a strange world It’s not a saga -or at least it doesn’t follow an already released film-, nor a spin-off, it’s not detached from someone else. It’s a rare bird in the cinematic world of tanks, but also the bet of Disney animation for continuing to imagine and create new stories, albeit with recognizable influences.
The film was directed by Don Hall, the director of great heroesafter the success of Raya and the last dragonand by Qui Nguyen, who co-wrote the screenplay for Band.
a strange world follows three generations of the Clade family, whose greatest exponent is Jaeger, the legendary explorer, whom everyone took for lost, who he will meet in this land of the title, full of mysterious phenomena, such as shoals of flying fish, columns of walking rocks and even monsters similar to octopuses.
Dennis Quaid provides the voice of Jaeger, Jake Gyllenhall his son Searcher and Jaboukie Young-White his son.
Long before the premiere, the filmmakers spoke via Zoom with clarion on the film, which premieres in full fury of the World Cup.
-Promos for the film invite you to “prepare for a journey beyond the possible”. Can you provide more details on this concept?
Don Sala: OK yes. I think this is a great adventure film. And we go to a hidden world in this movie. It’s very similar to those adventure films from the past. Even King Kong it’s a perfect example of a group of explorers looking for a new world, a hidden world, that sort of thing. So this is one of those movies.
So, because we are Disney Animation and are not bound by reality in any way, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to let our artists design a world like you’ve never seen it before. And I think it’s a safe thing to say that they did.
-“Strange World” is inspired by adventure stories published in pulp magazines. Can you tell me which ones, specifically, inspired you?
-Here Nguyen: Well we were watching all Jules Verne, Journey to the Center of the Earthand also The lost world, things like that. There was definitely a lot of inspiration if we talk about the story. But the cinematic inspirations also come from Raiders of the Lost Ark, King Kongalso Star Warsand they get mixed up, like in some kind of funny family comedy, like National Lampoon Holiday (Vacation, 1986, by Harold Ramis, with Chevy Chase) or something like that. We wanted to give it a fun character. So the inspiration was to go on a big adventure with a big family drama.
-I see that the film is narrated in a retro visual style, from the sci-fi B-movies of the 50s. Is that so?
Don Sala: And I think so, that’s in the mix. I think there are other things there as well. But yeah, again, it fits the idea of an adventure story, but that’s part of my influences growing up. And I know this has had an influence as well Star Wars Y Raiders of the Lost Ark. However, I think we’re all drawing on a lot of those same influences.
-How did you design and create the unique environments and creatures depicted in the film?
Don Sala: Lots of trial and error. You know, we started with this huge blue sky, like it could be anything. And we lose our artists for it. They brought things that they saw while they were investigating, several interesting images that looked like they were from another world, even though they were based in reality, like coral reefs or mushrooms or even food, close-ups of food…
But just to introduce a bunch of different new references and then make our own artwork based on that. And over time, we’ve had this “body” of work, that we’ve been able to start with. We started seeing patterns and things we could build as a kind of bible that the real world could help us design this world that we create.
a three-legged dog
-Speaking of non-speaking characters, like the three-legged family dog, Leyenda, and that jelly-like blue blob, Splat, how did they come to your imagination?
-Here Nguyen: The dog wasn’t always part of the movie’s idea, and Splat, well, when it comes to movies like this, an inhabitant of that strange world will always like him. King Kong is an excellent example, isn’t it, this very, very different creature. As if the characters of a strange world They were looking for a lost island.
So imagine a cute blue King Kong. That was basically our version of King Kong, but then the other non-speaking character came along, with Leyenda, our dog. Don tells the story much better than I do, because he’s the one who didn’t want us to have a dog right away…
Don Sala: Well, from the very beginning we’ve been working with this amazing artist named Burney Mattinson (he’s 87 today), who’s been at Disney for 69 years. He started doing animation in The Lady and the Tramp (1965), but does not even appear in the credits. And then he became an artist and story director.
He directed Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983), which is one of my favorite short films. And I worked with Burney on Winnie the Pooh (2011) and in great heroes (big hero 6, 2014). I love working with Burney, because he lived and lives the history of Disney, and he was working with us on the story of A Strange World.
And, in one of the first script meetings we had, he said to me, “I think you need a dog in the movie.” “Really? I don’t know, Burney,” I replied. “I think he’s going to be a character,” he continued. “I’m not sure,” was my response. And then the story arcs made us think we needed a dog. Let’s get one. And I was like, okay, okay.
-Why didn’t you want to include Legend?
-I felt that the father didn’t want to have a dog. And then, I think I had a vision. Did you know? If it’s a three-legged dog, we’ve never seen it before. And then everyone fell in love with that idea, and even those who were reluctant, like me, I have to say, ended up realizing that Leyenda steals every scene she’s in.
And we named him Legend after Burney, because he’s a true Disney legend. And that’s why I always laugh with him.
-Don, what do you think animation still needs to improve? The eyes, perhaps?
-Are you talking about animation in general or about film?
-Usually. What’s the next step to improve animation?
Ah, the next step. I do not know. This is a good question, because now we are not bound by anything. There are no limits to what we can do. And that’s why I love Splat, because it’s pure animation, fun and personality. It echoes the Disney animation studio’s original impulses to take something that is inanimate and bring it to life.
And then where do we go from here, I don’t know. I think that’s what I love about working here, that every new film is a new frontier. Something new is being tried. I guarantee that inside a strange world something new is tried and tested.
And that’s just one feature, I guess it’s a core thing about the studio that we’re always trying to push. With style. A style in animation is something you look for, something that has a path. And the idea of recreating the iris of an eye, that’s a path. So just having a circular point is a path. And it’s really going to come down to the individual style of what you’re doing.
Charles Hurd is an entertainment journalist for News Rebeat. He brings a fresh and engaging voice to the world of pop culture, covering the latest developments in film, television, music, and more.