Strange World (2022)
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In Avalonia, a land surrounded by an endless wall of mountains, Jaeger Clade and his fifteen-year-old son Searcher are adventurers who brave the wilderness to explore new worlds. While trying to traverse the mountains, Searcher discovers a green plant that gives off energy. Searcher and the rest of the expedition team decide to return to Avalonia with the plant while Jaeger angrily continues his mission alone. Twenty-five years later, a now forty-year-old Searcher has made a name for himself by introducing the miracle plant, dubbed Pando, as a fuel source for Avalonia. He and his wife Meridian are Pando farmers, while their son, Ethan, has a crush on his friend Diazo and chafes at his father's expectation that he will become a farmer as well.
The Venture crash-lands in a subterranean world, and Searcher and Legend are separated from the group. They are attacked by a creature called a \"Reaper\", but are rescued by Jaeger, who has been living underground all these years. He has been trying to cross the mountains from below, but is blocked by an acidic ocean, and states his intention to board the Venture to attempt to cross it. Meanwhile, Ethan sneaks away from the Venture to find his father. He befriends an amorphous blue creature, naming it Splat, before being reunited with Searcher, Legend and Jaeger. They are attacked by more Reapers, but are rescued by Meridian and Callisto and return to the Venture.
Searcher insists on completing their mission, while Jaeger wants to continue journeying across the Strange World. Ethan becomes frustrated with them and their opposing worldviews. After another wild encounter, Searcher and Jaeger finally have a heart-to-heart talk and realize that they do respect each other's goals in life. Eventually they find a cluster of Pando's roots, which is being attacked by the Strange World's creatures.
The miracle plant Pando is named after a forest in Utah in America. For the worlds both beyond the land and below the giant creature, the land of Avalonia was given an orange-and-white color scheme to contrast with the titular strange world inside the creature, for which the filmmakers chose red and magenta for the lung forest. They created a way for the character Splat to communicate non-verbally, like the magic carpet in Aladdin.
Strange World was the most watched movie worldwide on Disney+ on the last week of 2022 and the first two weeks of 2023. It topped the Disney+ chart in almost every country where it was available.
Peter Debruge of Variety wrote \"it's the characters as much as the environment that make this vibrant, Journey to the Center of the Earth-style adventure movie colorful and diverse in all the best ways. Great as the people and places they explore may be, however, the relatively unimaginative story consigns this gorgeous toon to second-tier status ... instead of cracking the pantheon of Disney classics.\" Lovia Gyarke of The Hollywood Reporter praised the visuals, writing it was \"meticulously and wondrously rendered by the Strange World animators, who drew much of their inspiration from pulp magazines of the 30s and 40s. There's a painterly feel to the landscape, which, combined with the film's sci-fi bent, might trigger memories of Disney's Treasure Planet.\" Tracy Brown of the Los Angeles Times also praised the visuals as \"vibrant, weird, visually stunning... From its lush palette to its cute and deadly flora and fauna, this strange, mysterious world is very much deserving of its status as the film's title character.\"
Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote the film is not in the same category as \"Frozen, Zootopia and Encanto, it's a family-friendly fun fest with the expected ingredients of fast-paced action, ingenious visuals, terrific voice performances and, yes, some heaping spoonfuls of upbeat messaging about family ties, the importance of being true to oneself and how we should all take great measures to take care of not only each other but the world in which we live, no matter how STRANGE that world might be.\" Brian Truitt of USA Today gave the film three stars out of four, stating Strange World is \"an enjoyable piece of vibrant world building that steps away from the musical bent of recent non-Pixar efforts like Encanto and the Frozen flicks.\" Odie Henderson of The Boston Globe praised the film's environmental and father-son messages, as well as the \"excellent voice-over work plus the score by Henry Jackman make the preachiness palatable and the film fun. The look of Avalonia's underworld is a lovely distraction; its garish and bright pinks, reds, and greens look lifted from the colored roofs of a suburban New Jersey neighborhood in the 1970s.\"
Walt Disney Animation Studios' \"Strange World\" tells the story of three generations of Clade men, starting with brash adventurer Jaeger Clade (Dennis Quaid) who drags his son Searcher (Jake Gyllenhaal) along on his expeditions. Jaeger is a celebrated hero dedicated to a lifelong quest to be the first to pass over the mountain range that has kept their homeland, Avalonia, isolated from the rest of the world.
