Jake Gyllenhaal Was ‘Tripped Out’ By What Disney Animators Picked Up About His Mannerisms

Jake Gyllenhaal has just reached a new career high: he’s a Disney animated character. Across the actor’s over 30 years in Hollywood, he’s been nominated for an Oscar and become a Marvel character, among many other accomplishments, but now he can count himself among the lucky actors who have been part of one of House of Mouse’s iconic animated feature films. During his time in the vocal booth for Strange World, he was exposed to some serious Disney magic regarding how they captured his likeness. 

When CinemaBlend had the chance to speak to Jake Gyllenhaal at the Los Angeles press day for Strange World, the actor joked that Disney “stole our souls” during the animation process. In his words: 

I was tripped out by how our behavior [was animated]. I mean, I didn't know [Jaboukie Young-White] and then when we met for the first time, it was weird. I'd seen the movie and saw the characteristics of the movie in your voice obviously. And then it was like there were things you were doing that were like the character. It's weird meeting the character first before you meet the person, cause you're like, ‘oh wow’. My dad said he was in the theater watching another movie and heard the trailer and heard my voice and walked in. It was like, what the -?

In the video above, you can check out Jake Gyllenhaal’s full response regarding the things that the animators noticed about him while he recorded in the booth for his character, Searcher Clade. The interview also involved Dennis Quaid, who plays the father of Gyllenhaal’s character, Jaeger Clade. Quaid said the following about this process: 

I feel like they picked the smallest of expressions that were still uniquely us and when you add them up, it’s really more startling in a way.

Gyllenhaal went on to exclaim “deepfake!” at Quaid’s response before Jaboukie Young-White, who plays Ethan Clade, the first leading queer character in a feature film from Disney animation, shared his own experience on Strange World. He said this:  

There was one where Ethan kind of readjusts and sits in a chair like this and I'm like, I know for a fact I never sat in a session. So where did they get that from? That's so interesting. Yeah, I was like, well you guys just like, actually please tell me so I could sleep at night?

It sounds like Disney animators are so spot on with some of the actor’s mannerisms that they got a bit freaked out. Sure, Jake Gyllenhaal has voiced an animated character before in last year’s Spirit Untamed, but this was a whole other experience, especially since he looks a lot like Searcher Clade. While joking with us, he made a ton of hand gestures while saying he never makes hand gestures, and yet Disney noticed that too.  

Strange World follows Gyllenhaal’s Searcher Clade, who is a famous farmer in the fictitious world of Avalonia with a long-lost adventurer father. When his winning crop begins to show signs of dying out, Searcher and his family (Young-White’s Ethan Clade and Gabrielle Union’s mother character, Meridian) go on an adventure to save Avalonia together. 

Ahead of its release, Strange World has received mostly positive reviews, including from CinemaBlend’s 3.5 out of 5 Strange World review. The movie is now playing in theaters. Check out what other upcoming Disney movies are coming out next here on CinemaBlend. 

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.