Gabrielle Union Reveals How Her Strange World Character Was Crafted (Exclusive)

Disney Animation is embracing the strange. The house of mouse returns to the big screen next week with Strange World, an animated adventure that features three generations of the same family: Jaeger Clade (Dennis Quaid), Searcher Clade (Jake Gyllenhaal), and Ethan Clade. (Jaboukie Young-White). While these three are at the forefront, the Clade family also boasts the leadership of Meridian Clade (Gabrielle Union), Searcher's wife and Ethan's mother.

Speaking to's Liam Crowley, Union noted that while Meridian had plenty of outlined traits, she felt she brought a lot of herself to this role.

"There was a general description of Meridian that she was an adoring wife, a loving mother," Union said. "She had a history as a fighter pilot, but she's presently a crop duster. That's pretty much what I got. But I think when they hired me, they hired all of me and they wanted me to be me and to bring more of my own natural history and my personality and how I love my family to the role."

Meridian finds herself as a voice of reason within this narrative. She wants what's best for her family, but she also wants to ensure that her people are happy. This conflict is explored through the relationships of Jaegar and Searcher as well as Searcher and Ethan, as Searcher takes issue with his son looking up to Jaegar, who he perceives as immature. 

"As parents, we tend to want our children to do exactly as we did or to right all the wrongs of our paths that we believe are wrongs, in order to be considered safe or protected or successful or worthy or good," Union said. "We're holding on to our kids in a way that doesn't really allow them to live their dreams. And I think with what we're seeing with this generational divide, if you will, in Strange World, is the story that's this old time, that folks from across the world deal with every day."

With that in mind, Union hopes that Strange World can inspire a conversation amongst families.

"Do I follow my dreams or do I fulfill the dreams of my parents, my grandparents? Do I live a life that I find passion in or do I tick off all the boxes that my parents have deemed acceptable and reasonable and appropriate?" Union continued. "That's a story literally as old as time. I'm glad that it's back because I think with creating content for a global audience, people across the world, everyone deals with similar things, especially when it comes to not wanting to disappoint our parents and also wanting to forge our own path through life."

Strange World hits theaters on Wednesday, November 23rd.