This past Tuesday, my wife and I had some time together with our daughter. Not having anything particular to do with the weather being dreary, my wife suggested watching Strange World.
“Oh Boy.” I groaned in my head. “This is that ultrapoliticized Disney movie that everyone in the Press has been talking about.” Yet, family time is important for two working parents. So, I swallowed my pride and we fired up Disney Plus and played the movie.
To my surprise, I found Strange World to be thoroughly enjoyable. I would go so far as to say that both plot wise, and visually this has been the best effort put out by Disney in years. It had heart, adventure, and emotion. It deserves to at least be considered a “Masterpiece”.
It is just too bad that the Press from both the right and left had to weaponize it, only to have it go down in history as “The Woke Movie That Tanked” the problem is: The movie wasn’t exactly “woke” by any sense of the word. Aside from the fantastical plot, and the science fiction aspect, the film was nothing more than realistic
With The Press Involved: The Movie Never Got A Fair Chance.
When the movie was set to be released, Disney didn’t really do a traditional press blitz for it, unless you knew where to look. This left potential movie goers to have to rely on word of mouth to get any information on the film. This did not work out well for Strange World. This tweet from video game programmer/professional victim Brianna Wu sets the tone.
Mrs. Wu’s take is hyperbolic and obtuse.
- The main protagonist (Searcher Clade) is not gay. His son, Ethan is.
- Older people not finding Ethan’s homosexuality to be remarkable is normal, and has been normal in film for years. Brianna Wu is speaking as if we all live in the sub plot of a Jon Waters movie.
- Biracial Marriage is nothing new in film. No ground has been broken here. If you need a refresher course on the history of cinema: please watch this trailer for Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner
- The Disabled Dog is little more than a background character, and I’m sure that wasn’t a plan to “own conservatives”
Brianna Wu’s enthusiastic support of the film came off as a troll, and made potential movie goers such as myself expect a ninety minute political lecture. So this tweet is a huge misfire.
Then there is this insightful gem from Greg Wilson of The Daily Wire, who calls the film an “Animated Gay Teen Romance” You don’t even have to scroll past the headline to see that Mr. Wilson most likely did not watch the movie.
Way too much focus was put on the aspects of the film that are considered to be “woke” and almost no focus from the press was on the actual plot, which was a wonderful story.
Strange World is a visually stunning movie that evokes wonder and emotion. It was refreshing to see both men and women as strong and capable characters, which bucks the current trend of male protagonists being frail and incompetent. The environmental angle was thought provocative. I didn’t agree with one hundred percent of the message the film was sending to the audience about the environment, but it was enough to make me question some of my thoughts on the matter and be willing to change my position or defend it with a civil debate.
What really got me was the angle between the fathers and their respective sons. Jaeger Clade is an obsessive explorer who had expected his son Searcher to follow in his footsteps. His heart was broken when Searcher finally told him that he didn’t want to be like him, and he stormed off to find the other side of the mountain.
Jaeger’s regrets prove to be even bigger when he realizes that his obsession has cost him everything in his life. The ending montage when he finally finds peace with his family is satisfying. It makes me wonder if that is what it would have been like for Captain Ahab, if he had just relented and let The Whale be.
Searcher doesn’t realize until it is almost too late that he is doing to Ethan what Jaeger was doing to him. He spent the whole movie fearing that Ethan would turn into Jaeger, only to realize that he had inadvertently turned into Jaeger himself.
In the end, when you ignore the pundits and watch the movie with your own eyes, you will find a heartwarming story about the relationship between a generation of men and the internal problems they face. You get to see the resentment, the hurt, the love behind those feelings, and finally: the reconciliation that pulls the film together like that good old fashioned Disney Magic used to do.
Disney should rerelease this into theaters on Father’s Day with a new marketing strategy. That would truly do the film’s spirit some justice.
What do you think, Geek Faithful? Was Strange World too woke? Did you like it? Did you hate it? We want to hear from you, so sound off in the comments below!
Thank you for reading. When I am not writing, I enjoy spending time with my wife Barbar, my Three Year Old Daughter Frankie, and my Hound Marbles.
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