Fu­ture Fam­ily Ties

Miles from To­mor­row­land,

Animation Magazine - - Tv -

Dis­ney Ju­nior’s new se­ries, on life in outer space. By Tom McLean.

has a heart­felt and emotionally re­al­is­tic take through trans­porta­tion tech­nol­ogy and so­cially through en­gag­ing with alien life forms and cul­tures. The crew also in­cludes Miles’ sis­ter, tech-savvy com­puter coder Loretta, and Merc, a me­chan­i­cal os­trich who is Miles’ best friend.

With 60 11-minute episodes in the first sea­son, the can­vas gave Pal­adino and his crew a lot of room to ex­plore the themes of ad­ven­ture, fam­ily and ex­plor­ing dif­fer­ent cul­tures into the show’s shiny sci-fi pack­age.

Pets and Sib­lings

Miles’ re­la­tion­ships also are very im­por­tant. Miles and Merc have a boy-and-his-dog bond, while Merc be­ing a ro­bot and a pro­tec­tor al­lows Miles to get into more per­ilous sit­u­a­tions. Loretta also plays a key role as the brains to Miles’ brawn. The pro­duc­tion worked with Google on the cod­ing el­e­ment of Loretta’s character. “It in­spired me to write an episode in which Loretta writes com­puter code that helps her find a new planet,” says Pal­adino.

The show also has a NASA con­sul­tant who gives feed­back on the scripts. “It’s al­ways a bal­ance of sci­ence ver­sus fo­cus on the story- telling,” Pal­adino says.

With To­mor­row­land be­ing a clas­sic con­cept in the Dis­ney oeu­vre, stretch­ing all the way back to the orig­i­nal con­cep­tion of Dis­ney­land, Pal­adino says he drew on the orig­i­nal in­spi­ra­tion and a mod­ern take on it rather than any retro ex­pres­sion of it.

“In terms of the over­all look, we wanted it to be re­ally shiny and gleam­ing,” he says. “We were so in­spired by go­ing to SpaceX and NASA, be­cause we saw what the fu­ture looks like.”

That led to con­cepts like “hard light” and an over­all stream­lined and mod­ern de­sign for the show and its de­pic­tion of tech­nol­ogy. “We felt like there should be a re­ally clean look to outer space, and I’ve been re­ally happy with how that’s come out. It’s def­i­nitely been a process of trial and er­ror; mak­ing things both use­ful and, hope­fully, es­thet­i­cally pleas­ing.”

But in the end, Pal­adino says it’s heart that pow­ers the show.

“I think the big­gest sur­prise is how hard it was to bal­ance the ac­tion se­quences, re­ally ex­cit­ing ac­tion se­quences, with a re­ally heart­felt fam­ily story,” says Pal­adino.

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