Strange World review

Ready to embark on an adventure? Good because Disney is back at the cinemas with their newest animated feature: Strange World, and I had the privilege to attend the multimedia screening for the film over the weekend. It's been a while since most of us last experienced the magic of a Disney animated film at the cinema due to covid, so get ready to embrace Strange World. Strange World is the perfect adventure movie that will leave audiences feeling like an explorer, whether you're a child or an adult you'll be inspired to discover hidden wonders and fulfil your dreams. It's so good to have Disney back on the big screen! Read on for my full spoiler free review.

Join the multigenerational Clade family, there's the explorer grandfather Jaeger Clade (Dennis Quad), his farmer son Searcher Clade (Jake Gyllenhaal), Searchers wife and pilot Meridian Clade (Gabrielle Union) and their son Ethan Clade (Jaboukie Young-White) as they venture to save their planet Avalonia. The family along with the president of Avalonia Callisto Mal (Lucy Liu) embark on a journey to discover what is killing their power source, the mission takes them into the very heart of their land. The narrative is a straight up traditional adventure film, in parts reminiscent of the Disney films Treasure Planet (2002) and Atlantis (2001). Strange World a perfect example of its genre, whilst challenging the stereotypical explorer figure. Jaeger represents the old-school explorer, armed and brave, Searcher is more of a discoverer less guided by destiny and legacy than his father and Ethan represents a newer type of explorer with traits of his father and grandfather but with a more environmental purpose. The incredible thing about Strange World is its hidden themes that transfer to reality (something Disney and Pixar movies are known for), the inclusion of the environment resounds in a powerful way. 

The film is not just a clever commentary on the current state of the environment, it has hope and big laughs aplenty. The Clade family dog is a highlight and reminded me of my dog, its goofy ways creating a lot of joy within the audience. Splat is also a great non-human sidekick. The voicecast are faultless throughout. But what really makes Strange World such a success is its ability to fully capture the interactions that take place within a family, that between husband and wife, teen and parents, grandparent and grandson, and adult children with the parent. This brilliant representation of family, the complexities and depth are relatable. The jokes, the familiarity, the emotion between these characters is probably the most realistic in any Disney movie. This relatability is carried through into representation, in which the film is unapologetic. A modern film, with modern characters and themes, perfect for a modern audience. An audience that will be able to relate with at least one character onscreen, teen viewers and their parents will find this film particularly relatable. 

Visually Disney has really hit its stride with the 3D computer-animation style, Strange World is full of colour, vivid backgrounds and texture. Part of me still misses the old-style animation pre-Tangled (2012), even though it's been ten years since Disney started using 3D animation I still I had to adjust to the style in the first few minutes of Strange World. The cleverness of the visuals within the film becomes apparent within the final moments, and I have no plans for spoiling the big plot point of the film, but suddenly when the twist happens every creature and piece of mise-en-scene make sense. The impact of which is mind-blowing.

Overall, Strange World is a must watch. Pure adventurous fun, full of relatable characters, laughs, representation and a very cute dog. It feels like we are entering a new era of Disney amination films, one that nails its characters, is reminiscent of the films I grew up with whilst fully capturing society and current issues. Sadly, I have noticed not huge amounts of promotion for Strange World, which is a massive shame, hopefully audiences will flock to the cinema over the next few winter weeks and discover another magically Disney film. 

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Thank you for reading xx

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