Monday, November 28, 2022

Strange World

Don Hall's Strange World may be the first Oedipal environmental animation. The generations and struggles of a nuclear family are equated with the ages of a planet very much like earth. Within the family context Jaeger Clade (the voice of Dennis Quaid) is the explorer always looking for more while his son Searcher (Jake Gyllenhaal) represents the nesting or agrarian impulse. In Candide, Voltaire famously says "we must cultivate our garden." Needless to say the plot is rife with tensions leading to a separation. Add to that, Jaeger's grandson Ethan (Jaboukie Young-White) who turns out to be both mixed race and gay. The fact that Strange World is a classic children's oriented Disney product, featuring creatures with names like Spat, ironically facilitates the poetry. The modus operandi is the saving of Pando, the fuel which is the lifeblood of Avalonia, the world which is the product of this life force. The twist is that the "planet" is dying from the very thing that keeps is supposed to be keeping it alive. Read fossil fuels and insecticides. The movie, reminiscent of Journey to the Center of the Earth envisions its own subterranean continent that looks like a heart (replete with valves), but also functions as the unconscious, ultimately allowing the characters a uniquely inside/out view of their own lives.

read "Died Young" by Francis Levy, The Brooklyn Rail

and watch the trailer for the animation of Erotomania

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.