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  • Writer's pictureWill Scarbrough

Review: Strange World

The legendary Clades are a family of explorers whose differences threaten to topple their latest and most crucial mission.

Jake Gyllenhaal, Dennis Quaid, Jaboukie Young-White, Gabrielle Union, Alan Tudyk, Lucy Liu & Karan Soni.

Strange World is impressively animated as most Disney films are, but what begins with a promising stylish start is washed away by its regular and simple visual storytelling that follows. Packed to the brim with coincidences and convenience, as well as far too many jokes that didn’t land.

Animation is a medium for both children and adults alike, however I found Strange World to be too tailored to children. Moments became painfully predictable, lacking substance or any real weight. Almost every scene attempts to throw far too many jokes that destroy any moment that could be emotionally developed further. Particularly between Searcher and Jaeger who’s every scene substitutes emotion for comedy, despite a lot of history between them

The pacing really sticks out, I often found myself yawning and switching off due to the overuse of comedy and irreverent character moments. What doesn’t help is the rather irritable score that doesn’t sound to stop at any moment, allowing the audience to breathe and take a moment. The world building, however, is impressive but familiar. With striking similarities with Netflix’s Arcane during surface scenes, while as they get deeper below, the film starts to become more unique and something of its own.

The LGBT character Ethan is appreciated and likeable, clearly being more level headed and it’s certainly the heart of the film. Even though he makes silly decisions, as a teenager does, he never becomes unlikeable. The same can be said for each character, while not compelling or emotionally depth, each actor give strong performances and consistently engaging delivery of weak dialogue.

The surprisingly good story is overshadowed by a lot of the weaker aspects of the film. Exploration in animated films are always fun to watch, especially when care is put into each frame of the film, which is clear here.

Nothing too much is to be said about Strange World, it is awfully familiar and often uninteresting. But it's beautiful animation, strong cast and occasional appreciated moment save it from being a complete disaster.

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