In the 3D computer animated movie, "Battle for Terra", we are dropped into a
swooping view of a fantastic alien world, where floating big eyed aliens spend
their days soaring through clouds using Da Vinci like flying machines to sail with
blue whales in the sky. And despite some indication that the paradise is held
together with some dogmatic fear tactics laid on by the religious elders of the
clan, for the most part everything seems fairly idyllic on the planet Terra. That is
of course until the humans show up.
If there's anything to be learned from "Battle for Terra" it's that for the most part,
humans ruin everything. Sure there may be some sensitive squared jawed
humans like the one voiced by Luke Wilson that can recognize right from wrong
and change to a plan of peace, but this voice never really gets listened to by a
man-made military machine on the move. However, "Battle for Terra" in keeping
with its hopeful yet cynical agenda, also reminds us that a single person can
make a difference and change the outcome.
Like most animated movies, "Battle for Terra" features a celebrity lined voice cast
including Evan Rachel Wood as Mala and Brian Cox as the alarmist General
Hemmer who employs his recognizable voice to another might makes right
philosophy. The nerdy sounding David Cross is what you'd expect as the
personality attached to the robot called Giddy. And listening to the alien's wise
old leader Doron is oddly comforting; affirming that you'd want to hear James
Garner's voice when faced with the end of the world.
Visually, the "Battle for Terra" stands apart. There's a depth of feel to the shots
that make it seem like the virtual scenes were shot with traditional camera
lenses. And while the 3D rendered human people still look a bit too rubbery for
my personal taste, I am easily swayed by the organic design approach applied to
the alien Terran world.
"Battle for Terra" is a another movie being shown using the latest 3D techniques,
and offers some new spectacular experiences, especially when traveling through
the galaxy immersing the audience in space nebulas and asteroid fields that
seem to expand into the cinema where you watch it. And while the effect is
enjoyable and worth seeking out a theater showing it in 3D, your eyes will be
thankful that Terra runs on the shorter side of ninety minutes, as your willingness
to put up with the strain from the 3D glasses starts wearing thin about then.
Overall, while the movie's agenda weighs predictably heavy at times, there's
enough going for "Battle for Terra" that you want it to succeed. Hoping for more
alternative animated adventures like this one, for Movie Magazine, this is Purple.
© 2009 - Purple - Air Date: 5/6/09
Battle for Terra
USA - 2009