Strange World

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Short takes

Not suitable under 5; parental guidance to 8 (violence, scary scenes, themes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Strange World
  • a review of Strange World completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 1 December 2022.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Not suitable due to violence, themes and scary scenes.
Children aged 5–8 Parental guidance recommended due to violence, themes and scary scenes.
Children over the age of 8 Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Strange World
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild science fiction themes
Length: 102 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The land of Avalonia is surrounded by the tallest, most impenetrable mountains. No one has ever gone over them and no one knows what lies beyond them but famous explorer, Jaeger Clade (voice of Dennis Quaid), is determined to find out. Jaeger organises a mission with a group of highly trained individuals, including Callisto (voice of Lucy Liu) who later becomes the leader of Avalonia and his own teenage son, Searcher (voice of Jake Gyllenhaal). After a disagreement in the mountains, Jaeger abandons the group, sets off alone and never returns. Meanwhile, Searcher discovers a revolutionary plant, called Pando, which turns out to be capable of powering the entire land of Avalonia. Years later, when a strange disease begins to ravage Pando’s root system, Searcher sets off to help Callisto and her crew discover the cause. Inadvertently joined by his wife Meridian (voice of Gabrielle Union) and son Ethan (voice of Jaboukie Young- White), Searcher and the rest of the expedition soon find themselves in a strange new land, far beneath their beloved Avalonia. This new world is filled with danger and mystery and more than one shocking discovery. This crew will need to make some serious decisions, as more than just the future of Pando is at stake.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Environmental catastrophes; Dysfunctional relationships between family members; Homosexuality; The health and wellbeing of people and planets.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie, including:

  • An explorer looks like he is crushed by a large block of ice falling from a cave. He later steps out from behind it.
  • An avalanche of falling icicles threatens to crush a group of explorers.
  • A three legged dog is repeatedly shocked by Pando pods.
  • What appear to be flying pink birds with razor beaks attack the ship that Searcher is on.
  • The pilot is sucked out of the front windscreen by the birds when they attack.
  • Callisto stabs at the bids with her knife.
  • Searcher falls from the plane as it crash lands in a foreign and hostile environment.
  • Searcher is nearly attacked by some random creatures – Jaeger saves him.
  • Huge reapers (round, monster-like creatures with tentacles and large, scary mouths) come after Ethan.
  • Ethan falls off a ledge and loses his bike.
  • A strange creature sneaks up behind Ethan and attacks him in a cave. It slaps Ethan in the face when Ethan smacks him against a rock.
  • It appears as if a reaper has a few tentacles ripped off.
  • Two scary reapers devour some of the plane debris that fell off during the crash landing.
  • Jaeger tells Searcher that Ethan is with a scout of the reapers and that these creatures only have one job: to lure you to your death.
  • A small creature who befriends Ethan is accidentally electrocuted and burned.
  • A character demonstrates how creatures can be burned with Pando.
  • Jaeger often uses a flame thrower to attack strange creatures.
  • Jaeger tries to teach Ethan to use the flame thrower, despite his father’s disapproval.
  • Ethan’s dog almost falls into a river of acid.
  • The explorers all throw Pando at the reapers, individually electrocuting them.
  • Searcher and Jaeger stab through an enormous, tough, vine that is wrapped around a creature’s heart.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • The Strange World is filled with unusual and dangerous creatures, some of whom clearly resemble monsters. The reapers are the worst as they are giant balls with numerous tentacles and large, vicious-looking mouths. They devour everything they can, attack without mercy and look very scary, especially when they are after Ethan or any of the others. At one stage, Ethan is being lured to a nest of reapers while his father and grandfather race to save him. Ethan is surrounded and it looks like he will be killed but he saved at the last second by his grandfather brandishing a flame thrower.
  • In another scene, there is a jump-scare where a massive army of reapers appear to attack the ship. Jaeger is being attacked and Callisto stabs it. In yet another, Ethan, Searcher and Jaeger are being pursued by an army of reapers who are closing in. There is a very real sense of peril as there are numerous close calls where someone nearly gets taken. They manage to escape just in the nick of time.
  • Everything in the strange world is alive. The cliffs are alive, the creatures are alive and the water will dissolve the flesh right off your body. The family and the explorers are constantly in peril, which is likely to be distressing for some young children.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • A young Searcher falls off a cliff during an avalanche and is being swept into an icy ravine, falling further and further backwards, with a look of terror on his face. Searcher’s father jumps off the cliff with a rope and manages to save his son just in the nick of time. It is shortly thereafter that Searcher tells his father he doesn’t want to be an explorer. His father, determined to go on, walks into the snowy whiteness of the mountains. He doesn’t return and is presumed dead. Searcher is devastated, watching his dad leave the way he did.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Ethan is gay and has a crush on a male friend. There is mild flirtation which is widely accepted and supported by his family and friends.
  • Searcher asks his father: “How are you my dad?” Jaeger answers: “When two people love each other...”

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Searcher and his wife repeatedly kiss.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Searcher and Jaeger drink what appear to be bottles of beer.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Searcher tells Ethan that his father was a “really bad dad”.

In a nutshell

Strange World is an animated, sci-fi adventure from Disney studios. The film contains powerful lessons about ecosystems, the importance of living in harmony with the natural environment and reversing any damage that may have been caused. Best suited to families with children over 5, with parental guidance to 8.

The main messages from this movie are that we shouldn’t seek to make our children become exactly like us (they will have their own dreams and their own paths to follow); and that everything in the natural world is somehow connected – you cannot damage one part without other parts also being affected.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Inquisitiveness
  • Courage
  • Empathy
  • Self-awareness
  • Helpfulness
  • Honesty
  • Teamwork.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • The way that we use the Earth’s resources and pollute the natural environment without taking responsibility for the negative consequences of doing so.
  • Not taking the time to understand a problem and how to solve it with the best outcomes for everyone – and instead just reacting and sometimes causing irreparable damage in the process.
  • Stowing away on a dangerous mission without permission or taking off without telling anyone where you are going.
  • Forcing a child to be what the parent imagines they should be, instead of allowing the child a voice or the opportunity to discover their own gifts or destinies.