*Not much to spoil here…
The Clades are a legendary family of explorers whose differences threaten to topple their latest and most crucial mission into uncharted and treacherous territory.
“You gave me a machete for my birthday!”
Disney has always had a long history of having a big smash hit at the box office for their Thanksgiving Animation release. Movies like Encanto, Moana, Frozen and numerous others in history have been a rock for them come this time of year. STRANGE WORLD is their newest feature and as we know it was a major bomb at the box office this past week. It shows maybe people got used to Disney+ releases and did not take their families for this one. Or it shows that this movie might not have been as good as those that I previously mentioned. Let’s get into the ratings and we can talk about which it is.
Animation – B
Of course it was great to look at, with every set piece and new area of the world we entered being unique and special. My biggest gripe is that the characters all just have that same generic Disney look, so it feels like they just copy and pasted characters from previous movies. And I also felt the creatures we were seeing had zero substance, they just were in the shapes of interesting things, but had no features or anything distinguishable. Overall, aesthetic was great but needed more for me on the details.
Voice Cast – C+
I thought everyone was fine, Jake Gyllenhaal as our lead Searcher (not on the nose at all for an adventurer), Gabrielle Union as his wife Meridian, Jaboukie Young-White as their son, and even Lucy Liu as a fellow explorer and semi villain. The only person who really makes an impression for me is Dennis Quaid as Searcher’s father Jaeger. Quaid had never really done any voice work aside from an episode of Spongebob so it was incredible to see how expressive and excited he was in every scene. His character is inherently adventurous but Quaid brought him to life in such a special way.
Music – C
Sadly for a Disney Animation movie this did not really have any original songs, it was only set to a Henry Jackman score. Jackman did a great job setting the tone, but nothing really stood out and like I said if you are not giving us a fresh song, you have to blow us away with the score.
Story – C+
My problem is hard because nothing is really bad here, you have a father son story, an adventure story, another father son story, with a little bit of social awareness as well. I think the biggest thing for me is that nothing felt really original or interesting. All the moments when they were tugging at the heartstrings I just did not feel it because the characters did not compel me. Like I said above with the creatures, the world they go to itself just does not feel fleshed out, and with the little time you spend there you do not really get to catch your bearings. I just wanted more from everything.
*A couple other tidbits
- I think the comic book aesthetic is interesting but it was not really utilized.
- Apparently this movie was supposed to just be called Searcher Clade, thankfully they changed that.
To be honest I was a bit disappointed in this film. It is solid enough and of course well made, but I expect more from this studio, especially because I had been saying they were catching Pixar. I still have faith but this one clearly just did not hit like they have in the past.
*You can find my 2022 Movie Rankings here.
*You can find my Disney Animation Rankings here.
*You can find all of my Movie Ratings here.
*You can follow my Letterboxd account here.