Allow me to introduce you to the Clade family. They are known for their big adventures, bravery and desire to explore the unknown territory outside their community. However, when a new, unexpected mission is introduced, it will push the Clade family in a direction that will challenge them, and their differences with each other could jeopardise everything around them.
Visually, Strange World is incredible. It’s packed with plenty of creativity, including the many creatures that appear and the sci-fi aspects shown throughout the film. Character designs are pleasing and differ significantly from each other, including costumes and style. The soundtrack fits the sci-fi journey presented on-screen and reminds me of the well-known Star Wars saga. Funny enough, between scenes, there are “Wipe” transitions and even sound effects which I’m confident were also encouraged by Star Wars. The voice cast is pleasing, especially with leads consisting of Jake Gyllenhaal and Dennis Quaid.
When it comes to positive messages and themes, Disney succeeds. The Clade family is far from perfect and is forced to deal with many personal challenges, such as acceptance and trust. The film doesn’t just focus on one theme but many different topics that will reach and resonate with audiences regardless of age.
As a plot, while audiences will adore the creativity on screen, the story overall is a mixed bag for me. Firstly, while I understand this is a family film, Strange World is somewhat predictable, and some plot details consist of sci-fi babble. This babble will not only baffle a young crowd, but adult audiences too may struggle to understand everything discussed fully. Some elements also overstay their welcome and become tired quickly. One example is witnessing certain members of the Clade family consistently argue or bicker instead of moving forward with the story.
Sadly, Strange World is not something that stands out firmly compared to many other Disney films, especially when it comes to the storyline. The plot is forgettable and has more questionable and less compelling elements if you want answers to everything shown or discussed. It’s more attempting to be an adventure tale with an added aspect of family drama. As a family film, there are some light gags to have, but nothing that’s overly funny or memorable with its humour. Instead, the plot moves along a formula with moments of dialogue, then action, then a forced conversation, then random moments of action.
Overall, Strange World is a family film that strikes well in some vital regions and sadly misses the mark in many other areas. Visually, there is plenty of creativity to admire here, such as creatures and the many sci-fi aspects on show. The soundtrack is very fitting, as are the sound effects, which feel fun yet highly familiar, as if the popular Star Wars saga has inspired this film. Multiple themes and positive messages are contained, which are excellent to see unfold no matter the audience’s age. However, the core storyline lacks excitement and sometimes feels predictable, unmemorable and even complex at times, and is bound to baffle audiences of all ages. Strange World is Available in Australian Cinemas from November 24th.
22nd November 2022
Written by Peter Walkden
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Our opinion on this feature has also been submitted to Rotton Tomatoes (Audiences Score*).