Strange World, a new animated feature from Disney, has just crash-landed on a fantastical, alien planet outside of time and space. Helmed by Don Hall (Oscar-winning director of Big Hero 6 and Raya and the Last Dragon) and Qui Nguyen (co-writer on Raya and the Last Dragon), the trailer shows a family of explorers, farmers, and pilots who have ended up… well, they don’t quite know where they’ve ended up actually.
Taking a lot of visual inspiration from retrofuture pulp action sensibilities (toned down to a family-friendly audience, of course) the trailer looks like Disney’s giving some expressive freedom back to the character designers. After critics and audiences praised Soul’s innovative visual stylings, it’s nice to see that Strange World takes globs, blobs, and splats and pushes them even further. There’s not a small amount of old school Indiana Jones homages either, from the font to the kind of reluctant explorer archetype that seems to pop up in these sorts of films. I’m also seeing a bit of an Atlantis vibe, an underrated millennial favorite from 2001 that also sees a not-quite-explorer journey into a fantastic and mechanical new world.
Strange World will star Jake Gyllenhaal as Searcher Clade, a farmer who gets caught up in an exploration far over his head. As the Clade family gets caught up in adventure in a land that proves both mysterious and treacherous, they will have to work together amid the dangerous and fantastic new land they find themselves in.
Strange World releases November 23, 2022.
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