STRANGE WORLD – Review by Gadi Elkon

Today Disney unveils the feature animation film, STRANGE WORLD.  Our Gadi Elkon thoroughly enjoyed this visually eclectic adventure story and here is the full review!

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ original action-packed adventure “Strange World” introduces a legendary family of explorers, the Clades, as they attempt to navigate an uncharted, treacherous land alongside a motley crew that includes a mischievous blob, a three-legged dog and a slew of ravenous creatures. The voice cast includes Jake Gyllenhaal as Searcher Clade, a family man who finds himself out of his element on an unpredictable mission; Dennis Quaid as Searcher’s larger-than-life explorer father, Jaeger; Jaboukie Young-White as Searcher’s 16-year-old son, Ethan, who longs for adventure; Gabrielle Union as Meridian Clade, an accomplished pilot and Searcher’s partner in all things; and Lucy Liu as Callisto Mal, Avalonia’s fearless leader who spearheads the exploration into the strange world. Helmed by Don Hall (Oscar®-winning “Big Hero 6,” “Raya and the Last Dragon”) and co-director/writer Qui Nguyen (co-writer “Raya and the Last Dragon”) and produced by Roy Conli (Oscar®-winning “Big Hero 6,” “Tangled”), “Strange World” releases November 23, 2022.

Strange World does an amazing job of showing the vast differences and the underlining similarities of our three-generations of Clade males.  The ebb and flow of the father-son dynamic is as pivotal as the visual landscape of the film.  With that said, the beauty of the film is reflective in the way the women in the movie help these Clade men along their harrowing odyssey of the plot.  Rounding out the cast are the adorably aloof three-legged dog, Legend, and the blue being that is ‘Splat’.

Overall, the adventure story is a tried and true arc for a ton of Disney films but their twist to the location is a special treat in this one.  The landscape of the place the Clades inhabit and explore through is visually-stunning in color and scope.  The vast wilderness we are treated to is one of the real highlights of the film.  The vibrant use of color and texture create something unique and fresh for the Disney lexicon.  The journey through the world is so much of the fun of the film.  The intriguing creatures and organic life shown is just alien enough and yet reflective of our earth creatures to give off real fascination.

The real explosive elements and talking points will lean on Ethan Clade’s open and out status.  The way in which the other characters in the film have embraced and accepted Ethan’s sexuality is a huge step for Disney.  In a film about father and son relationships this Clade crew sure can educate, enlighten and inspire.  The way in which the story never harps on this reality of Ethan but allows it to be apart of his life without fear or ramifications is truly impactful.  This part of the story may alienate some but the way it is handled is so commendable and thoughtful.

For the first proudly-open character, Ethan Clade is a real hero.

Just in time for the Holiday season this uplifting adventure is the perfect gift to families and friends alike.  Embrace the journey and don’t miss out on the Clades family adventure that is STRANGE WORLD.

The film is out in theaters TODAY!

 

STRANGE WORLD

Directed by: Don Hall, Qui Nguyen

Written by: Qui Nguyen

Rated: PG

Selig Rating: 4 Stars

Running Time: 1h 42 min

Animation/ Action Adventure

Wide Theatrical Release: Only in theaters November 23.

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Dennis Quaid, Jaboukie Young-White, Gabrielle Union, Lucy Liu

 

The Selig Rating Scale:

5 Stars – Excellent movie, well worth the price.

4 Stars – Good movie

3 Stars – OK movie

2 Stars – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.

1 Star – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.

MEET SPLAT — Walt Disney Animation Studios’ original action-packed comedy adventure “Strange World” introduces a legendary family of explorers, the Clades, as they attempt to navigate an uncharted, treacherous land alongside a motley crew that includes a slew of ravenous creatures, a three-legged dog and a mischievous blue blob called Splat. Helmed by Don Hall (Oscar®-winning “Big Hero 6,” “Raya and the Last Dragon”) and co-director/writer Qui Nguyen (co-writer “Raya and the Last Dragon”), and produced by Roy Conli (Oscar®-winning “Big Hero 6,” “Tangled”), “Strange World” releases November 23, 2022. © 2022 Disney. All Rights Reserved.
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