strange world

Hollywood began in an amusement arcade, so it’s only fitting that its most profitable films – from Star Wars (1977) to Avatar (2009) – should be as enchanting but psychologically sterile as a pinball machine. It is these types of movies that Strange World, the latest family feature from the House of Mouse, pays tribute to. An outrageously plotted, visually gorgeous and garish throwback to the pulpy space opera epics of old, Strange World certainly makes for great, frivolous fun, the likes of which the studio hasn’t even attempted since Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) and Treasure Island (2002). But if, like me, you’ve been sat around waiting for the next true instant classic from Disney, I’m afraid you’ll have to wait a little bit longer because this isn’t it.

The voice cast is led by Jake Gyllenhaal, who plays the scion in a dynasty of famed explorers who find themselves journeying deep into an uncharted land where treacherous creatures await. The kitsch plot proudly wears its influences on its sleeves, resulting in a movie that is, alas, pretty basic but bursts with whimsy in every frame. The voyages through the fantastical landscapes is brilliantly imagined

It may not be a future classic, but as an animated sci-fi lark in the vein of vintage Star Trek, Burroughs and Raymond, Strange World is an exciting, moving romp that works wonderfully as a slice of spectacle cinema. It must also be said that on pure entertainment value, this movie is a far more pleasurable watch when compared to Pixar’s effort in their lax Toy Story spin-off released earlier this year.


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