top of page


While this provides a milestone from Disney in terms of modern-day representation – it fails to offer anything new when it comes to an uninspired narrative.

This adventure from the Mouse House – almost a computer-generated nod to lesser-known animations like Treasure Planet and Atlantis: The Lost Empire – is beautiful to look at with its zanily-colourfully palate, but sadly its ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’ inspired premise is very underwhelming.

It seems to spend so much time focusing on (finally) specific areas of its very ‘woke’ agenda, such as black/white and gay relationships – which it deserves immense plaudits for – that it kind of forgets to carve out a particularly exciting story in the process.

The Day After Tomorrow father/son team of Dennis Quaid and Jake Gylenhaal reunite here in the same capacity – with Quaid’s legendary adventurer Dad, Jaeger Clade, leading a team of explorers in a quest to find unchartered plains beyond their home of Avalonia.

But when he goes missing trying to achieve his goal some twenty-five years before, his more-pragmatic son Searcher (Gylenhaal), who defied his wishes to stay home, turns into a successful farmer after discovering an energy-giving plant called Pando in the process – and harvesting it into a vital resource alongside his wife Meridian (Bad Boys II’s Gabrielle Union) and son Ethan (Jaboukie Young-White).

Then when the Clade’s old expedition pal Callisto Mal (Charlie’s Angels’ Lucy Liu) turns up to be the bearer of bad news – that Pando is losing its power – she enlists Searcher to her team to try and solve the mystery via a giant sinkhole, which will lead them into unknown territory.

But this eclectically-mysterious land isn’t all that it seems – teaming with alien species such as Reapers and a blue creature called Splat. It moves from point A to point B in a rather predictably bland fashion, with all the regular stereotypes and tropes (in terms of storyline at least) thrown in, that have been done a hundred times before. And much better in a lot of circumstances.

Even the cute cliched Disney character, this time in the form of gooey splodge Splat, doesn’t really work here at all. In fact, it actually ends up being more annoying than anything.

Which makes it a bit surprising this didn’t end up as a straight-to-Disney Plus release – when far superior films like Pixar’s Red was denied a cinematic run – which has been reflected in its poor box-office performance.

That is probably more to do with so many dazzling ideas in concept trying to burst out – but the movie’s strange execution doesn’t make for a coherent world.

ESP Magazine Rating: 2.5/5

Joshua Miller’s (Gavin’s 8-year-old son) Rating: 3.5/5

Gavin Miller

Showcase Cinema De Lux Peterborough, Out Now

Voice Cast: Jake Gylenhaal, Dennis Quaid, Jaboukie Young-White, Gabrielle Union, Lucy Liu, Karan Soni & Alan Tudyk

Running Time: 1 Hr 42 Mins

Director: Don Hall

Go to for all the latest film information & showtimes at Peterborough’s Showcase Cinema De Lux


bottom of page