Strange World (2022)

Strange World (2022)

Movie Details

Strange World (2022)
Director: Don Hall
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jaboukie Young-White, and Gabrielle Union Movie type: Adventure/Sci-fi
Release date: 15 November 2022
IMDB Rating: 5.7/10
Languages- 25 languages
Duration- 1h 42m


Strange World (2022)


Last year we got two titles from the animation workshops of the Disney studio, this year we had to wait until November. While Raya and the Last Dragon presented a relatively routine adventure in the environment of colorful coloring books, Encanto bet more on properties that have been working side by side at Pixar for years – namely, family relationships and the generational traumas arising from them. The new Strange World also goes in this direction, and it is far from the only part of this film that we would not have seen elsewhere.

In an introduction style, we find ourselves in a dying country called Avalonia. Its legendary hero is the Jaeger Clade, a fearless and muscular adventurer, depicted in the spirit of anime poetics with angular facial and body features. A stubborn explorer wants to cross dangerous mountains to find the mythical key to save Avalonia on the other side. However, along the way, his party rebels, mainly because of Jaege’s son Searcher, who is extremely different from his father. He does not want to conquer distant lands, he prefers to take care of plants and intends to turn his botanical passion into a seemingly not-very-promising career as a farmer.

However, during this quest, Searcher finds a plant brimming with energy, which later gets the name pando. While Father Jaeger leaves to get lost in the mountains, Searcher becomes the savior of Avalonia, as his discovery of the panda will help the country’s economic development more than anything else

After a brisk exposition, we find ourselves 25 years later, when Searcher is a famous and successful farmer. When portraying his contented life, domestic guards of conservative morals get the measles: Searcher has a black wife, Meridian (who is also left-handed!), a gay teenage son, Ethan, and a dog without one leg. Some people disagree with this effort to adequately represent various minorities, but the important thing is that none of these characteristics determine the agenda of the given character. This is simply a fact that does not need to be addressed. Hopefully, in a few years, creative decisions like this will become so standard that they won’t even need to be mentioned at all.

Searcher is jolted out of his idyll by the discovery that panda supplies are starting to dwindle. It is necessary to fly into the interior of the earth and repair or heal this energy source that has worked so well so far. A group including Searcher and his family and a few other scientists surprisingly find themselves in Pandora like world, a vast underground environment that no one knew existed. At that moment, the parallels with last year’s adventure Godzilla vs. Kong, where several conspiracy theories about the so-called Hollow Earth were exploited. However, the point of the existence of Divnosvět (of course within the framework of animated fantasy) is quite meaningful and interesting.

Domestic viewers, who will probably see the film with standard decent dubbing, will not enjoy the original voices of Jake Gyllenhaal, Dennis Quiado, or Lucy Liu, but they will hear successful music by Henry Jackman. The underground Divnosvět itself revels in many shades of pink, the presented fauna and flora have a soft to changeling-like design. Vibrant and pulsating with energy, the world is reminiscent of The Matrix in places, of course only in a completely different color palette.

Although the heroes run around the bizarre Pandora like world and reveal its cuteness and threats, a large portion of the time is cut from the hundred-minute footage, but it becomes clear relatively soon what the story is actually about. In the very spirit of Hollywood’s two-line narrative, the heroes figure out how to find and protect sustainable energy sources within this world, and that the strategies they’ve relied on so far won’t work forever. The ecological appeal points a reproachful finger at fossil fuels and all kinds of industrial techniques that destroy our planet beyond repair.

In addition to this global problem, the relationships between the characters are also dealt with, this time mainly between the three generations of Clade. Jaeger, Searcher, and Ethan represent a different approach of man to his environment and ultimately also to education. The Disney corporation therefore wants to serve us as a moral compass and tell us about the changes of time and mindset – what was okay a hundred, fifty, or even twenty years ago is simply no longer permissible today; in terms of behavior towards nature and other people.

All of these are certainly nice ideas, but at the same time, they are by no means revelatory or downright daring. Acceptance of oneself or the specifics of one’s loved ones is a key motif of almost every anime, and after all, even calls for greater social awareness have been present among the fairy tale mainstream for some time – just remember the Ice Age. Divnosvět is therefore an undisguised sure bet – a family adventure that works satisfactorily on multiple levels and wraps a readable story in a very professional jacket.

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