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Don Hall, Qui Nguyen
Jake Gyllenhaal, Jaboukie Young-White, Gabrielle Union
Writing Credits:
Qui Nguyen

The legendary Clades are a family of explorers whose differences threaten to topple their latest and most crucial mission.37,968,963

Box Office:
$135 Million.
Opening Weekend
$12,151,384 on 4174 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
English Descriptive Audio 2.0
Spanish Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 102 min.
Price: $34.99
Release Date: 2/14/2023

• “Anatomy of a Scene” Featurette
• “Strange Science” Featurette
• “Creature Feature” Featurette
• “Hidden Secrets” Featurette
• Outtakes
• 4 Deleted Scenes
• Preview


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Strange World [Blu-Ray] (2022)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 20, 2023)

During the pandemic, Disney shifted a lot of their animated movies to their streaming channel and bypassed theatrical runs. Even when these films hit theaters, they shifted to Disney+ after a short period.

Did Disney “train” viewers to skip the big screen and just wait for streaming? Given the weak theatrical grosses of their three 2022 releases, all signs point to yes.

Strange World hit theaters for Thanksgiving 2022 and earned relatively little attendance. Even with the natural family audience across the long holiday weekend, World limped to a mere fourth place, and it displayed poor legs.

This led World to a poor $73 million worldwide – and I can’t really claim it deserved a better fate. The movie provides a surprisingly bland experience.

Mountains surround the land of Avalonia, and these make it isolated from the rest of the world. Jaeger Clade (voiced by Dennis Quaid) leads expeditions to attempt exploration beyond those confines.

On a journey with 15-year-old son Searcher (Jake Gyllenhaal) to push these boundaries, the younger Clade finds a plant called “Pando” that offers its own source of energy, one that eventually revolutionizes Avalonian life. Searcher chooses to return to Avalonia with his discovery while an angry Jaeger continues his crusade solo.

25 years later, Searcher farms Pando with wife Meridian (Gabrielle Union) and 16-year-old son Ethan (Jaboukie Young-White). However, Pando starts to lose its power, and that sends Searcher and Ethan on their journey to deal with this issue.

As someone who grew up in the 1970s, my initial experiences with Disney animation came during their “dark years” soon after Walt’s death. As a kid, I enjoyed films like The Aristocats and The Rescuers, but as an adult, I recognize they offer mediocre experiences.

In my 20s, I enjoyed Disney’s renaissance via big hits like Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. These turned me into the Disney fan I remain years later.

As such, I go into every new Disney movie with the hope that it’ll remind me of the enchantment of their best efforts. While films from Disney themselves – and not Pixar – tended to decline in quality over that span, they still knocked out some winners from time to time.

Such as 2021’s Encanto. Though I wouldn’t put that flick among the studio’s greatest, it provided a delightful affair.

Like I indicated earlier, however, World doesn’t merit discussion as one of Disney’s better films – or even a good movie, honestly. This one shows the studio on cruise control.

While one watches World, one seems likely to encounter a sense of déjà vu. Everything about the movie feels recycled from other flicks and nary a sliver of originality manifests.

As I often note, I can tolerate a derivative vibe as long as the end result entertains. A movie need not reinvent any wheels to offer a fun time.

Unfortunately, World just comes across as utterly uninspired. This feels like a film created by a committee, not one with any verve behind it.

There’s nothing wrong with the basic story. Of course, it delivers some “coming of age” with a standard generational conflict, but as well-worn as those themes may be, they could still work.

Nothing about World seems all that interested in its characters or themes – or anything, really. The movie boasts the superficial bones of an exciting adventure but it doesn’t commit in a meaningful manner.

This means we wind up with a slooooow experience. As I watched, I occasionally glanced at the timer on my Blu-ray player.

Whenever I did so, I’d utter an expletive and mutter to myself about how little time had elapsed. World genuinely drags.

Like I said earlier, I love Disney and always hope for greatness - or even pretty goodness - from their flicks. Strange World just feels bland and forgettable.

