Strange World is Disney’s latest animated project and it tells the adventures of a family of explorers in an uncharted island. It is inspired by pulp sci-fi stories by authors like Jules Verne and Robert Louis Stevenson. It is the 61st animated film from the studios and was released over Thanksgiving weekend.
Surprisingly, the movie flopped and plummeted infinitely, which is a bad sign for Disney. With a budget of $180 million, it only grossed $18.6 million over the holiday weekend. The studio is reportedly expected to lose $100 million in revenue. Not only that, but Strange World also scored B in CinemaScore, the lowest any Disney animated movie has ever received.
Disney’s Poor Marketing Blamed For Strange World’s Failure
There wasn’t a lot of advertising done for the film as fans have noticed, that’s a fact, and even though we are now living in the post-pandemic era, people did not seem to bother checking out a movie they never knew existed. This is not the only Disney animated movie to experience neglect from the studio. Pixar’s Lightyear was also a disaster that previously cost them a huge loss.
Many speculated that the inclusion of a gay character and an interracial couple for the sake of diversity affected the movie’s appeal. It may have done damage on the surface, but it is not the only reason to blame.
Disney’s Encanto debuted on Thanksgiving last year, and it also did not receive a grand victory at the box office. However, the movie’s soundtracks seemed to have taken the world by storm, with the catchy, “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” song climbing to the top of the music charts, beating Frozen’s “Let It Go”.
Word of mouth played a huge role here, but having an addictive song that repeatedly plays in every household became the publicity it needed. From there, listeners were compelled to watch the movie, at least when it debuted on television.
Another reason for Strange World’s lack of appeal is its lack of a charismatic character. There is no central hero that stands out from the rest. Indeed, the story features a family, and while that is charming in its own way, there was no one to act as the face of the movie.
Perhaps Disney tried to make the story as diverse and inclusive as they could, but the studio had forgotten that their target audience here are children. The movie is supposed to thrill and amuse kids. Yes, adults can also enjoy animated movies, but the narrative quite lacks imagination.
Let us see if Strange World would perform better when it arrives on Disney+, most likely around Christmas or before the end of 2022.
Disney’s Strange World is currently playing in theaters.