Strange World

Strange World

Breaking old ground


Strange World Trailer

The Clades are a family of legendary explorers in an isolated land whose last mission, to find out what’s beyond a great barrier mountain, resulted in the discovery of a plant that has for decades now supplied their world with energy. It was on that same mission that Searcher Clade, wishing to further examine the new plant, broke with his father Jaeger, who was hell-bent on completing the mission. Jaeger has not been seen since.

Now, though, the beneficial plant seems to be ailing, so Searcher and his son Ethan set off to trace the problem and save their way of life. They descend into a massive abyss and discover another world. They also discover that everything they know is wrong. This beautiful, traditionally animated and endlessly imaginative Disney film gets points for a strong ecological message, one that’s really best appreciated in retrospect after you have the “Aha!” moment. There’s also a healthy family message along the usual “be yourself” lines.

Another plus: no songs. My gripes are that the characters are fairly banal, and the preachy father/son dynamic is driven home, repeatedly, with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer. The script is clunky and it never seems to gel.

Voice talent includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Dennis Quaid, Jaboukie Young-White, Gabrielle Union and Lucy Liu.

Strange World streaming on Disney Plus now. (102 min)

Elsewhere on Metropolis: