Titan A.E.


Directed by: Don Bluth, Gary Goldman
Written by:Ben Edlund, John August, Joss Whedon
Starring: Matt Damon, Bill Pullman, Drew Barrymore, John Leguizamo, Janeane Garofalo, Nathan Lane, Ron Perlman
Released: January 4, 2001
Grade: B+

The year is 3028 A.D. and it will be the last for Earth and most of its inhabitants.  An evil race, known as the Drej, fear the humans will one day become a universal super power and intend it remove any chance of it.  In a colossal barrage of arsenal, the Earth is obliterated with only a lucky few escaping into the atmosphere and beyond.

15 years pass and memories are starting to fade of a world that once was.  Cole (Damon), one of the survivors, is now a reckless 19-year-old working on a space colony.  His father also escaped Earth but the two were separated and no word has been heard of him since.  Cole's father piloted a vessel known as the Titan to the far reaches of the galaxy with the power of regenerating and saving the human race.

Cole knows nothing of this until informed by space traveller Korso (Pullman).  Korso has in his possession a magic ring that when placed on Cole's hand, shows the way to where the Titan is hidden.  Together with another human crew member, Akima (Barrymore), and a bizarre alien crew, they venture into the unknown to await their destiny.

Titan A.E. is the second film from the newly formed 20th Century Fox Animation following the 1997 release of Anastasia.  Times sure have changed in the animation world.  I can remember Anastasia's release was much anticipated as it represented the first company other than Disney to create a big animated blockbuster.  Titan A.E. cost a rumoured $75m with its high-tech computer animation but sadly has recouped little at the box-office.

As always, the animation is high-class and the voices well cast.  It seems your aren't a Hollywood star these days unless you've done a voice in an animated flick and adding their talents to this film are the likes of Matt Damon, Drew Barrymore, Bill Pullman, John Leguizamo, Janeane Garofalo and Nathan Lane.  The only major problem with the film is that it doesn't appear to have a target audience.  It is violent and complex (including a few subtitles) which makes it inappropriate for small children and yet it's hard to see adults paying $12 when the likes of Meet The Parents and What Women Want are screening in the cinema next door.

The script has depth.  Whilst it doesn't rival recent hits such as Toy Story 2 and Chicken Run and doesn't feature an array of musical numbers, the story will hold your attention.  It borrows from a mixture of science fiction classics including Star Wars and Alien and there's plenty of action and galactic chases.

Bound to gather a cult following rather than perform at the box-office, Titan A.E. shows that computer generated films can be targeted at an older audience.  But just like we've asked ourselves before, is anyone really watching out there?