The last original Disney titles to make a substantial mark over that valuable five-day holiday gateway period were \"Moana\" in 2016 and Pixar's \"Coco\" in 2017. Each were successes, but their worldwide take was dwarfed by the Thanksgiving weekend earnings of \"Frozen II,\" which hit $123.7 million. The sequel would go on to rake in $1.45 billion at the global box office.
Even last year's award-season darling \"Encanto\" had a relatively wan Thanksgiving opening weekend gross of $40 million, blamed in part on Disney's decision to make it available to its streaming service subscribers a month after it hit theaters. That said, it still went on to make $256 million in worldwide ticket sales, owing much of its success to its appeal to markets across the Spanish-speaking diaspora.
As STRANGE WORLD begins, adventurer Jaeger Clade (voiced by Dennis Quaid) is trying to find a safe new home for the people of Avalonia, with his crew and his teen son, Searcher (Jake Gyllenhaal), in tow. When Searcher finds a magical, power-giving plant, everyone on the mission -- except Jaeger -- believes they should settle there. Instead, Jaeger insists on continuing beyond the mountains, leaving his son behind. Twenty-five years later, Avalonia has thrived thanks to the plant that young Searcher discovered. Called pando, it sustains the entire community's infrastructure. Searcher, a pando farmer, has a wife, Meridian (Gabrielle Union), and a 16-year-old son, Ethan (Jaboukie Young-White), who -- despite not knowing his grandfather -- dreams of adventure. When Searcher and Ethan realize that there's a blight on the pando crop, they embark on a mission with commander Callisto Mal (Lucy Liu) to determine what's causing the crops to die. They find a mysterious underground world where everything around them is a living, and potentially hostile, being. And Searcher and Ethan soon make an even more shocking discovery.
This nostalgic homage to sci-fi adventures has a moving intergenerational storyline, positive diverse representation, and two adorable sidekicks. Filmmakers Don Hall and Qi Nguyen focus on the family relationships between Ethan, his parents, and his grandfather. The environmentalist-friendly story offers plenty of laughs and fuzzy feels courtesy of Legend -- the family's big, lovable, three-legged dog, who's boisterous and befriends everyone -- and Splat, the blob-like, featureless being that Ethan discovers in the seemingly magical world. (Both will absolutely add to the delight of younger and dog-loving viewers.) Although the plot is mostly man-centered, the two main women characters, Meridian and Callisto, are hyper-capable, tough, and courageous. Union particularly stands out as Ethan's no-nonsense, supportive mom.
Strange World's visuals are vibrant and cotton candy-colored as the new world comes to life around the curious Avalonians. The world-building includes peril at every turn, but, aside from one somewhat humorous implied death, the danger is never too overwhelming. It's disappointing that there's been controversy over the fact that the film includes Ethan's crush on a boy (and his family's complete support of that fact), which is roughly equivalent to the cute date depicted in Inside Out. If anything, Disney deserves credit for promoting an inclusive story that isn't preachy or overwrought. Because this isn't a story about a teenager coming out or being gay -- it's a story about saving your home and repairing generational relationships.
Despite the shortcomings of its plot, the graphics of the movie were certainly a high point. The fantasy world in Strange World is undeniably breathtaking and quintessentially strange. The creative vision behind depicting the lungs, heart, and other organs of a living creature as forests, mountains, and other natural forms was impressive and perfectly matched the funky and eccentric tone of the film. Furthermore, the geometric inspiration behind the amorphous creatures that inhabit the fantasy world in Strange World was an idiosyncratic point that seemed unique to the new animation. The mismatched combination of abstract and hyperrealistic elements created a unique blend of realism and complete fantasy that made the world all the more strange. The one-dimensional and simple nature of the amorphous creatures in contrast to the three-dimensional and complex background produced a mind-boggling contrast effect. The film truly lived up to its title in terms of its graphics.
Although it had a $180 million budget, the Disney animated adventure feature StrangeWorld has picked up only (as of Tuesday) $18.8 million domestically and $9.4 million worldwide, for a total of $28.2 million, according to the latest information on Box Office Mojo. 59ce067264