disney animations Strange world — for which a new trailer was released on Wednesday — was created to capture the adventure of pulp novels, with inspiration from stories like Jules Verne’s. Journey to the Center of the Earth as much as king kong.
But ultimately it’s a story about family, director Don Hall (Oscar winner for big hero 6) explained during a press event. Co-directed and written by Qui Nguyen, Strange world follows a family of explorers who find themselves in an unknown land. Searcher Clade, voiced by Jake Gyllenhaal, is described as a brilliant family man who, as a teenager, discovered a plant-based energy source that changed the world. Searcher’s father, Jaeger, voiced by Dennis Quaid, disappeared decades ago during an expedition; and Searcher’s son, Ethan, played by Jaboukie Young-White, is a happy 16-year-old who helps out on the family farm.
They reside in the fictional Avalonia, which features a palette that includes white and orange. “We wanted to create a kind of utopian, warm, nostalgic feeling to emphasize that this is a wonderful culture that everyone enjoys,” production designer Justin Cram said in a statement.
In contrast, when explorers venture into the strange new world that feels alive, Hall said of the event the filmmakers eschewed earth tones in favor of reds and magentas, populating the world with curious plant life.
The expedition begins at the request of Callisto Mal, President of Avalonia, voiced by Lucy Liu, who is also on the adventure. So is Legend, a three-legged family dog; and Splat, a blue creature covered in tentacles with no face. He doesn’t speak, so the animators needed to create a way for Splat to communicate through pantomime (concept art below). Hall compared this approach to the creation of the sensitive mat in Aladdin.
Strange world opens on November 23. The trailer is below.
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