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'Strange World': Disney pays homage to classic sci-fi pulp in first eye-popping trailer

Strange World arrives Wednesday, Nov. 23.

By Josh Weiss
Strange World PRESS

Start tuning up those theremins, people! Disney Animation just debuted the first trailer for its next original feature: Strange World. Helmed by the duo of Don Hall (co-director of Big Hero 6 and Raya and the Last Dragon) and screenwriter Qui Nguyen (co-writer on Raya and the Last Dragon) the action-adventure film pays homage to classic sci-fi exploits of yesteryear with an aesthetic inspired by the illustrations seen on the covers of pulp magazines like Weird Tales and Amazing Stories.

“I loved reading the old issues of pulps growing up,” Hall said in a statement when the movie was officially announced last December. “They were big adventures in which a group of explorers might discover a hidden world or ancient creatures. They’ve been a huge inspiration for Strange World."

"It continues to blow my mind that I get to tell stories like #DisneyRaya & now #StrangeWorld," Nguyen tweeted Monday. "Dreams I didn’t realize I was allowed to dream are coming true. This one is Don’s & my love letter to pulp adventure, fathers and sons, and other worldly tales."

Jake Gyllenhaal (Spider-Man: Far From HomeAmbulance) leads the voice cast as Searcher Clade, the member of an exploratory family that ventures into a *ahem* strange world populated by a menagerie of bizarre and fantastical creatures. The Clades' latest mission is an absolutely crucial one, but the dangerous endeavor threatens to crumble in the face of the family's differences. No other talent has been announced at this time.

Watch the trailer below:

Speaking to last year, Hall's Raya and the Last Dragon co-director, Carlos López Estrada, promised "that the filmmakers at Disney Animation are all making projects that they feel extremely passionate about, extremely connected to and that speak to them as individuals. There’s also a very diverse group of filmmakers now, so you’re going to get to see some really, really incredible stories coming out of there, some that are announced like Encanto, and some that are not announced, but I can tell you from being inside, I am very excited for all these projects to start seeing the light of day because they’re beautiful, incredible, complex and very, very diverse."

Roy Conli (Tangled, Big Hero 6) serves as a producer on the project.

Strange World arrives Wednesday, Nov. 23 — just in time for the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend. However, it's currently unclear if the film will receive a theatrical rollout or a straight-to-streaming release on Disney+.

Looking for more sci-fi? Check out Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, and more streaming on Peacock.