Roy Conli has already produced Disney classics from The Hunchback of Notre Dame to Tangled before winning an Oscar for the 2015 Marvel animated film Baymax: Giant Robowabohu. This Friday morning, Conli was a guest in a Berlin cinema to introduce us to this year’s Disney animation blockbuster – and also a number of more or less finished animated scenes from “Strange World“ (approx. 10 to 15 minutes in total).
Like all Disney producers, Conli is a perfectly trained salesperson. He could probably do stage presentations like this in his sleep, but that doesn’t change the fact that his passion for storytelling is unconditionally bought – and if he keeps talking about the Disney legends on whose shoulders today’s animators stand, then that’s it too the deep reverence for the 100-year history of Walt Disney Animation Studios is palpable at all times.
But what counts in the end is of course the question: Are we more or less in the mood for this year’s Disney Christmas film “Strange World“, which will start in German cinemas on November 24th, just in time for the beginning of Advent?
The answer is: In any case, we’re dying to see the animated blockbuster inspired by classic fantasy stories by Jules Verne and HG Wells in its entirety now, for two main reasons…
The family dog in “Strange World” called Legend, has three legs and not even the slightest instinct for survival. Totally sweet and friendly, but also a bit naughty with his strands of hair falling low over his face. So a safe bet as a sidekick! But everyone else will steal the show in “Strange Worldanyway the slimy being Splat, which Conli told us will be called Platsch in the German synchro.
Disney’s animation artists are unrivaled when it comes to not only bringing inanimate objects to life, but also giving them human traits. but they have outdone themselves with splash – because they use the properties of a gob of slime to make it appear like both an animal creature (when it walks on six legs) and a (ver)human(e) creature (when it walks on two legs). But even more important: The speechless, but no less cheeky creature is just a lot of fun!
So you don’t have to be clairvoyant to predict that many little moviegoers will wish for such a splashing slime under the Christmas tree…
We were also completely enthusiastic about the two longer action scenes that were shown to us as part of the presentation: The camera work in these spectacular sequences, in particular, almost looks like a live-action film, which is why, according to Conli, the “Strange World” – animated or not – should definitely be good for us all to shorten the waiting time for the “Indiana Jones 5” announced for June 2023.
It’s almost impossible in 2022 to take an audience’s breath away with a CGI fantasy world alone. You get too overwhelmed with it not only in the cinema but also in computer games. But “Strange World“ Definitely has a chance here, even if we still have to see more about it. The big pluses so far: The makers made a conscious decision to banish the otherwise common natural colors “green” and “brown” from their world hidden behind a mighty, snow-covered mountain range – stands out simply because of the color palette “Strange World“ So absolutely out.
In addition, the whole world seems excitingly alive! When the figures walk through the scenery, the plants move very subtly in their direction – you may not notice this immediately if you are not consciously paying attention, but it has a fascinating effect…
We can hardly say anything about whether the central father-son conflict ignites or not – the characters are diverse and animated with great attention to detail, most of the gags we have seen work, but to judge the emotional impact of the story, individual ones are not enough sometimes coherent scenes of course absolutely not. But what we can say: The English voices of the adventure troupe around the adventurer grandfather Jaeger Clade (Dennis Quaid), his farmer son Searcher Clade (Jake Gyllenhaal) and his grandson who still has to find his place in life Ethan Clade (Jaboukie Young-White) are perfectly chosen.
It goes into “Strange WorldAccording to Conli, the central issue is the burning topical question of what kind of world one generation leaves (or should leave) to the next. Buzzwords like “sustainability” & Co. play a thematically important role there – and that is precisely why there is a scene where we hope that the entire film will put it in a different context.
When slimy tentacled creatures suddenly appear, the adventurers make their escape — on a shoal of fishy red creatures that “swim” in the air so close together that they act like a road in the crowd. That the fugitives step on the “heads” (?) of the creatures while running – for free. But Jaeger Clade also uses a flamethrower to disperse the swarm behind them, cutting off the pursuers’ path – and the adventurer Callisto Mal (Lucy Liu) kicks one of the otherwise completely harmless and uninvolved creatures away with his boot… not nice.
Nevertheless: This purple-pink “Strange WorldAccording to our previous impression, it has what it takes to bring the classic fantasy genre, which has been criminally neglected in cinemas in recent years, back into the mainstream in the tradition of classics such as “Journey to the Center of the Earth” or “The Time Machine”. – and that would definitely be a welcome development!
“Strange World“ will start in German cinemas on November 24th – and here is the OV trailer with the English voices we praised for you: