Strange World 2022 cover image

The Clades Take a Journey Into a Strange World

Strange World (2022) is a Disney movie centered on the legendary Clades family. The family of explorers’ differences threatens to topple their latest mission into an uncharted world with fantastical creatures. The movie has a strong representative cast, featuring an interracial family, African Americans, Asians, and women, all in major roles. The star-studded cast includes Gabrielle Union (voices Meridian Clade), Lucy Liu (voices Callisto Mal), and Karan Soni (voices Caspian). In addition, Ethan Clade (Jaboukie Young-White) is Disney’s first openly gay character, bringing an unambiguous representation of LGBTQ+ people in this movie.

The movie opens up with a black-and-white film roll about numerous explorers who tried their best to scale endless mountains, only to fail every time. Then, the scenes switch over to a 2D animated comic-book design of the Clades themselves; viewers see subtitles of the Clades’ family members’ names. Finally, viewers witness the animation style change from 2D comic book to 3D as they see a compass with the family photo in black and white. The compass itself is a symbolic object, as it represents direction during the adventure.

Though Strange World has a strong representative cast, it, unfortunately, was a box-office bomb. Some have criticized the movie’s screenplay, blaming the repetition and little to no humorous dialogue between the main characters for the poor box office performance. However, the movie subsequently became a streaming hit on Disney+ and has been praised for its animation style, visuals, and voice acting. Though there is some concern about what message the box office performance sends to creators about the viability of diverse animation films, the subsequent streaming popularity will show that there is an audience for these films. Many films in this vein become cult classics that are later vindicated. Strange World seems to be on the same track. The legendary Clades are on their way to becoming classics!




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