Home Strange World (Subtitled)

Strange World (Subtitled) (PG)

Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Lucy Liu, Gabrielle Union, Alan Tudyk, Jaboukie Young-White
Genre: Comedy
Author(s): Qui Nguyen
Director: Don Hall, Qui Nguyen
Release Date: 23/11/2022
Running Time: 102mins
Country: US
Year: 2022

Searcher Clade is a 40-year-old farmer in the kingdom of Avalonia, who tends a sprawling plot to provide for his crop-dusting pilot wife Meridian and teenage son Ethan. Out of the blue, the Clades receive a visit from Callisto Mal, the leader of Avalonia. She desperately needs Searcher's expertise to avert ecological disaster. Meridian, Ethan and the family's three-legged dog Legend join Searcher on a daredevil descent into uncharted territory.


LondonNet Film Review

Strange World (PG) Film Review from LondonNet

There are many strange and wondrous sights in the world imagined by Don Hall’s rollicking adventure, co-directed by screenwriter Qui Nguyen. Luminous pink terror-dactyls soar over lizard-shaped inflatable clouds while lolloping transportasauruses shed healing orange orbs to counteract damage inflicted by tentacled beasts called reapers. Perhaps the strangest of them all is that it has taken almost 100 years since Walt and Roy Disney co-founded their studio for an openly gay character to be at the emotional heart of a feature-length animation. It’s a long overdue, small step forward for diversity and LGBTQ+ representation in mainstream family-oriented media, treating a boy’s sweet and goofy crush on a male classmate with the same humour and sensitivity as any other adolescent romance, as it should be…

Love is many-splendored, especially in animation, a medium that invites us to swoon at the courtships of a bookworm and a beast, a mermaid and a prince, two lonely robots on 22nd-century Earth and a princess and a frog. Strange World harnesses its warmth and power from relatable family dynamics and a spirited odyssey that splices together an original story with strands of creative DNA from Journey To The Centre Of The Earth, Fantastic Voyage and Jurassic Park. Tear ducts get a light workout compared to recent Disney offerings such as Encanto but action and comedy trade backslaps throughout in a similar fashion to Hall and Nguyen’s previous collaboration, Raya And The Last Dragon.

Searcher Clade (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a 40-year-old farmer in the kingdom of Avalonia, who tends a sprawling plot to provide for his crop-dusting pilot wife Meridian (Gabrielle Union) and teenage son Ethan (Jaboukie Young-White). There is little excitement in Searcher’s life beyond the harvesting of pardo, an electrically-charged green crop which supplies power to every home and business in the realm. Searcher discovered this miraculously plant-based energy source 25 years ago during an ill-fated expedition with his explorer father Jaeger (Dennis Quaid), who disappeared attempting to scale the ring of snow-capped peaks that encircle Avalonia.

Out of the blue, the Clades receive a visit from Callisto Mal (Lucy Liu), the leader of Avalonia. She desperately needs Searcher’s expertise to avert ecological disaster. Meridian, Ethan and the family’s three-legged dog Legend join Searcher on a daredevil descent into uncharted territory, where the clan befriends an amorphous blue entity they affectionately christen Splat.

Strange World assuredly navigates three generations of father-son relationships in a futuristic setting that allows animators’ imaginations to run amok. Visuals are ravishing and exquisitely detailed especially the movement of hirsute characters on two and three legs. Nguyen’s script pokes fun at Disney’s corporate model (an Avalonian crew member encounters Splat and giggles, “It’s so cute, I want to merchandise it!”) while addressing serious issues of climate change and sustainability in an easily digestible manner for young audiences.

– Sarah Lee


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