Strange World - Movie Content Review

Strange World - Movie Content Review - Picture of Ethan and Searcher Clade

Sometimes a few spoilers are necessary to properly discuss the content of the movie

On an expedition in a Strange World that lives beneath their feet, the Clade family search for the source of what's damaging their crops.

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Disney's Strange World follows Lightyear's footsteps as a children's movie that has obviously homosexual characters.  The main character, 16 year old Ethan Clade, has a crush on a boy that is discussed on several occasions by several different characters.  It's presented in such a way that children are absolutely going to recognize the movie is telling them a boy liking a boy is completely normal.  And none of the other characters offer any resistance or surprise either.  Since Ethan's sexuality didn't play a role in the story, the movie could have easily been tweaked for Ethan to have a crush on a girl or for his sexuality to never have been specified at all.

This trend to include homosexuality in movies targeted at children is deeply disturbing and they're becoming less and less subtle about it.  Older movies may have had a more feminine or lispy man, Onward had one brief easily missed line, Beauty and the Beast had a couple troubling scenes, it's part of Lightyear's main message... and now in Strange World the teenage main character is gay.  Yet for how open they are about it, there's nothing in Disney Plus's description or trailer that would have informed me of this before I watched the movie.

Ethan has a world view that everything can live together in balanced harmony.  A scene where he plays a game with Jaeger Clade (his grandfather) and Searcher Clade (his father) is used as the main vehicle for this message.  During the scene, Ethan explains the objective of the game isn't to kill, but to build a working civilization using the environment around you.  There's hints of this world view tucked all through out the movie, like when Ethan dramatically describes weeds as just a plant in a location you personally don't want it.

In the end the Clades make economic changes to their world that emulate this world view.  Pando, the plant that provided electricity for their world, was ultimately deemed harmful to their environment and its use was abolished.  They now use hot air balloons instead of airplanes, and wind now powers their lights.  Ethan even takes a job working with his crush to restore the Strange World from the effects of Pando.  

While the connection is never explicitly made, Pando appears to be used as a metaphor for fossil fuels.

Additionally, there's a constant theme of the Clade men being simultaneously just like their father, but also completely different.  It is typically presented hand-in-hand with wanting to leave a legacy for your son, but charting your own independent legacy separate from your father.  I'm not sure what the message behind those themes are, perhaps it's simply embracing individuality, but they're explicitly pointed out several times.


Strange World - Language - Picture of the Clade family (Ethan, Searcher, Jaeger, and Meridian) with Callisto Mal


There is no swearing in this movie.

Strange World - Fears - Picture of Ethan Clade nearly wrecking the air ship


Jaeger uses a flamethrower multiple times as a way of attacking the monsters.  It doesn't start any large fires and isn't likely to scare children.

Some of the creatures that attack the expedition crew may be viewed as a little scary to younger kids.  There's a pink pterodactyl shaped creature that in one scene uses a frog-like tongue to take a character off screen and presumably eat them.  The most common scary creature is squid-like and large, but crawls along the land quickly.  Most of the scariness of the creatures comes from the fact that they swarm and attack the main characters, rather than their looks.  Just like in The Sea Beast the monsters become allies in the end; so they aren't drawn too scary and rather their scariness comes more from their actions.

Ethan says he needs to be brave to run through a "nightmare tunnel", which is simply a cave lighted by bio-luminescence.

There are no storms, clowns, strong villains, kidnappings, or home break-ins.

Strange World - Family & Relationships - Picture of Ethan with his [homosexual] crush Diazo

Family & Relationships

The beginning of the movie shows Jaeger going off on an expedition and never returning, so he is presumed dead.  But then time jumps ahead and it's soon discovered Jaeger was simply unable to return home due to untraversable terrain.

Ethan stows away on the air ship and joins the expedition crew after he is told to stay at home. 

There's several stereotypical teenage awkward/cringe discussions revolving around Ethan and his crush.  Searcher and his wife are shown kissing several times, and Ethan complains about it in a stereotypical teenage way.

There is no divorce, sneaking out, or bullying.

Strange World - Other Content - Picture of Jaeger Clade, Searcher Clade, and Splat playing a game

Other Content

The world isn't presented as having magic, but there's a lot of fantasy elements.  There's an entire world filled with strange plants and creatures just below the surface of the Clade's world.  The end of the movie reveals that the Clades live on the back of a turtle-like creature the size of a continent, and the Strange World they were exploring is actually the bodily systems of the turtle.  After the movie is over you can have a fun discussion with your children about what things in the movie correspond to which internal body parts.

The movie makes it very clear that Ethan has a crush on another boy within the first few minutes.  He talks about it in several different scenes with the other characters through out the movie.  This is not one of those things that a smaller child will miss; they will definitely understand that Ethan desires a same sex relationship.  It is presented as a typical teenage awkward crush, and all of the other characters accept the same sex crush as normal and don't question it.  Ethan's sexuality is not relevant to the story and his crush only shows up in a brief scene at the beginning and end; but the topic comes up too many other times through out the movie for a parent to skip just those scenes.  

Additionally, there's one character who is portrayed and voiced (by a gay voice actor) stereotypically gay, but his sexuality is never specified.  Another main character also has a multicolored sash, but there is no mention of its significance or her sexuality.

The expedition crew fight off creatures on several occasions (using mostly a flame thrower, swords, and electricity to defend themselves), and one character is presumably taken away to be eaten by them.

There is no time travel, politics, evolution, religion, or scenes invoking intense feelings.

Strange World - Content Review - Picture of Ethan Clade looking confused


Strange World is a fun movie that takes place in a very cool world.  However, the activist messages and including homosexuality in a children's movie is going to turn away a ton of parents.


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