Strange World producer Roy Conli praises commitment of Jake Gyllenhaal on Disney film

Watch: Strange World producer Roy Conli praises Jake Gyllenhaal

Strange World producer Roy Conli says the Disney film's star-studded cast — including Jake Gyllenhaal, Lucy Liu, and Gabrielle Union — were partners when it came to bringing the film to life.

“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.

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“He really got deep into the character. All the actors were really committed to making this story perfect.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 17: (L to R) Don Hall, Qui Nguyen, Jaboukie Young-White, Gabrielle Union, Jake Gyllenhaal and Roy Conli attend the UK Premiere of
(L-R) Don Hall, Qui Nguyen, Jaboukie Young-White, Gabrielle Union, Jake Gyllenhaal and Roy Conli at the UK Premiere of Strange World. (David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage)

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.

UNFORGETTABLE ADVENTURE STORY – Disney’s “Strange World” is an original action-packed comedy adventure in the spirit of pulp novels. Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 61st animated feature film features the voices of Lucy Liu as Callisto Mal, fearless leader of the mythical Avalonia who spearheads an exploration into a strange world; Dennis Quaid as legendary larger-than-life explorer Jaeger Clade; Jake Gyllenhaal as Searcher Clade, a family man who finds himself out of his element on an unpredictable mission; Jaboukie Young-White as Searcher’s 16-year-old son, Ethan, who longs for adventure; and Gabrielle Union as Meridian Clade, an accomplished pilot and Searcher’s partner in all things. Also featuring a mischievous blue blob called Splat and a three-legged dog named Legend, “Strange World” opens in theaters on Nov. 23, 2022.
Strange World is the latest animation from Walt Disney Animation Studios. (Disney)

“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.

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“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.