Traveling past space and time to a mysterious world, beyond what is possible and into a living world of connected plants and organisms known as Avalonia, where fungi the size of mountains walk across gullys, schools of stingray-like creatures swim through the air, land squids roam the oddly squishy plains and the legendary Clade family travel in their trusty submarine-like airship in search of something of great importance. In Strange World, the Clade family, whose differences often get in the way, must overcome their struggles in order to take on their most crucial mission yet. With such different characters, the film has enlisted a legendary cast to bring the family, and the various critters, to life. As of December 23, Strange World is available to stream from the comfort of your own home, exclusively on Disney+, right in time for Christmas.
We’ve explored uncharted lands to bring you this list of who’s who in the Disney’s, epic, animated adventure.
Jake Gyllenhaal as Searcher Clade
A farmer turned explorer, Searcher Clade is unsure of himself on the wild adventure into a strange wilderness. The son of a dedicated and brave explorer, who went missing years prior, must find his footing as the head of the family, and find bravery within when his family needs him most. At the film’s start, Searcher has found much success in harvesting a resource called Pando, before being whisked away on a crazy adventure.
Jake Gyllenhaal voices the fumbling father figure, Searcher Clade, in the upcoming animated film. This will be the actor’s second voice-acting role of his career after voicing Jim Prescott in the 2021 DreamWorks film Spirit Untamed. Known for taking on haunting characters in dark, dramatic films, the brightly colored, family-friendly flick will contrast his well-known roles in films such as Nightcrawler, Donnie Darko, and Southpaw. The Zodiac actor has a busy schedule ahead of him, with ten film and television projects currently in varying states of production, including the remake of the 1989 Patrick Swayze starring film, Road House.
Jaboukie Young-White as Ethan Clade
Ethan Clade, a fourteen-year-old wise guy, is a fairly typical teen. With his quick-witted humor, playful, wise-cracking Ethan can sometimes be a pain to his parents, Searcher, and Meridian, but this not-so-tough guy has a soft side just below the surface. An only child, and mesmerized by the glowing, twirling creatures he encounters, Ethan is quick to make friends with the odd organisms of the strange land. According to Disney, Ethan has the distinction of being Walt Disney Animation Studios’ first openly LGBTQ character, as it is revealed at the start of the movie that he has a crush on his classmate Diazo (Jonathan Melo).
Actor and writer Jaboukie Young-White takes on the role of the curious Ethan Clade. The 27-year-old actor was chosen for his youthful-sounding voice and ability to relay his characters’ expressive emotions through speech alone. Young-White has a career history of voice acting, having previously worked in BoJack Horseman, Big Mouth, Ralph Breaks the Internet, Baymax!, and more. The up-and-coming actor is currently working on a yet-to-be-named project with comedian Bo Burnham, which is said to focus on high school outcasts who don superhero costumes and go after the teens who bully them.
Gabrielle Union as Meridian Clade
Meridian Clade, an industrious wife and mother, is the fearless pilot of the family’s airship. With her hair tied up high and her goggles strapped on tight, this mother is like no other, surveying the wild land, navigating its complicated structures, and protecting her curious son, who may take a few wrong steps, right off the side of a gelatinous cliff.
Known for her breakout role as the character Isis in the 2000 cheerleading film Bring It On, Gabrielle Union voices the bold and loving mother, Meridian. Union began her career in the early 90s, with small roles in television series such as Family Matters and Moesha. By 1999, Union had worked her way up to a recurring role in 7th Heaven, and snagged parts in such pivotal teen films as 10 Things I Hate About You and Clueless. More recently, the accomplished actress starred alongside Zach Braff in the 2022 film Cheaper by the Dozen, in which she portrays a mother of twelve.
