Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal shares how Strange World was pitched to him
“I wanted to know what it was about [first]. That was important for me. It always is, no matter how extraordinary the company, or the group of talent.
"Sometimes with these stories, you just don’t connect with them. And then when I was pitched this story I was like, I was so moved.
"That was sort of immediate.”
Gyllenhaal voices lovable farmer Searcher Clade, who discovered a life-changing plant called Pando as a teenager. Together with son Ethan (Jaboukie Young-White) and wife Meridian (Gabrielle Union), Searcher sets out to discover why Pando is suddenly rotting away.
Though the trio’s chemistry is instantaneous, Jaboukie Young-White reveals the cast rarely ever worked together.
“None of us did anything together. We only ran our lines with our director. We did all the scenes with Don and he played all the respective parts. So he's like doing an impersonation of us doing the characters basically. It’s pretty good!”
Watch a trailer for Strange World
For both actors, voice acting is just as much fun as it looks.
“I had so much fun that I feel like I wish I had known I was being videoed the entire time,” says Jake.
“Because I did show up just pretty casual. There's some rough stuff on like the BTS [behind the scenes]!”
“The team constantly kind of were including us in the discussion about what the characters were and what they were up to and what our ideas we had of our own,” he continued.
“They always said to me 'You'll be a big part in creating the character and you can bring your own ideas and we really will take them on.' And sometimes you're a little wary of that — and then they were absolutely true to their word.”
As Disney’s 61st animated feature film, making Strange World felt incredibly special for Young-White and Gyllenhaal.
“Watching it in theatres, there are so many big, tender-hearted moments that — especially on the big screen — hit me like I'm hearing it for the first time,” says Jaboukie. “Which is just a testament to the animators and the creators. They really told a beautiful story.”
“It's a story about family and how complex family can be, and three generations trying to understand each other have been doing a pretty bad job,” continues Jake.
“They have to save the world — and it's really saving the world. The only way to do it is to start to listen and understand each other.”
“I think it’s really moving. And then on top of that, it's an amazing Disney movie with incredible animation, and a world like you've never seen before. It’s what you always get from wonderful Disney films, which is mind-blowing animation and a really moving story.”
Strange World releases exclusively in cinemas on Wednesday 23 November.