Watch: Strange World producer Roy Conli praises Jake Gyllenhaal
“They were so in love with this tale of legacy and what are we bringing to the next generation. Jake was an amazing… I would say 'partner' in terms of making this film,” Conli tells Yahoo.
“He really got deep into the character. All the actors were really committed to making this story perfect.”
Gyllenhaal stars as Searcher Clade, a humble farmer devoted to his hometown of Avalonia after his father, famed explorer Jaeger Clade (Dennis Quaid), goes missing after a perilous expedition. Gabrielle Union stars as Searcher’s wife Meridian, with Lucy Liu voicing President of Avalonia Callisto Mal.
As Walt Disney Studio’s 61st feature animation that first came to life back in 2018, the world of storytelling has vastly changed from Conli’s beginnings in the 1990s. Having previously worked on Treasure Planet, Tangled, and the Academy Award-winning Big Hero 6, he praises how much his team has adapted to working through the pandemic.
“There's something wonderful about working for Disney Animation because you work in a repertory company. Of my visual development team, many are brand new and many are from the past. So you know, having those relationships has been very helpful as we've gone into this pandemic period,” he said.
“Digital technology has been the greatest engine that we've had in order to make this film. And it's stunning that when you look at what we've done over the last two and a half years.”
Though there’s plenty to get excited about ahead of Strange World’s release, it’s the strange world itself that stands out in Conli’s mind.
“Of all the projects I’ve worked with, this is a completely made-up world. Strange World has never been seen by anybody,” he said.
Watch a trailer for Strange World
“It was an amazing approach that we took in terms of letting our visual development artists all come in with as many ideas as they could.”
With an environmental message at its core, Conli hopes Strange World leaves something brighter in the hands of the next generation.
“My hope is that people come away from the film, having an amazingly fun time because it's a fun, big adventure with lots of laughs and lots of heart,” he said.
“But then I also want them for the subsequent days to be thinking about, you know, how can I contribute to that next generation?”
Strange World releases exclusively in cinemas on 23 November.