Disney’s latest Twitter announcement confirms that Strange World (2022), the 61st film from the Walt Disney Animation Studios, will soon make its Disney+ debut. But will that be enough to save the groundbreaking movie and its diverse cast from completely flopping with audiences?
Disney’s Strange World follows the futuristic exploits of a legendary family when they land on an uncharted treacherous land of fantastical creatures. The storyline, inspired by the work of author Jules Verne and steampunk aesthetics, also focused on the interpersonal relationships between the different generations of the Clades.
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What’s more, many fans grew excited for the movie’s theatrical release after Walt Disney Studios announced it would feature their first on-screen romance between two teen boys, and explore the sexual orientation of the youngest Clade family member, Ethan (Jaboukie Young-White). However, the film received the lowest audience ratings in the history of the Walt Disney Company, as well as lost a projected $100 million dollars during its initial Thanksgiving holiday run.
To be fair, though, unlike every other high-scoring Disney release, Strange World set precedents by earning just a B within the CinemaScore rankings, which on its own is not bad for a movie that pushed so many boundaries while trying to present a compelling narrative. Unfortunately, this new attempt at more inclusive representation resulted in many countries banning the film outright and incited backlash and vitriol from conservative fans in the US.
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In addition, reports concluded that Strange World would have to bring in around $360 million at the box office to recoup the $180 million budget that went into making it. Sadly, despite a run in 4,174 different theaters across North America, so far the movie has only grossed a total of $25.5 million within its second week, a nearly 60% drop.
Yet, there may still be hope for director Don Hall and writer Qui Nguyen’s unique animated film. Disney recently announced via Twitter that Strange World would premiere to at-home viewers with an active Disney+ subscription on December 23, 2022:
They’re in their element when exploring this world…
Join the Clade family and experience Disney’s #StrangeWorld, streaming December 23 only on #DisneyPlus! pic.twitter.com/uLIU4xC2iq
— Disney+ (@DisneyPlus) December 12, 2022
While it faced similarly poor reception during its initial release, Encanto (2021) became a household name after its Disney+ debut and its subsequent viral status due to TikTok audios of the popular “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” almost overnight! With a similarly diverse cast and progressive storyline, it’s possible this move to the streaming platform could result in increased viewership for Strange World.
Have you seen Strange World yet? Fans can view the new Disney film when it makes its streaming debut to Disney+ on December 23.