Titan A.E. (2000)
In the year 3000-something an alien race of blue figurines known simply as the Drej pretty much obliterate Earth. There’s your starting point for a movie – a few billion deaths. The last survivors drift through the ends of the universe at the bottom of the interstellar ladder. One survivor (voiced by Matt Damon) is later visited upon by a rag-tag ship led by Korso (Bill Pullman) and the shapely purple-locked Akima (Drew Barrymore), survivors of Earth as well. They rescue Damon and inform him that in his hand he holds the key to reaching a ship his father hid long ago that could create a new home world for all the drifter humans. And the Drej don’t like this idea and will stop at nothing chasing him until they find the location of this ship, the Titan, for themselves.
Sure, the effects and painted backgrounds are nice but the animation is choppy at times and the constant rotating of sets incorporated with traditional 2-D animation rates high on the annoyance scale and only shows how the 2-D stands out even more. To learn how to mix and match these styles effectively watch The Prince of Egypt. There are some sequences that are truly visionary, most notably a cat-and-mouse chase through a cluster of gigantic reflective ice crystals. But a movie is not made or saved by one scene.
The most disappointing aspect of Titan A.E. is the flat and tired script from three incredibly talented writers I admire very much (the creator of The Tick, Joss Whedon – creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and John August – writer of Go). The story owes many debts to ‘Star Wars’ but even more to ‘The Wizard of Oz’. The Drej are merely faceless pop-up bad guys with zero personality or development. They wish to destroy humanity but no explanation as to “why” is ever given. They’re clouded in lifeless ambiguities. As a result you can never really care for the heroes when you could care less about the villains.
Why is Titan A.E. rated PG? Well despite its lack of fear to show some blood, and gun shots for that matter, it features the animated posterior of Damon with some light sexual banter that will thankfully fly over most kids’ heads. A quibble of mine is for equal opportunity for animated nudity. If I can see a cartoon male ass in a PG-flick, or on prime time television even, why must female nudity be slapped with an R? Let’s erase this gender double standard and let all sexes be equal under one animated nudity.
Titan A.E. may have the look but it never can maintain the feel of good sci-fi. Often times it’s either heavy-handed or overly dull. Everything is “been there, done that” but set to a non-stop playing of a soundtrack that just keeps screaming “BUY ME! BUY ME! BUY ME!” For those hoping for Disney to take its stranglehold off animation and entertainment, this picture isn’t your fabled messiah. You’ll have to wait… again.
Nate’s Grade: C
Posted on June 15, 2000, in 2000 Movies and tagged aliens, animated, bill pullman, don bluth, drew barrymoore, john leguizamo, matt damon, nathan lane, sci-fi. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.