1 hr 34 min
Staff Writer: Nathaniel Brayton
Titan A.E. marked the financial death of Fox Animation Studios until its revitalization in 2009, with the release Fantastic Mr. Fox. And even though I didn’t love this film, it’s sad to see a company, with such creativity and ambition, shut down.
Set about 1,000 years in the future, Earth is destroyed by the Drej, a race made of pure energy, hell-bent on exterminating all humans. Fortunately, a few humans escaped, including a scientist and his young son named Cale. The scientist, Professor Sam Tucker, escaped on the Titan in hopes of saving humanity, while his son was put on another ship and shipped far, far away. In the future, Cale, who has grown up amongst many unpleasant aliens, is recruited by Captain Korso, another human, to help save humanity from extinction. Korso shows Cale that a ring his father gave him, contains a map coded to his DNA, which eventually leads back to the Titan. It takes a little convincing, but Cale agrees to help and they take off on an adventure across the universe.
The most striking elements of Titan A.E. are its animation and aesthetics. Most of the backgrounds are CG, but half of the time they look stunning and the other half they feel like something put together in a high school animation class. The characters in the the movie look hand drawn but even then, there are different styles. Characters in the back always look two-dimensional, while characters in the front look 3d and have depth to them. Bending my mind even more, the camera often rotates around a room, which forces everything to become three-dimensional and my head to explode. If this movie is anything, it’s one of the most unique looking films I’ve ever seen.
A positive for Titan A.E. is its voice acting cast, which includes: Matt Damon, Drew Barrymore, Bill Pullman, John Leguizamo, Nathan Lane, and Ron Perlman. There’s no question of how much effort these actors put into the film and how they brought each character to life.
However, where this film falls short is in the tone and pacing. For me, even though I love science fiction, this gritty or slummy style doesn’t really appeal to me. I like my sci-fi to be clean, flashy, and stylized. I think that the look of this film was targeted to a very niche audience and had a big affect on why it didn’t make back its money. Also, even though this film is short, it felt extra long and I can only attribute that to the pacing. Every scene just dragged on for a little too long and that was enough for me to fidget in my seat.
But, even with those negatives, I do have praise how creative and how big of a risk this movie was. And even though it failed, I don’t think that it was a throwaway. There’s obviously a lot of talent, but it just didn’t quite click when it needed to.
out of 10
“You can’t call a planet ‘Bob.’
So now you’re the boss. You’re the King of Bob.”