Dennis Quaid as Jaeger Clade
Grandfather of Searcher, Jaeger Clade will never give up hope that his fearless explorer son is out there somewhere, possibly hiding beyond what is possible. The mustachioed macho man, with shoulders as broad as he is tall, sets his sights on the impossible. It’s revealed in the film’s opening that Jaeger went missing after abandoning his team when they stumble upon Pando. He’s revealed to have been living underground for years before finally reuniting with his son.
The Day After Tomorrow actor, Dennis Quaid, takes on the role of Jaeger Clade in the Disney sci-fi film. A well-known actor, Quaid has appeared in both film and television, with a career spanning genres from apocalyptic action to family comedies and dramas. His most notable role is that of Frank Whitaker in the 2002 film Far From Heaven, though, if you grew up in the 90s you may recognize him as the wine-making father figure in The Parent Trap. Quaid, well known for his roles on-screen, has twice before lent his voice to characters off-screen, including political figures in the documentary series Freedom: A History of US, as well as a one-time slot as Grandpa Redbeard in the long-running children’s cartoon, SpongeBob SquarePants. Strange World most certainly won’t be the Frequency star’s last voice-acting role, as he is set to take on the character Rind, a shrouded knight, in the upcoming animated film, Saurus City, where he will star alongside Emma Roberts and Ron Perlman.
Lucy Liu as Callisto Mal
Tough, brave, and with a sense of humor, Callisto Mal and Grandpa Jaeger work in the same unit in Avalonia. With her uniform decorated in colorful tags and badges, along with a large knife strapped to her back, Callisto is the head person in charge of the team.
From Kill Bill to Charlie’s Angels, it’s no wonder why the awesome actress was cast for the role of courageous, adventurous Callisto Mal. Lucy Liu, an accomplished actress, director, and producer, got her start by appearing in Beverly Hills, 90210 back in 1991. She has since become a fan favorite star, going on to snag roles in films such as 2002s Chicago, as well as the leading role as Dr. Joan Watson in the long-running crime series Elementary. A recognizable, quick-witted, stunning actress on screen, Liu has a long history of voice acting as well, bringing characters to life in the Kung Fu Panda franchise, as well as Futurama, and various short films in the Tinker Bell universe. Alongside Strange World, Liu will be playing Kalypso, the daughter of Atlas, in next year’s Shazam! Fury of the Gods, the Dwayne Johnson–Chris Evans-led Christmas action-comedy Red One, and will lend her voice to the Netflix animated series Exploding Kittens, based on the popular card game.
Alan Tudyk as Duffle
Alan Tudyk, who you’re more likely to hear in films than see, voices Duffle, a pilot for the expedition team. Tudyk also voices the narrator at the beginning of the film and a radio announcer.
A master of voices, Tudyk has voiced characters in Encanto, American Dad!, Solar Opposites, Big Hero 6: The Series, Robot Chicken, and much more. Next year the actor will appear on-screen to take on the role of Mr. Darling in Disney’s upcoming live-action film Peter Pan & Wendy. Fans of the classic Peter Pan story are looking forward to seeing the updated adaption, in which Jude Law and Jim Gaffigan will appear side by side as the dastardly duo Captain Hook and Smee, respectively.
Karan Soni as Caspian
Karan Soni voices Caspian, a geeky and inquisitive member of the expedition team. Soni is most known for his role as Dopinder the cab driver in the Deadpool movies as well as playing Arnau in Colin Trevorrow‘s breakout film Safety Not Guaranteed. Soni has also appeared in films and shows such as Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, Goosebumps, Office Christmas Party, Ghostbusters: Answer the Call, Unicorn Store, Always Be My Maybe, Miracle Workers, and Not Okay. Soni is also no stranger to voice-acting having provided his voice to projects such as Big Mouth, Trolls World Tour, and The Great North.
Other names on the Strange World cast list include Adelina Anthony (Vilda) as Pulk, Abraham Benrubi (ER) as Lonnie Redshirt, Jonathan Melo (American Horror Story) as Diazo, Nik Dodani (Atypical) as Kardez, and Francesca Reale (Stranger Things) as Azimuth.