The Disc Grades: Picture A/ Audio B+/ Bonus C

Strange World appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This was a dynamic presentation.

At all times, sharpness looked crisp and detailed. If any softness materialized, I didn’t see it, as I thought the image remained tight and well-defined at all times.

No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects appeared, and the movie lacked edge haloes or artifacts. Of course, no print flaws popped up along the way – outside of some fake “defects” for “newsreel” footage early in the film.

In terms of colors, World went with a broad palette. All those fantasy elements allowed for a wide variety of hues, and the image brought them out in a vivid and dynamic manner.

Blacks were dark and deep, and shadows seemed smooth and clear. This was a terrific presentation.

Though not as impressive, the movie’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack also pleased. The film delivered enough opportunities for auditory theatrics that got enough to bring the mix to life with reasonable frequency.

That was especially true during the exploratory/action moments, as those allowed for a good variety of exciting elements. These blended together well and created a nice package of sound components from all around the room.

Audio quality was solid. Music sounded dynamic and full, while speech was distinctive and natural, so no signs of edginess occurred.

Effects appeared accurate and showed nice range, with solid low-end when appropriate. Though the mix never quite reached “A”-level, it became a definite “B+” track.

A few extras appear, and Anatomy of a Scene runs 23 minutes, 20 seconds. It offers notes from writer/co-director Qui Nguyen, director Don Hall, producer Roy Conli, production designer Mehrdad Isvandi, art director environments Larry Wu, heads of story David G. Derrick Jr. and Lissa Treiman, story artist Javier Ledesma Barbolla, post-production producer Berenice Robinson, editor Sarah K. Reimers, visual effects supervisor Steve Goldberg, head of environments Sean D. Jenkins, layout supervisor Juan E. Hernandez, layout artists Dorian Bustamante and Nicholas Manfredi, crowds supervisor Yasser Hamed, heads of animation Amy Lawson Smeed and Justin Sklar, animation supervisors Vitor Vilela and David Stodolny, technical animation supervisor Daniel Kole, simulation performance lead Natnicha Foam Laohachalaroon, lighting supervisor Olun Riley, director of cinematography lighting Brian Leach, associate technical supervisor Kendall Litaker, tactics supervisor Chris Carignan, composer Henry Jackman, supervising sound editor Shannon Mills, sound designer Samson Neslund, and actors Gabrielle Union and Jake Gyllenhaal.

As implied by the title, “Anatomy” digs into a slew of elements connected to the creation of one particular sequence. It delivers a brisk and informative discussion.

Strange Science goes for 13 minutes, 43 seconds and involves Hall, Nguyen, Jenkins, Wu, Derrick, Conli, Isvandi, Treiman, Hamed,science consultants Dr. Elizabeth Rega and Dr. Stuart Sumida, and actor Jaboukie Young-White,

This program covers the scientific research and basis behind some fo the movie’s elements. It proves useful.

Next comes Creature Feature, a six-minute, 14-second piece. It provides a closer look at some of the movie’s exotic fantasy beasties and becomes a fun discussion.

The Hidden Secrets of Strange World spans five minutes, 24 seconds and reveals Easter eggs and various obscure nuggets. It provides some cool notes.

A collection of Outtakes lasts two minutes, three seconds. These offer shots of the actors in the recording studio and they offer mild entertainment.

Four Deleted Scenes occupy a total of 11 minutes, 41 seconds. These also include introductions from heads of story Derrick and Treiman.

We find an alternate intro to the Clades, a different look at young Searcher’s return, and a few added character moments. None of these seem crucial but they offer some intriguing variations.

As for Treiman and Derrick, they offer notes about the scenes and why the sequences failed to make the film. They provide worthwhile insights.

The disc opens with a promo for The Little Mermaid (2023). No trailer for World appears here.

I doubt anyone will call Strange World the worst Disney animated film ever, but it provides a wholly mediocre experience. Even with a slew of action scenes, the movie seems uninspired and oddly dull. The Blu-ray offers excellent visuals and strong audio with a decent batch of bonus materials. Expect a disappointing animated adventure here.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
0 3:
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