You had already heard about the 61st animated feature film from Disney Studios. The whole world was able to enjoy Strange World on the big screen, except in France where Disney decided to sacrifice the film to release it directly on Disney Plus. Marketing was almost non-existent and the film did not work internationally. Everything is gathered to miss this film that I really enjoyed.
Strange World – the synopsis
The Clade, a family of legendary explorers, discover an unexplored world full of dangers and fantastic creatures. They are aided in their quest by a mischievous blob and their three-legged dog. Unfortunately, the quarrels between the different members of the group threaten to derail this new mission, which is – by far – the most crucial.
So when I read the synopsis, like you, I was not convinced. But what you need to know is that the story starts with a civilization living without energy, having horses and carts as a means of transportation for example. A group of explorers, including a father and son, set out on an expedition to cross impassable mountains to find a source of energy to exploit. While they are in the mountains, the son stumbles upon a plant that produces energy, he and the other members of the team decide to return home having found a source of energy while the father refuses to return and continues his journey alone to cross the mountains and see what is on the other side.
Civilisation, after a few years, now has cars, flying transport, light bulbs… This is thanks to the exploitation of this plant which is cultivated in fields. But one day, it will be realised that the plant starts to produce less and less energy. A new expedition was then undertaken to find the source of the problem. And so the adventure begins and the team finds itself in this strange world. I’ll let you discover the rest.
As the synopsis suggests, the story revolves around the three characters Jaeger Clade (the grandfather), Searcher Clade (the father) and Ethan Clade (the son). Each of them participates in this journey for their own reasons and this will lead to some problems for them during the film. Indeed, despite certain tensions and resentments, for part of the story their objectives coincide and it is when these diverge that we see the real difficulties in their relationships emerge.
Jaeger Clade is Seacher’s father. He is the one who refuses to return, thinking that the solution to their problem lies beyond the mountains. But at one point he falls down a hole and finds himself in this world from which he is trapped since the only way out he has found is across a sea of acid. His big flaw is his stubbornness for adventure. He lives for it. He saves the lives of his son and grandson by chance and goes with them to achieve his goal: to cross the mountains, but not under them this time.
Searcher Clade is Ethan’s father. He followed his father when he was younger and became a farmer. But when the need for civilization is at stake, he goes back to adventure. He is as stubborn as his father. He too has only one goal in mind. Where his father only wants to cross the mountains, he only thinks about his plant.
Ethan Clade is Searcher’s son. He wants nothing more than to be a part of this adventure, even if it means secretly boarding the ship without his father or the crew knowing.
The topics covered
Through this film, Disney sends out a very strong ecological message. Heroes try to save a plant throughout the film. The character of Ethan allows the studio to convey the message of its new generations who advocate a balance between the planet’s resources and needs. The film and the world it presents is an allegory for the preservation of the planet itself. A film that could help some parents to talk about this subject with their children. Disney with this film shows that it manages to be anchored with its time and modern issues.
The Disney studio also takes a first step in the representation of minorities. With a mixed couple and a mixed-race, gay child. Ethan being the first openly gay character of the studio (the Pixar studio having preceded them). What’s even more interesting about this is that in the film it’s not a topic. The situation is normal and doesn’t create any narrative focus on someone else’s acceptance. Ethan’s character could be heterosexual and nothing in the story would change.
Avalonia – conclusion
To sum up, Strange World is a film that is really worth seeing. I had a great time watching it and will gladly watch it on Disney Plus.