LOS ANGELES: Human disconnect, social isolation and the transition to an increasingly digital era come crashing together in “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” actor-director Ben Stiller’s personal take on a classic story.

“Walter Mitty,” out in theaters on Christmas Day, finds Stiller not just reimagining the character made famous from author James Thurber’s 1939 short story of the same name in The New Yorker magazine, but redefining what Walter Mitty has come to represent in popular culture.

Walter Mitty is described by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “a commonplace unadventurous person who seeks escape from reality through daydreaming,” and is often used to describe people who imagine themselves greater than they are in reality. Stiller’s Walter Mitty is different. A middle-aged man trapped by financial responsibility, Walter is a photo archivist at the dwindling Life magazine, a job that is being replaced by machines. Shy, sheltered and reserved, he is isolated from the environment around him.–Reuters