Walt Disney Animation Studios puts princesses and musicals to rest and goes on an adventure with a story about parents and children. ‘Strange World’ is the new film by Don Hall (‘Raya and the Last Dragon’, ‘Moana’, ‘Big Hero 6’) and Qui Nguyen (‘Raya and the Last Dragon’), and the great bet of the studio of cinema for family audiences this Christmas (at least until, in principle, they destroy everything with ‘Avatar: The Sense of Water’). His animation study comes from ‘Encanto’, which, although it meant a drop at the box office compared to previous recent Disney classics, became a cultural phenomenon, a trend on TikTok and the most scratchy soundtrack in recent years. ‘Strange world’ does not pretend such ambition, but it does have enough good ideas behind it to make it worth the trip to the confines beyond Avalonia.

Strange world

The story introduces us to Searcher Clade, son of Jaeger Clade, the most famous adventurer in Avalonia. Jaeger disappeared when he was a teenager, and despite the fact that his father wanted him to follow in his footsteps, he decided to settle on a farm, where he lives happily with his wife, Meridian, and his son. , Ethan. But the adventure knocks on their door again because the future of Avalonia depends on them, and thus they will end up in an unknown land, full of dangers… and someone whom he had not seen for a long time.

‘Strange world’ stands out first for its spectacular visual design, a waste of color and sensory imagination. From the color palette to the alien textures that evoke exotic, mysterious, perhaps dangerous but certainly very captivating places. From the moment we see the characters jump through the spongy textures, we absolutely want to cross the screen and join them. The movie is very focused on exploration, and let’s go if you feel like exploring. What has been seen in the trailers is only a part of what the settings hide, the best that this title has. And not only the ‘Weird World’ is once again Walt Disney Animation at the highest level, the city of Avalonia is also a most interesting town, a kind of classic villa with touches of futuristic technology that could have come out of a ‘Final Fantasy’.

Strange world

Speaking of video games, the core of the film really feels like an RPG or a platform in which the protagonists overcome gymkhanas and monstrous enemies to pass the level, learning together how to deal with the different obstacles that bring them closer to the final screen. This part, although it has very exciting moments, is very conventional. It is an entertaining trip, and it has the odd twist that is quite surprising and rewarding for those who have known how to follow the clues. But from a studio that has managed to give us some of the most impressive adventures in recent years in animation, we must ask for excellence and not a ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth’ with charming characters..

Strange world

Much of the problem is that its main plot, the relationship between grandfather, father and son, is very tender but also very watched. The film seeks to send parents the message that they have to let their children find their own path, which may or may not be the same as theirs. The resolution does not take risks or give it a twist, such as turning the grandmother into “the villain” of the story due to the pressure she exerts around her as in ‘Charm’ or confronting her protagonist with a personal dilemma as strong as Elsa. The Clades are a tremendously charismatic family, but their story has already been told to us. That does not take away from the fact that it is an important lesson, supported by a film capable of making parents and children enjoy together thanks to its clear inspiration in classics such as Jules Verne and films such as Indiana Jones, but told with a current rhythm and, again, characters who are endearing themselves. From the egocentric Jaeger to the charming Ethan, who is written as a modern-day kid and represents a giant step for Disney in terms of representing the current world with all naturalness and diversity, regardless of who may.

The Splat and Legend Show

The secondaries are also great. Meridien, Ethan’s mom, is going to be one of her favorites because she steals almost every scene she’s in. And I wish I could have seen a little more of Callisto, leader of Avalonia. But the true kings of ‘Strange World’ are Legend, the Clade dog, and Splat, the blue flubber who is going to make slimy masses fashionable again in schools. Both are hilarious, their toys will end up in the letters to the Kings or Santa Claus of a lot of boys and girls. A new triumph for those with the mouse, creating secondaries that will not be able to speak, but are extremely expressive.

Strange world

In addition to talking about generations, and letting each one have the freedom to find their way and the support of the previous generation, ‘Strange world’ holds interesting lessons about the environment and the role of humanity in an ecosystem. Some of the best movie ideas are here. And speaking of the ecosystem, in addition to the settings, the designs of the creatures, which fit very organically with the environment, are also very remarkable.

Although it may not live up to many of the latest Walt Disney Animation Studios titles, ‘Weird World’ is still a fantastic and light-hearted animated film that awakens the explorer spirit that we carry within, invites us to escape into unknown lands, stimulates curiosity and entertains beautifully, while leaving reflections on family, the environment and sustainability. All with an overwhelming technical, visual and sound section (the soundtrack by Henry Jackman is great). Do not wait to see it in streaming because this adventure must be lived on the big screen.

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