Dennis Quaid, Lucy Liu, Gabrielle Union, and Jaboukie Young-White have joined the voice cast of “Strange World,” a new adventure picture from Walt Disney Animation Studios set to enter theatres on November 23. They’ll be joining Jake Gyllenhaal, who was confirmed only a few days ago.
“Strange World” follows three generations of the Clade family, legendary explorers, who arrive at a dazzling land full of mysterious phenomena – shoals of flying fish, walking rock columns, and octopus-looking monsters, according to a recent trailer – directed by Don Hall, fresh off the success of “Raya and the Last Dragon,” and written and co-directed by Qui Nguyen, who co-wrote “Raya.”
Granddad Jaeger Clade will be voiced by Quaid in “Strange World,” which will be narrated in the classic visual style of ‘50s sci-fi B flicks. Ethan, the grandson, is played by Young-White.
Meridian is played by Union, and she is married to Gyllenhaal’s son Searcher. Liu plays Callisto Mal, the ruler of Avalonia, the film’s fantastical setting.
The throwback narrative, which is inspired by the writings of Edgar Rice Burroughs and Jules Verne, will feature non-speaking characters such as the family’s three-legged dog, Legend, and the gelatinous blue blob Splat, a strange monster from a strange new realm. In Annecy, producer Roy Conli stated, “He might well become your favorite character.”
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The whole voice cast was revealed at a Walt Disney Animation Studios showcase at France’s Annecy Animation Festival, which opened with Jennifer Lee, WDAS chief creature officer and writer-director of “Frozen,” which won her an Academy Award, and “Frozen II,” which got her another.
Lee also executive produced the future Disney Plus projects “Baymax” and “Zootopia +” and produced “Encanto” and “Raya and the Last Dragon.”
Lee praised animation as “imagination in its most sophisticated and elaborate form,” hailing “the genuine power of collaboration!” and calling it “part of my memories, my escape, my companion, my hope.”
The action scene was the second sequence revealed to Annecy. The entire family is assaulted by flying Fuschia creatures that appear like origami stingrays while they explore a tunnel from the inside of a lime green airplane.
After the attack, the family is split up, with Searcher and his dog falling off the plane and landing on a strange new planet, while Ethan and his mother pilot the ship to safety.
Searcher and the dog explore their new surroundings in sequence three, the phosphorescent environment resembling a coral reef painted brilliant pink.
They must fight off a Cthulhu-like beast after encountering Splat and are eventually rescued by a bearded old hunter. When the seasoned veteran of this treacherous terrain finally removes his hood, his look is startling. “Dad?” shouts the searcher.