero franchises, Disney needed help marketing the film - an original story about a miraculous place where nothing is impossible.

Disney envisioned Tomorrowland as a four-quadrant event aimed at general audiences and families, while secondarily targeting fanboys, teens, tweens, sci-fi/fantasy buffs, tech enthusiasts and Disney fans. Disney approached AvatarLabs to build a clean, minimalist, responsive website that would showcase the film’s fun, adventure and sense of wonder while leaning into its incredible visuals and the strong pedigree of actors George Clooney and Hugh Laurie, writer Damon Lindelof, and director Brad Bird.


Dovetailing with Disney's marketing and publicity timelines, AvatarLabs planned a website that would launch in two phases - the first as a teaser to support the initial trailer launch, and the second as a full site that would broaden audience awareness, deepen engagement, and dive further into the story, the characters and the breathtaking visuals. Although the website would support a simple interface - an HTML build compliant with Disney's SEO and URL guidelines - it would employ AvatarLabs' award-winning animation and video expertise to fully leverage the futuristic aesthetic of this story world.


Launching with the initial trailer in March 2015, the teaser website presented users with the opportunity to take in the synopsis, the trailer and a gallery of production stills. Users hovered their cursor over the title treatment to prompt the navigation menu, an animated sequence that ignited further curiosity and exploration around the narrative, visuals and technologies. In peeling back the curtain to this incredible world filled with futuristic technology, gadgets, and vehicles, the teaser site embraced the optimistic tone and visual aesthetic that set the film apart from Hollywood’s post-apocalyptic fare.

In May 2015, AvatarLabs launched the second phase with the goal of better acquainting general audiences with the stakes of the story and characters within. The refresh built upon the foundation of its predecessor with the inclusion of music from the score, expansion of the synopsis, and the addition of new content sections, including Characters, Video, Downloads, Soundtrack and more.

Perhaps the most striking element of the refresh was the video and animation work that went into enriching the user experience. To bring the Characters section to life, for example, AvatarLabs' video production specialists used trailer edits to feature clips of each character in lieu of stills, editing transitions to match the motion of each clip. Similarly, AvatarLabs' in-house animators enhanced the visual continuity of page backgrounds with motion sequences, breathing new life into still images of wheat blowing in the wind, and adding a vibrant sheen to the landing page art.

Beyond driving audiences to theaters, the website fulfilled an auxiliary mission as a strategic marketing vehicle aimed at Disney evangelists. The Soundtrack section, for example, linked out to Amazon.com to facilitate track purchases, while the Disneyland 60 section promoted a 60th anniversary Diamond Celebration promotion to eventize and incentivize theme park attendance. The Downloads section activated Disney fans on social media by leveraging the key art and title treatment to encourage social sharing – something a film as personal and unique as Tomorrowland leveraged throughout its campaign.


Lauded by Disney-philes for its original premise and visual richness amidst a summer slate of sequels, Tomorrowland finished first at the Memorial Day weekend box office with $41.7 million en route to grossing over $208 million worldwide.