Strange World Footage Reveals The Wondrously Weird (And Juicy) New Movie From Disney Animation

The Disney feature "Strange World" is still a couple of months away from its premiere, and while we've gotten a fun trailer teasing how the Clade family finds themselves on an airship trip that takes them some place completely and entirely strange, we don't know much about the film.

However, Disney Animation had a press event last week that pulled back the curtain a bit more on the movie, which director Don Hall has said is partly inspired by the pulp magazines he read as a kid. I attended this event for /Film, and during the presentation that Hall and co-director and writer Qui Nguyen gave, we got to see footage from the feature, which has the Clades going on a "Journey to the Center of the Earth"-style adventure into the core of the planet below their town of Avalonia.

Disney showed at least one of the sequences I saw during D23 as well, specifically an action-packed scene in the strange land underneath the surface where Searcher (Jake Gyllenhaal) and his dad Jaeger (Dennis Quaid) rescue their son/grandson Ethan (Jaboukie Young-White) from tentacled monsters that look like giant gelatinous hermit crabs. We also saw a harrowing sequence where Searcher, the town mayor Callisto Mal (Lucy Liu), Ethan, and their dog Legend have their voyage on their airship, the Venture, interrupted by pink flying pterodactyl-like creatures that cause them to crash through a pink membrane and into the very much not-normal world beneath their planet.

Nothing brings a family together like trying to stay alive when faced with hungry faceless creatures

We also saw some quieter scenes, such as a nice breakfast moment on Searcher's farm in Avalonia before their journey to the strange land underneath them. This sequence shed light on the family dynamics between Searcher, his son Ethan, and his wife, Meridian (Gabrielle Union). There was also a sequence where we meet Splat, a delightful seven-legged blob-like creature who will undoubtedly give Disney a nice return via merchandise sales.

While some of the sequences were still clearly in development, the footage was impressive. What we saw of the land underneath Avalonia was certainly outside the norm of what one would expect, in no small part because Hall told the animation team that the world should have no greens or browns, and that none of the creatures should have faces. With those restrictions, what we saw of the strange world was remarkably pink and – with its boba trees and many bulbous, blobby creatures — very juicy.

But pink isn't the only hue and juicy isn't the only feeling we'll get in the strange lands beneath Avalonia — Nguyen told me in my interview with him, Hall, and producer Roy Conli, that the footage of the land we saw is just one part of the vast strange world the Clades find themselves in. I'm excited to see what other odd environments are in the film, but what makes me most excited for the movie is that, from what I've seen, it does a good job balancing the fun and spectacle of traveling through a weird-ass world with the struggles that arise between fathers and sons. Even fathers and sons who get along.

Those elements, along with what sounds like an amazing score, make me eager to watch the rest of "Strange World" with my kid when it comes out.

Disney Animation's "Strange World" hits theaters on November 23, 2022.