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Jake Gyllenhaal Praises Strange World's 'Normalizing Normal' Queerness

Jake Gyllenhaal Praises Strange World's 'Normalizing Normal' Queerness

Jake Gyllenhaal

The box office performance isn't the only thing that matters.


Strange World may not be doing so hot at the box office, but that doesn’t change the move towards positive queer representation in Disney films that it gave us — and its stars are still grateful for that change.

Jake Gyllenhaal voices protagonist Searcher Clade, father to queer teen Ethan (Jaboukie Young-White) in the animated adventure film. He spoke briefly with Variety about what it was like to be a part of Disney’s first animated movie with a queer teen hero and why it matters.

The reporter pointed out that what’s so novel about Strange World is that Ethan isn’t on a coming out journey or struggling with his identity, he is just queer.

“I mean, I think what’s so great is like, they normalize the normal. You know? It just is what it is, and how we are. And to me, that’s our world,” Gyllenhaal said. “I think that’s what’s so beautiful about this. And that was actually told to me very, very early on, and I thought, that’s so beautiful. That’s what every movie should be.”

Other actors in Strange World have expressed similar sentiments, with Gabrielle Union (who voices Meridian Clade) also calling it “normalizing normal” in discussion with Screen Rant.

The LGBTQ+ community exists. We are a part of every community in every society around the world. We just are,” she said. “And this is a beautiful example of a family, though perfectly imperfect, dealing with its own generational issues. They still create a loving space for everyone to exist exactly as they are, and I think the world needs that example.”

The movie has garnered backlash from conservatives for similar reasons, as they celebrate the poor box office performance that many others are blaming on Disney’s jarring lack of marketing.

But Strange World will have a second chance at life when it eventually drops on Disney+, and hopefully will serve to remind queer and questioning kids that who they are is exactly that — normal.

What is Strange World about?

Disney's Strange World follows a family of explorers who travel to a mysterious land.

Is Strange World for kids?


Is Strange World a flop?

Strange World underperformed at the box office, grossing just $28 million globally on opening weekend.

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