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Strange World Review

I do not understand how even as a 20-something adult, Disney movies can still make me cry.

Strange World looks at a civilisation that live in the middle of a grouping of mountains and they have never seen the other side of these gigantic walls, but they have always tried. There is an adventurer called Jaeger Clade whose single aspiration in life is to see the other side of those mountains, and he takes his son Searcher along with him to complete this. However Searcher is not his father and does not hold the same values and wants that his father does, and so when he finds a plant that is able to create electricity he decides to become a farmer of this plant instead, bringing futuristic designs to the civilisation he already lives in, rather than exploring somewhere new.

But one day Searcher has to become that intrepid explorer again when it turns out that the electricity plants are dying and this could be catastrophic for the civilisation. Searcher, along with his stowaway wife Meridian and son Ethan, have to find the root of the plants and the cause of its decay and rectify it so that it can thrive once more.

Once you understand the twist I do think the story is very on the nose, it’s once again another story about the environment and how we are killing the Earth we are on and we should be working with the Earth not against it to make sure that the ways in which we live are viable, and are able to be continued for many centuries to come. This isn’t a new concept, this is something that has been done many times before but the way that it was portrayed in this film was what made it great, the storyline was a bit preachy but the visuals were stunning.

This strange world that the characters find themselves in when they are chasing down the root of the plant is incredible. All of the creatures in this world look like kids drawings which certainly entices a younger audience, but the storyline of the fathers having to deal with their sons being different to them and understanding that they are their own person and not someone that they can live vicariously through is something that adults can enjoy more and something children can learn about as they grow older.

Controversially, in some eyes, this film contains a gay character being the son of Searcher, Ethan. He is a teenager and is going through all the usual hormonal issues that teenagers do but has a crush on a fellow boy. I have no issue with this character and think it’s wonderful to see it portrayed so normally on screen where no one makes a big fuss out of it or judges Ethan for his choice, and I think for a movie that is set for children it’ll be lovely for children who are going through those confusing times to be able to feel safe and allowed to explore their sexuality in a way that may have been seen as wrong previously. However Jaeger has been set up as a very brutish man, we see that Searcher still has a lot of nightmares over his father and so I do find it fascinating that he is immediately on board with his grandson’s sexuality, and I do wonder if it would have been better – if a bit more controversial – if he was a bit more shocked or confused by the revelation and told that it was ok and that it is perfectly normal, and there’s nothing wrong with it. For him to just be ok with this revelation seemed a bit too fantasy for me, I say as I review a fantasy film, and in some ways I would like a bit more adversity to the situation just so children that may come across people who do not believe what they believe know that, that’s ok and it’s all about education and keeping your mind open to other scenarios and situations you may come across, and not immediately dismissing it is wrong. But I don’t know whether that would be too heavy for a kids film.

Overall this film is very enjoyable and has great storytelling, really interesting and in-depth characters, and the visuals are absolutely stunning. I can imagine little children constantly drawing these characters as they grow up because they are the sort that you would see on their parent’s fridges at home. It’s a very fun and enjoyable film and as I said, it did make me cry which I do believe Disney just has that hold over me and my tear ducts now until I die, and I would highly recommend it.

What do you think of Strange World?

Until next time.

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