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Movie Review

Titan A.E.

MPAA Rating: PG for action violence, mild sensuality and brief language

Reviewed by: Brandon Victorian
CONTRIBUTOR

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
10 to 25
Genre:
Animation and Science Fiction/Fantasy
Length:
1 hr. 35 min.
Year of Release:
2000
USA Release:
_____
Poster—Titan A.E.
Featuring: John Leguizamo, Matt Damon, Bill Pullman, Drew Barrymore and Nathan Lane
Director: Don Bluth and Gary Goldman
Producer: David Kirschner, Don Bluth and Gary Goldman
Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox

“Titan A.E.” (meaning “After Earth”) is a high-action sci-fi animated feature, created by the same folks who brought us “Anastasia”. But don’t let the format fool you. This is anything but a “kiddie flick.”

Set in the 29th century (the year 3028 exactly), Earth has been destroyed by an evil alien race called the Drej, leaving the human survivors as little more than refugees in the universe, on the brink of extinction. That is until new hope arises in the form of a young man named Cale, who carries literally in his hand, the hope for finding a new home world for humankind: directions to find his father’s ship, the Titan. The ensuing story revolves around a race against time in order for Cale and his comrades: Akima, a beautiful pilot, Korso, an ex-Earth soldier, and a trio of eccentric aliens to find where the ship is hidden, before the Drej find it first, or kill Cale in the process.

Scene from Titan A.E.

As for how good the movie is, the visuals are nothing short of awesome, as CGI and cel animation are beautifully blended to create the most stunning backdrops and panoramas, and the coolest-looking characters (the design for the Drej being especially remarkable) I have ever seen in a movie. However, the plot is rather simplistic (and not thin, as other critics have judged it to be), mixing in elements from a score of other sci-fi movies, more prominently “Star Wars” and “Star Trek,” just to name a couple. However, this simple plot proves to be an advantage, as not to confuse the majority crowd who will be seeing this movie: late adolescent to early and mid-teenagers.

From a Christian standpoint, I must admit that this movie, though animated, takes on a much more adult perspective than previous ones that I have seen. In short, “Titan A.E.” well earns its PG rating in content. Though not graphic in the extreme, it is admittedly fairly violent, with more blood than I’ve seen in most animated movies of recent years, mostly from laser guns (think “Star Wars”, but a touch more on the blood factor); however, it is not so gory as to be offensive to most, even Christians. Also, there is one scene on a medical table with VERY brief back nudity, and one slightly risque scene where Cale “walks in” on Akima after a shower, but without any nudity; whatever amount there would have been is quickly covered up by a towel. Aside from that, there was no foul or obscene language that I had heard, even though one of the reasons for ratings listed is mild profanity. On the whole, from a Christian standpoint, the movie wasn’t that offensive, but as stated before, was far more on the adult level than most animation created here in the U.S. usually is. There are Christians who would be offended by the content (which, except for the violence isn’t much), and if what I have listed does offend, then this movie probably isn’t for you. As a matter of fact, any children being taken to see this movie would do well to go with a parent, although admittedly, those 5 years below the age range I have recommended probably wouldn’t understand it.

Bottom line: the movie is fabulous (if just for the animation and visuals alone), but with a simplistic plot, and a rather mature theme for an animated movie. But overall, not too offensive. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but once again, if you are offended by content such as I have listed, then you would do well not to spend your money and regret it later.


Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Very well made animated feature. Character development was good. Soundtrack sounded good, but I didn’t pay attention to the lyrics. The movie is dark in tone and nature. I couldn’t believe the visual style of this movie. It was very inventive and well made compared to other animated movies. There was action from the very beginning and pretty much stayed that way throughout. The feel of the movie was unreal and foreign, the way an alien world would be. I felt that this movie was about a world without God—cold, empty, lonely, hopeless. Like this world. The people are bitter and lost in their own selfish goals. You have your usual anti-hero characters, including the “hero” of the story and the usual quest for something or other. Most of the inhabitants were aliens. Humans are the minority.

The ending had an evolutionary tone. I left feeling insulted by it, but challenged to defend my Christian belief in creation.

