Disney delivers a visual feast

Disney is unmatched when it comes to creating exceptionally detailed, original and bold animated environments. Now add a new word to this list of descriptors: weird. Because the latest adventure film from House of Mouse “Strange World” lives up to its title.

Our unknown land is Avalonia and our heroes are the Clade family, famous explorers led by a rugged patriarch named Jaeger (Dennis Quaid). On a snowy journey with his son Searcher (Jake Gyllenhaal) to finally reach the other side of the adjacent mountains, Jaeger disappears. Meanwhile, Curious Searcher discovers a mysterious plant-like energy source and returns home without a father.

Movie review

Running time: 102 minutes. Rated PG (Action/Danger and some thematic elements.) In theaters.

Twenty-five years later, that luminous substance, Pando, has allowed Avalonia to thrive, making Searcher and his presumed-dead father local legends. But when the pando suddenly begins to die, Searcher, his teenage son Ethan (Jaboukie Young-White, so talented and who should star in big live-action movies) and his wife Meridian (Gabrielle Union) go on an expedition to save their save fuel destruction.

Then, like Charlie Bucket entering Willy Wonka’s chocolate shop, we encounter a fantastical, vast subterranean land of pink, orange and blue globules, sea anemone-like creatures and floating islands. You fly through it in an airship. A light-hearted version of Pandora from Avatar, this mesmerizing landscape marks the rare occasion where Walt Disney Animation Studios has visually matched Pixar.

"strange world" introduces a visually rich, stunning new land.
Strange World introduces a visually rich, stunning new land.
The Clade family is shocked to discover a magical new land that delivers fantastic visuals in Disney's Strange World.
The Clade family is shocked to discover bizarre creatures in Disney’s Strange World, which makes for fantastic visuals.

Searcher always thought Ethan would emulate his literal personality and eventually follow in his sane footsteps as a farmer, but—uh oh—he’s starting to see the shadows of an aspiring explorer in him. His biggest fear is that his son might be a miniature hunter after all.

While Strange World, directed by Don Hall and Qui Nguyen, is about overcoming dangers to reach a distant goal, the greater danger lies in the father-son feuds that span three generations. Your goal is to find the source of Pando – and some similarities.

The story itself isn’t quite as stunning as its aesthetic. Relationships could be more strained and not as easy to repair. Setup is also too easy. Disney’s Encanto, on the other hand, was also about living up to one’s family’s expectations, but with far more ingenuity and a burst of surprise.

Jaeger (voiced by Dennis Quaid), Searcher (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Ethan (Jaboukie Young-White) become friends with a blue blob inside "strange world."
Jaeger (voiced by Dennis Quaid), Searcher (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Ethan (Jaboukie Young-White) befriend a bruise in Strange World.

In other areas the film is too crowded. A lovable sidekick, for example, is the family’s three-legged dog. But later another fun character is introduced in the form of a wobbly blue gingerbread man. We can’t get enough of either.

Strange World is nonetheless a cute sci-fi family movie with a loud pro-environmental message (speaking of Avatar) that’s a lot of fun. It’s also nicely self-contained. Disney loves a sequel – look no further than the awful Disenchanted – but they’d do well to keep Strange World at a sympathetic one-and-done.

https://nypost.com/2022/11/22/strange-world-review-disney-delivers-a-visual-feast/ Disney delivers a visual feast

Emma Bowman

Emma Bowman is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Emma Bowman joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with Emma Bowman by emailing EmmaBowman@ustimetoday.com.

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