‘Strange World’ Trailer Promises Return to Normal for Disney Animation
Ahead of Pixar Light yearWalt Disney has just dropped a poster and a trailer for this month of November strange world. Disney’s press release doesn’t say “only in theaters” or even the word “theatres,” or “Disney+.” At the time, an exclusive theatrical window was automatically presumed. This presumption partly explains how and why Scarlett Johansson ended up suing Disney for the loss of specific box office profits after Black Widow got a movie/Disney+ Premier Access hybrid release.
Still, given that the studio (speculation alert) likely paid a large chunk of Disney+ gross profits to Johansson when settling this case and considering that similar lawsuits were partially/likely avoided by overpaying Emma Stone for a theoretical Cruel 2 and/or Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt for a theoretical course Jungle Cruise 2, the whole cinemas/Disney+ release model may already be a notion in the past tense. But again, that’s 104% speculation.
Anyway, the original animated film, which opens (presumably in theaters) on November 23, stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Searcher Clade, an aptly named son of a legendary explorer. Directed by Don Hall (Big Hero 6 and Raya and the last dragon) and co-directed by Qui Nguyen who co-wrote Raya), strange world is sold (understandably) on its borderline hallucinogenic visuals. I imagine this teaser will play great on an IMAX or Dolby screen, especially sitting just a little too close to the screen.
The overall setup of the Exploratory Adventure bears a slight resemblance to that of Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise Atlantis: The Lost Empirea financial whiff ($186 million on a $120 million budget while DreamWorks Shrek was changing the landscape) that A) is one of many movies that ended up looking somewhat Avatar and B) was a PG-rated violent animated film back when such a thing was damn unique. Speaking of movies that looked like Avatar (not only The battle for Terra), the fantasy world brought back fond memories of dragon huntersa forgotten animated gem from 2008 that’s worth your time if you want it.
Speaking of Avatar, this “Journey to a Fantasy World Beyond Your Imagination” movie will debut in theaters just under a month before Avatar: The Way of the Water, which means Disney has returned to its pre-Covid release model. You have a big MCU movie (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever) in early November, a major Thanksgiving animated film and a spectacular end-of-the-year fantasy adventure the weekend before the Christmas holidays.
Additionally, Enlightenment Sing 2 surpassed $400 million and even DreamWorks The villains earned $220 million and counts both films exist simultaneously on PVOD for most of their theatrical releases. Now it’s up to Disney to prove they can still top their competition in terms of theatrical animation. Encanto barely cracked $250 million and turn red skipped theaters, so now the burden of proof has shifted from Disney’s competitors to Disney itself. your move, Light year.