MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Strange World’ — Another Mediocre Effort By Disney

Do you remember when Disney used to make classic animated movies? It seems like a long time ago to me. In my opinion, the last good Disney animated film was “Zootopia,” and the last from Pixar was “Coco.” Now it seems that Disney doesn’t think or care about the most important aspect of any of their movies, which is the story.

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Jaeger Clade (Dennis Quaid) is a brave explorer who leads an expedition team to find life outside the land of Avalonia. He is accompanied by his less than brave son, Searcher (Jake Gyllenhaal), who accidentally stumbles upon an energy production plant he names Pando. Jaeger wants to move on, but Searcher feels it is more important to return home in order to use this new energy source to provide power and technological advancements for their entire village. Years later, Avalonia has become a small utopia thanks to Pando’s discovery. One day, Searcher discovers that something is infecting and killing the Pando, and if something is not done to stop the infection, Pando may disappear. Searcher goes on a new expedition below the surface in order to find the root of the problem. He is joined by his wife Meridian (Gabrielle Union), his son Ethan (Jaboukie Young-White), and a group of explorers. They must encounter a strange new world in order to prevent a life-shattering disaster.

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I will say that “Strange World” is more enjoyable than Lightyear, but that’s not saying much, either. We can tell that this movie would be a tough sell just from the trailers that were released. It’s just another average Disney movie. At most, ten people showed “Strange World” and no enthusiasm. It’s great that “Wonderland” is a strange world, but it also needs to be a beautiful world and, more importantly, an interesting world so that audiences don’t get bored. The designs are not very interesting, and everything looks too similar. There is plenty of pink and orange in this world. The creatures are either plasma or squid in design and, again, lack any kind of interest. One of the main characters, Splat, is just a walking blue slime. I will give Disney credit for allowing this creature to express itself through pantomime instead of giving it an annoying celebrity voice to communicate with other characters.

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There are many messages in this film. The main message is about saving the environment, but the other has to deal with fathers and sons. The two fathers in this film have planned their sons’ futures for them without giving them a choice. And the arguments back and forth that lead to the acceptance of their sons ​​​​​​and their dreams in the end. “Strange World” also introduces the first openly gay main character in a Disney animated film.

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As far as dealing with Ethan’s sexuality, it’s nice to see that Ethan never has to struggle or worry about being accepted by his family or society. It is also important to note that Ethan’s character is not defined by his sexuality, but by who he is as an individual and what he dreams of achieving. Ethan is not perfect, unlike other characters in the film. He fails sometimes, but he never gives up and keeps trying. And because of this attitude, most people will be able to identify with Ethan, and he is the most likeable character in the film.

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“Strange World” does a good job with messages about saving the environment and acceptance, but the story must always come first. Focusing on writing a compelling story should always be Disney’s primary goal. If Disney wants to insert messages or opinions on society in their movies, do it later, but don’t overdo it, and never preach to your audience. Finally, an audience must leave entertained. Hopefully, moving forward, Disney will start entertaining us more.

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I give Strange World a 6/10.

Editor’s Note: This article contains the opinion of the author, Joe Hogarty. This opinion may or may not coincide with the opinion of WDWNT LLC, Tom Corless, or anyone else on this planet. Feel free to voice your own opinion in the comments section below.

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