Strange World

Certificate: PG

Voices of: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jaboukie Young-White, Dennis Quaid, Gabrielle Union, Lucy Liu

Release date: 2022

3 out of 5


A nod to classic pulp magazines that told stories about weird worlds, lands under the sea and trips to outer space, Strange World is a colourful animated adventure that feels warmly old-fashioned despite being set in a futuristic universe.

Searcher Clade (Gyllenhaal) grew up in the land of Avalonia, surrounded by high mountains that no one has ever crossed. His father, explorer Jaeger (Quaid), led an expedition to find out what was on the other side of the great peaks, but he never returned, and 25 years on Searcher is a farmer of a plant named Pando that is the fuel source for Avalonia, and lives happily with his wife Meridian (Union) and teenage son Ethan (Young-White).

However, when it looks like that fuel source is threatened, the leader of Avalonia asks Searcher to join a team of explorers to find out what is happening – a trip that will take them all underground and to a strange world they have never seen before that is filled with mysterious plants and creatures.

While the script isn’t that sharp and the plot of this adventure is pretty predictable – of course son Ethan stows away for the adventure, Meridian comes along as well, and they eventually meet up with… well, it’s not hard to guess who – it’s the story of Searcher’s family, and especially the father/son relationship between him and Ethan, and also Searcher and Jaeger, that makes this film work so well.

The strange world is bright and beautifully realised throughout – and there is the obligatory cute creature in the form of a blue blob that Ethan names Splat – but it is the heart-warming stuff between the family, and the general feeling of acceptance throughout the film that draws you in and makes you want to share the Clades’ fun adventure.

Is Strange World suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...


There are quite a few creatures that attack the ship, including some shadowy ones that may frighten very young viewers.

Ethan and his dad become separated for part of the movie, but it is resolved quickly and you never feel too worried for them.


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