In its second season, “Miles from Tomorrowland” is an animated space adventure Disney Junior series that takes place in the year of 2501. It follows the lives of the Callisto family, 7-years-old Miles (Justin Felbinger), his older sister Loretta (Fiona Bishop), and their parents Phoebe (Olivia Munn) and Leo (Tom Kenny). They are a part of the Tomorrowland Transit Authority (TTA) on a mission to connect the universe.
I had a chance to talk with the show’s executive producer, Sascha Paladino. When creating the idea of the show, Paladino found the film “The Last Starfighter” as a great inspiration.
“It’s such a cool movie because there’s an idea where a kid could go to outer space. I love the idea that any kid could have this amazing adventure. That always stayed in my mind when creating the movie,” Paladino said.
As a child, he found science and space to be a fascinating subject, yet drifted closer to the arts. Miles from Tomorrowland gave him an opportunity to expand outside of the arts.
“When I was pitching the show, I thought, I’d love to put myself in a place where I can learn all the science that I never did when I was younger,” Paladino said. “When I make TV shows, one of the things I like doing is taking things complex and making them very accessible and fun for kids. I figured it’d be a good thing for me and the audience.”
Jeremy Hsiao with executive producer Sascha Paladino from “Miles from Tomorrowland”
Photo Credit: Andy Hsiao
As inspiration for each episode, Paladino combines both fact and science fiction to make the show relatable, informational, and excitable for children. For research, he regularly meets with an engineer from the NASA Jet Propulsion Labs (JPL).
“We’ll come up with stories that we want to see the characters go through with personal stories and then find the science that fits, organically,” Paladino said. “On the other side, I think ‘[the possibility of] raining diamonds, oh that’s a really cool science fact,’ then we build our story around that.”
The show has received positive reviews from viewers worldwide for the unique characters, diversity, and the breaking of stereotypes.
“We try to put positive role models out there. It’s exciting when people notice that. For example, the captain of the ship is the mom. We wanted that to be an important element, since we haven’t seen female captains a lot,” Paladino said. “Miles and Loretta are Asian American, so we want it to be a fact of life that they are a biracial family. It’s really cool when people notice that.”
Paladino offers advice to students pursuing their dream of becoming a storyteller and finding inspiration in the world around us.
“Tell as many stories as you can. Try to be near as many storytellers that you like as possible whether that means going to plays or movies, or things that inspire you,” Paladino said. “There’s such a great tradition of artists being inspired by other artists. I think the best thing to do, as a kid, is to expose yourself to as much as possible and things that you may not necessarily like. That can often lead to inspiration when you’re out of your comfort zone.”
Disney Studio Animators working on the next episode of “Miles from Tomorrowland”
Photo Credit: Andy Hsiao