Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jaboukie Young-White, Dennis Quaid, Gabrielle Union, and Lucy Liu
Directors: Don Hall and Qui Nguyen
Strange World is one of the quieter Disney releases in some time, and I really can't decipher why. While it doesn't have the emotional weight of a Pixar offering, it's a competently told story that utilizes some slick animation and wonderful creature designs. It also just makes you feel good. There's an optimism sprinkled throughout the film, thanks in large part to the character of Ethan (the first openly LGBTQ character in Disney animation, voiced by Jaboukie Young-White) and what he stands for. Overall, Strange World may not make you cry, but it takes you on a magical journey, one well-suited for children too.
Though its first act is overly rushed and sloppily edited, Strange World remains a good time at the movies, if only for its third-act-revelation that makes it one of Disney animation’s more bizarre reveals of late. There’s not much that stands out about it on a micro level, and it misses a wealth of opportunities to go deeper with its themes, but the journey still features a lot of fun, especially for kids. The creature design is terrifically weird, which makes up for thin characterization, and some of the animation itself is beautiful to look at too.