As a part of the D23 Expo animation panel, Disney revealed a brand new look of Strange World. Inspired by the pulp comics of the past, Disney’s latest film feels a lot like a new-ageanimated telling of Land of the Lost, and follows Searcher Clade (Jake Gyllenhaal), a simple farmer who also happens to be the son of a famed steadfast explorer Jaeger Clade (Dennis Quaid). Though happily living a quiet life on his farm with his wife Meridian Clade (Gabrielle Union) and his son Ethan Clade (Jaboukie Young-White), they are suddenly pulled into an adventure deep into a strange world that’s full of danger and surprises.
Though the film is a love letter to the pulp comics that would later inspire the likes of Flash Gordon, the Strange World’s theme revolves around fathers and sons. “As fathers ourselves we and I have a deep personal connection to this story of family and the strong desire to leave them a better world,” director Don Hall said. “This is our driving inspiration, our kids.”
“He’s family man. He wants to protect his future for his son and provide for his family and I just love him,” Gyllenhaal describing his character.
Lucy Liu, who plays Callisto Mal, said of her character, “I have to say that I was so excited to play such an amazing character because Callisto is she’s fearless, she’s tough, she’s a leader, and she’s somebody that I would aspire to be because she wants to protect Avolonia and her people. So that’s, that’s something that I think the idea of like being looking out for each other. I love that idea.”
For Young-White, it was a dream come true to voice a Disney character, especially one that he can relate to. “He’s great. He’s an incredible kid. He’s just like, super excited for an adventure like his grandfather, and I like his dad,” he said. “It was just really great to play and I felt a part of myself in him.
Per usual, Disney revealed a small clip from Strange World, which teased the danger that the Claude family will encounter on their latest adventure. In it, Ethan meets his grandfather for the very first time. The two feel a sort of kinship in their search for adventure. While the younger Claude can’t believe he’s related to his grandfather, Searcher doesn’t want his father to have to do anything with their family, knowing that his influence could put his son’s life at risk.
As the trio try to escape danger, Jaeger is the first to leap without looking. Something of which Searcher has tried to avoid up until now. As they leap off the cliff, they find themselves running on top a pod of tadpole like creatures, while the other monsters continue the chase. Though the monsters close in on them at both ends, they are saved by Meridian, Callisto, and a squishy create Ethan has named Splat.
Directed by directed Don Hall, written and co-directed by Qui Nguyen, Strange World will be released on November 23, 2022.
Here is the official Strange World synopsis:
Jake Gyllenhaal (“The Guilty,” “Spider-Man: Far from Home”) lends his voice to Searcher Clade, the son of a steadfast explorer. The original action-adventure journeys deep into an uncharted and treacherous land where fantastical creatures await the legendary Clades, a family of explorers whose differences threaten to topple their latest—and by far— most crucial mission.