The land of Avalonia is surrounded by the tallest, most impenetrable mountains. No-one has ever gone over them and no-one knows what lies beyond them but famous explorer, Jaeger Clade (voice of Dennis Quaid), is determined to find out. Jaeger organises a mission with a group of highly trained individuals, including Callisto (voice of Lucy Liu) who later becomes the leader of Avalonia and his own teenage son, Searcher (voice of Jake Gyllenhaal). After a disagreement in the mountains, Jaeger abandons the group, sets off alone and never returns. Meanwhile, Searcher discovers a revolutionary plant, called Pando, which turns out to be capable of powering the entire land of Avalonia. Years later, when a strange disease begins to ravage Pando’s root system, Searcher sets off to help Callisto and her crew discover the cause. Inadvertently joined by his wife Meridian (voice of Gabrielle Union) and son Ethan (voice of Jaboukie Young-White), Searcher and the rest of the expedition soon find themselves in a strange new land, far beneath their beloved Avalonia. This new world is filled with danger and mystery and more than one shocking discovery. This crew will need to make some serious decisions, as more than just the future of Pando is at stake.
Environmental catastrophes; dysfunctional relationships between family members; homosexuality; the health and wellbeing of people and planets
Strange World has some violence. For example:
- An explorer looks like he is crushed by a large block of ice falling from a cave. He later steps out from behind it.
- An avalanche of falling icicles threatens to crush a group of explorers.
- A 3-legged dog is repeatedly shocked by Pando pods.
- What appear to be flying pink birds with razor beaks attack the ship that Searcher is on.
- The pilot is sucked out of the front windscreen by the birds when they attack.
- Callisto stabs at the bids with her knife.
- Searcher falls from the plane as it crash lands in a foreign and hostile environment.
- Searcher is nearly attacked by some random creatures – Jaeger saves him.
- Huge reapers (round, monster-like creatures with tentacles and large, scary mouths) come after Ethan.
- Ethan falls off a ledge and loses his bike.
- A strange creature sneaks up behind Ethan and attacks him in a cave. It slaps Ethan in the face when Ethan smacks him against a rock.
- It appears as if a reaper has a few tentacles ripped off.
- Two scary reapers devour some of the plane debris that fell off during the crash landing.
- Jaeger tells Searcher that Ethan is with a scout of the reapers and that these creatures only have one job: to lure you to your death.
- A small creature who befriends Ethan is accidentally electrocuted and burned.
- A character demonstrates how creatures can be burned with Pando.
- Jaeger often uses a flame thrower to attack strange creatures.
- Jaeger tries to teach Ethan to use the flame thrower, despite his father’s disapproval.
- Ethan’s dog almost falls into a river of acid.
- The explorers all throw Pando at the reapers, individually electrocuting them.
- Searcher and Jaeger stab through an enormous, tough, vine that is wrapped around a creature’s heart.
Strange World has some sexual references. For example:
- Ethan is gay and has a crush on a male friend. There is mild flirtation which is widely accepted and supported by his family and friends.
- Searcher asks his father: ‘How are you my dad?’ Jaeger answers: ‘When two people love each other...’
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Strange World has some substance use. For example, Searcher and Jaeger drink what appear to be bottles of beer.
Nudity and sexual activity
Strange World has some nudity and sexual activity. For example, Searcher and his wife repeatedly kiss.
There’s no product placement in Strange World.
Strange World has some coarse language, name-calling and insults, including Searcher telling Ethan that his father was a ‘really bad dad’.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Strange World is an animated, sci-fi adventure from Disney studios. The film contains powerful lessons about ecosystems, the importance of living in harmony with the natural environment and reversing any damage that may have been caused. Strange World is best suited to families with children over 5 but we recommend parental guidance for children aged 5-8 years.
These are the main messages from Strange World:
- Parents shouldn’t expect their children to become exactly like them; children have their own dreams and their own paths to follow.
- Everything in the natural world is connected; you cannot damage one part without other parts also being affected.
Values in Strange World that you could reinforce with your children include inquisitiveness, courage, empathy, self-awareness, helpfulness, honesty and teamwork.
Strange World could also give you the chance to talk with your children about the real-life consequences of:
- Using the Earth’s resources and polluting the natural environment without taking responsibility for the negative consequences.
- Not taking the time to understand a problem and how to solve it with the best outcomes for everyone – and instead reacting impulsively and sometimes causing irreparable damage.
- Stowing away on a dangerous mission without permission or taking off without telling anyone where you’re going.
- Forcing a child to be what a parent imagines they should be, instead of allowing the child to have their own voice and the opportunity to discover their own gifts or destiny.