Strange World Movie Review: Jake Gyllenhaal’s Animated Adventure is An Uninspired Romp Falling Short of Disney’s Magic (LatestLY Exclusive)

Strange World Movie Review: A Disney animated film with a stacked cast and an adventurous plot, Strange World for sure sounded like another hit from the house of the mouse. Sadly, it turned out to be a commercialised romp that never truly captured the Disney magic that we have come to known and expect. A plot that has been done a million times with a sense of predictability that never makes for any serious stakes, this Jake Gyllenhaal-starrer sure was a strange time. The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special Review: James Gunn’s Marvel Presentation is a True Festive Cheer! (LatestLY Exclusive).

Directed by Don Hall, Strange World focuses on the Clade family. Living on the land of Avalonia, Searcher Clade (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a humble farmer who saved the nation once by discovering Pando, a plant with energy stored inside of it. Living with his family, he tries to have a normal life, but when the existence of Pando gets threatened, he must embark on a journey to the mysterious depths of Avalonia to discover the root cause of the issue, which also gets him to face his estranged father Jaeger Clade (Dennis Quaid) 20 years after latter  went missing.

A Still From Strange World (Photo Credits: Disney)

Strange World is very much a father-and-son story at the core of it. In an opening that showcases the complicated relationship between Jaeger and his son with him wanting Searcher to just be an explorer like him and disregarding his wishes, this is a plot that we have already seen many times in different films. Searcher, while raising his son Ethan (Jaboukie Young-White), slowly realises that he is doing the same thing with his son too and this theme becomes a mainstay that never really evokes a feeling of anything new.

This leads into the problem with the writing where every character ends up feeling one-dimensional. I love my Disney characters with parental issues; however, I don’t want them at the cost of a plot that comes with a generic dressing of set pieces sprinkled throughout the film.

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Pains me to say this, but Jake Gyllenhaal’s voice performance in Strange World ends up feeling bland and doesn’t provide for an interesting take. Same goes for Dennis Quaid who portrays the huff-and-buff Jaeger Clade, feeling like an uninspired motivation to further the protagonist’s story, rather than someone who is dealing with his own issues of being a man lost-in-time.

Jaboukie Young-White’s Ethan tries to add a bit of excitement to Strange World, unfortunately, he is let down by uninspired writing as well. While the bit of representation of him being openly gay is appreciated, Strange World does the bare-minimum with it which just felt like an executive ticking down a long-demanded checklist. This can be said for the film itself too. There are moments sprinkled throughout the story that feel as commercialised as they come.

A Still From Strange World (Photo Credits: Disney)

Ditching the classic Disney charm of delivering something grand and special, Strange World fails to get a momentum going with its uninspired art style. For a film called Strange World, the world doesn’t seem all that strange considering it ends up feeling like a less enticing version of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. There are cute animals in here though that do make the viewing somewhat less boring. A three-legged dog by the name of Legend is a certified good boy and Splat, a creature of the underworld, makes for some funny moments. Andor Season Finale Review: Diego Luna’s Star Wars Spinoff Concludes With a Spectacular Bang! (LatestLY Exclusive).

The finale is riddled with plot holes that just gets too blatant to ignore at times. It just ends feeling like a movie that never really knew what it was doing, and the sense of adventure just wains away with an uninspired thud.

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Yay!

Jaboukie Young-White

Nay!

Uninspired Plot

Bland Art-Style

Final Thoughts

Strange World failed to match the expectations of being a Disney film. An uninspired plot that we have already seen countless times with an art-style that fails to add any charm to its characters and world, this was a film that just doesn’t know how to wow. Strange World releases in theatres on November 25, 2022.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Nov 25, 2022 09:48 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website wmleader.com).

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