Disney’s Strange World introduces a legendary family of explorers, the Clades, as they attempt to navigate an uncharted, treacherous land alongside a motley crew that includes a mischievous blob Splat, a three-legged dog Legend and a slew of other ravenous creatures. Directed by Don Hall and co-director/writer Qui Nguyen and produced by Roy Conli, the film features the voices of Jake Gyllenhaal as Searcher Clade; Dennis Quaid as Jaeger; Jaboukie Young-White as Ethan; Gabrielle Union as Meridian Clade and Lucy Liu as Callisto Mal.
Strange World: Jake Gyllenhaal and Gabrielle Union discuss how their characters were shaped in Disney’s family adventure
In the virtual global press conference attended by Bollywood Hungama, the team behind the family adventure discussed about their respective roles, what they brought to their characters and how their characters were shaped in the film. The attendees for the press conference included Jake Gyllenhaal, Gabrielle Union, Dennis Quaid, Jaboukie Young-White, Don Hall, Qui Nguyen and Roy Conli.
During this conference to promote the new animated feature, the cast also discussed about their roles and how they brought the characters to life. Speaking of how Jake came on board for the film, he shared, “I feel like story is what attracts me to a film. And I could feel from Don and Qui and from Ron that early on, it came from a true place.”
“As Don even talked about, the initial idea of the movie was really based on something that came from his own heart,” he added. “And so that drew me in. It wasn’t a story that, you know, came from the ether. It came directly from him and his personal experiences. So that made me want to be involved because it felt very personal. And then, I got to bring my own family and my own experience in a different way.”
Talking about how the character came out to be and how it developed throughout the film, Jake said, “I think the character was, and I’m sure that the rest of the cast feels this way, too, it was developed over time, over the year, year plus we were working with them. You know, the character started to take shape really. There was the idea they had. And that’s what makes working with them so wonderful is they’re really open to bringing yourself.”
He then added, “And little do you know all the animators are starting to watch your face, watch your movement, watch your facial expressions. And the character slowly does become you as you become it in this odd, extraordinary transformation. So, I was bringing myself without even realizing I was bringing myself.” Meanwhile, Gabrielle also explained how she brought the ‘cool mom’ Meridian Clade to life when around the same time she played a serious iteration of mom in another film.
“This came about at the same time as The Inspection. And I was like, I need some levity. And I was like, ‘What kind of mom is she? Oh, a good mom. Okay.’ So, I jumped at the chance because not only did I need some chuckles to offset the darkness, I just want to play in a different medium.” She then went on to add how it was a ‘dream come true’ moment for her to voice the character for Disney.
“That’s something we all kind of, you know, hope for.” she added noting how she was able to ad lib and stressed how she was pleasantly surprised by the amount of ad-lib that made to the final cut. “They kept so much of what I ad-libbed. And it just made it fun and easy and super-efficient. And rarely in this town do people care about efficiency and your time. And you walk in, they’re all truly, legit wonderful people.”
Telling us if she channeled a bit of her own personality into the fearless Meridian, truly bringing her to life, Gabrielle shared, “Because I had to suppress so much of who I am in Inspection, this allowed me to show how I am in real life. I’m not like a regular mom. I'm a cool mom with the big life... This was a lot closer to my actual, natural personality.”
Walt Disney Animation Studios’ action-packed family adventure will arrive in theaters on November 25 in India.
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