Movie Review – Strange World (2022)

The teaser trailer for “Strange World” features a pulpy science-fiction narrator, exotic creatures and locations, and an exciting, throwback-style black and white presentation. However, as the trailer went on, my interest quickly faded. And unfortunately, the full-length movie never generated any level of interest in me. The final reveal of the movie is the most interesting part. Unfortunately, the movie never explores the idea beyond a single shot of it. But more on that later.

Plain and simple, this movie is as dull as it is soulless.

Even the character designs come across as tired or recycled assets from “Encanto:” Meridian is Dolores, Callisto is Luisa’s stand-in, Ethan is Antonio, and Searcher is a Bruno. There’s even a dance sequence as the Cade family prepares dinner. The scene could easily be inserted into “Encanto,” and the only thing the movie would have to do is expand the family tree. The problem with it being in “Strange World” is its tone. We’ve only been introduced to the Searcher family briefly at this point, and none of them seem like the dancing type. Looks can be deceiving, but the kind of energy displayed in this scene is never seen again.

On the positive side, Jaboukie Young-White, who voices Ethan, Searcher’s son, is the only actor who embodies his character. Young-White’s vocal range naturally matched the character’s emotions and has a sense of vulnerability whenever the script demands it. The rest of the cast is fine but nothing special. Jake Gyllenhaal’s voice is either too soft for Searcher Clade or there was a sound mixing problem because is seems to be at a significantly lower level than the rest of the cast.

Unfortunately, “Strange World” is the kind of movie that deserved a direct home release instead of something like “Turning Red.” The movie presents some fascinating ideas but opts to squander them rather than exploring them.

Rating: 1.5/5.

I mentioned the final reveal at the start of this review, so if you don’t want to be spoiled: stop reading now, check out the movie, and come back to this section.

The ending reveals that Avalonia was built on the back of a giant turtle, which is like the Hindu idea of the World Turtle. If this was the game plan all along, then the dance scene and karma angles could have been played up a lot more. That additional focus could have strengthened the themes already in the movie such as the legacy of a parent and passing it down to your kids, and cause and effect of living harmoniously with your environment.

“Strange World” is available on Digital and is available on 4K, Blu-ray, and DVD February 14.

The Big Comic Page was provided a copy of “Strange World” for this review.

The bonus features include:

· Anatomy of a Scene: Creating A Strange World – Learn about Walt Disney Animation Studios’ creative process through a single, visually stunning scene as the filmmaking team puts all of their imagination – and more – on the screen.

· Strange Science – Jaboukie Young-White (voice of Ethan Clade) hosts an exploration of how Walt Disney Animation Studios artists were inspired by real science to create Strange World.

· Creature Feature – Journey into the world beneath Avalonia and meet some of the terrifying, slimy, gassy – and sometimes cute – creatures that inhabit this Strange World.

· The Hidden Secrets of Strange World – Uncover the references and characters from some of your favorite Walt Disney Animation Studios films hidden throughout the film, along with some fun facts and behind–the–scenes stories of how Strange World was made.

· Outtakes – Go behind the glass as we join the cast of Strange World inside the recording booth for some fun, flubs and outtakes.

· Deleted Scenes

o The Ballad of Jaeger Clade
o Lightning Lynx
o Funerals and Promises
o Ethan and Searcher

The writer of this piece is: Laurence Almalvez
Laurence tweets from @IL1511

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