Disney Animation Studios has been dropping some visually stunning feature films over the past few years. Whether it be the bright and vibrant colors in Encanto (which features "gifts" and not superpowers) or the striking imagery witnessed in the Kelly Marie Tran-led Raya and the Last Dragon, the company has been putting in work. But one of its new movie releases, Strange World, promises to offer some truly trippy visuals, based on the first trailer. It also offers a capable lead in Jake Gyllenhaall and maybe even a new Disney dog to love.
The delightful trailer kicks off with a style reminiscent of the science fiction serials that delighted audiences decades ago. It eventually transitions into something that looks a bit more modern, and the result is a sight to behold. In it, Jake Gyllenhaal’s Searcher Clade, a farmer and the son of an explorer, finds himself in a quirky land filled with colorful flora and odd-looking wildlife. The wild nature of the environments is so trippy that it may even rival what fans have glimpsed in live-action movies like Doctor Strange.
Of course, this is Disney, and it’s only natural that there would be some kind of adorable animal within the cinematic proceedings. Searcher is joined by his own dog and, though the canine companion’s presence in the footage is brief, he already seems to be as lovable and adventurous as Mickey Mouse’s faithful dog, Pluto or Dug from Pixar’s Up and the COVID era-produced Dug Days.
It’s no surprise that Strange World features both a fun-looking adventure, gorgeous visuals or an endearing supporting character, as the film is helmed by Don Hall, who directed Big Hero 6 and Raya and the Last Dragon. The former gave fans the lovable duo of Hiro Hamada and Baymax, who were more than entertaining together in the superhero origin story. And the latter production also provided plenty of action while introducing memorable characters like Little Noi and Tuk Tuk. Hall will more than likely seek to bring his creative sensibilities to this new story, which he co-wrote with fellow Raya alum Qui Nguyen.
There are still a number of questions that remain unanswered about this latest feature, though. For starters, why does Searcher travel to the mysterious location in the first place? Also, who are the other family members that have accompanied him on the expedition? All is sure to be revealed in time.
All in all, this is a nice tease for Strange World, and I have to say it’s refreshing to once again get an original story featuring brand-new characters. There’s a certain kind of magic that comes with Disney’s animated fare, and I’m curious to see how it shines through in Jake Gyllenhaal’s sci-fi, fantasy flick.
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