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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: April 29: Titan A.E.


April 29: Titan A.E.

"A young man learns that he has to find a hidden Earth ship before an enemy alien species does in order to secure the survival of humanity."

Titan A.E. is a very underrated movie in the visuals department. It has terrific animation that still looks pretty damn cool, even after 12 years. It's a good "bridge" film in that it uses both old-school and new-school animation techniques, combining hand drawn animation with CGI. Parts of the movie actually look real and the effects are certainly the best part of the film. The story is set far into the future where an alien race, known as the Drej, destroys Earth. Thousands of humans were able to flee the planet before it's demise and drift through space as laborers and thieves, always looked down upon by the other alien races. Cale Tucker (Matt Damon), a human whose father was involved with Earth's evacuation, discovers he holds the key to unlocking the secrets of a spaceship called the Titan, a spaceship said to have the power to create a new Earth, uniting all humans. Cale, along with his entourage of rather unique alien friends (and Drew Barrymore), travel through space to find the Titan before it falls into the hands of the Drej. 

How convenient that the aliens...
Were designed simply enough to be mass-produced as cheap little toys.

Titan A.E. completely bombed at the box office. With a budget of nearly $75 million, it was only able to rake in about half of that. I think a reason behind that is because Titan A.E.. was designed to be a kids a movie, when in reality it has very little elements a kid would not only understand, but enjoy. The plot is rather depressing when you think about it. Billions of people die and the only survivors become refugees in space, eking out what little they can. The aliens also speak in a foreign language and are subtitled. I don't know if it's just me, but I don't remember wanting to read a damn thing when I went to see a movie when I was 7 or 8. 

But when I was at home, it was all about mother f**king Animorphs

I would, with some hesitance, recommend Titan A.E.. Visually, it's amazing and it is something I actually wouldn't mind paying a little extra to see in 3D. However, the film never finds its audience, jumping all around the place. It starts off as a dramatic sci-fi movie where everyone dies, then tries to turn everything around with quirky aliens for the kids. You don't go from the Holocaust to playing with action figures, do you?

The Good:
terrific special effects that blend the old and the new
The Bad:
a depressing plot point sugar coated with alien friends and Matt Damon
The Ugly:
seeing how one film can tank an entire animation studio 

Overall: 5.2/10


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