From a Christian perspective, beware of the movie’s subtle and odvious anti-creation tone. No sex or profanity. Action packed movie that can be used as an opener to discuss Creation and evolution with non-believers. Talk to your kids about creation and evolution after the movie. Use it as a tool to show how God’s love has saved us from a world like this. My five and ten year old nieces said they understood the movie. I asked them who created the world. The five year said, “God”. My Ratings: [1/5]
—Katherine White, age 42
“Titan A.E.” is not a great movie, but it’s a fun one. It’s got lots of rock-n-roll music and lots of cool sci-fi adventuring. I took my 10 year old son as a father’s day treat, and we had a great time. Don’t expect too much in the way of depth or character, and you’ll probably enjoy it.
My Ratings: [3/3½]
—Timothy Blaisdell, age 36
Good little sci fi flick. The following points were troubling: brief animated nudity, existence of aliens, ability for mankind to create worlds/solar systems. If you are able to forgive these points, it was a generally good animated flick, but probably not worth the full price of admission. Either see a matinee or wait for the video/DVD. Even though I don’t have children of my own, I wouldn’t object to children seeing this movie (10+).
My Ratings: [3½/3]
—Albert Meyer, age 31
…Morally, I didn’t find too much offensive in this movie, other than a brief shot of a man’s animated buttocks (which I felt was just plain unnecessary). The storyline is slightly allegorical-ish, with the idea of a person who saves humanity—along the same lines as “Star Wars”. …the animation was awesome. The characters did look a little too separated from the background at points, but the special effects animation was gorgeous… My Ratings: [3/2½]
—Scott Ward, age 28
This is animation with partial nudity in a couple of parts that weren’t really meant as sexual, but still a little shocking in animation. I found the story line weak and not terribly interesting. I would guess that 10-12 year old boys might enjoy it. The last 20 minutes were the most interesting. There is no great moral lesson learned and it is quite evolutionary and Godless. My Ratings: [3/3]
—Doug, age 39
The 3D animation is very well done however in regards to the 2D animation, I believe the Japanese anime is far superior in terms of artwork. Blood and gore is not very obvious in the show. Some alien “blood” and a couple of fights with the guns and fists. In the end, there is this part where the Titan will create this so-called “BIG BANG” thing… A planet will be created and the frost around the space conveniently becomes the atmosphere. Verdict:
(1) Not meant for kids, this is an adult animation.
(2) Parents need to advise their children in regards to the evolution’s “BIG BANG” theory
(3) “Titan A.E.” is NOTHING but a high-tech spoof of the Noah’s Ark + Adam and Eve, but the makers conveniently took away God’s credit
(4) Animation is good, but story is a crap. Come on Fox Entertainment, make your own story, don’t steal ideas from the Bible.
My Ratings: [3/3]
—Willy Wong, age 22
“Titan A.E.” starts off at maximum warp and doesn’t ever really let up. The special effects are truly spectacular and would be lost on a home video. The only disappointment there is the disparity of the animation of the characters versus the background animation. Although the character’s movements were realistic you still felt like you were watching a cartoon. Because of the relentless tension I wouldn’t recommend it for younger kids. For the older kids and adults the message at the end is very clear, man has the ability to play God. The music is along the lines of hard rock and adds to the overall tension. On the plus side good perseveres to overcome evil and it looks like that the human race will have a fairy tale ending and live happily ever after. My Ratings: [3/4]
—Jim Goodrum, age 47
Positive—“Titan A.E.” was a good movie in many ways. I was bothered by the evolution-like worldview, but I told myself, “This is science fiction”. In real life, there are no Drej, or any other aliens, for that matter. So, I just think of the implied evolution as science FICTION, as it should be. Cale’s nude scene and Akima’s towel scene were not needed, but the two glorify modesty, when you think about it; Cale immediately and consistently asks for his pants back, and Akima conceals herself behind a shower curtain-like thing; the two do not start flirting or doing anything inappropriate outside of marriage.

The worst parts, in terms of violence, are the Drej destroy human airships in the beginning, and they outright kill a cook in cold blood. My main solace with this is they make evil “play with food before eating it” violence look unattractive.

Preed’s traitorous ways ultimately lead to his end and the Drej meet a justified end. Joseph Korso repents of his selfishness and arrogance and sacrificed his life for the human race (not in a Christ-like way, just to be clear).
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Peter, age 22 (USA)
Comments from young people
I think that “Titan A.E.” was definitely NOT as disappointing a film as all the critics out there insisted that it would be! It was actually quite good. The effects and animation was SPECTACULAR, and there was NO foul language—very impressive. The nudity part was unnecessary though, and so was the towel part—but that was only for about 8 seconds of the entire film. This film had a twist in the end—which was very nice—I liked it a whole lot and was pleasantly suprised—because this twist made the plot more exciting instead of a usual “easy and good” ending.

The main character, Cale was VERY snobby in the beginning—which wasn’t good at all—but at the end he had a character change and was quite positive and helpful. This is a good lesson. And as for Corso, I assume that he felt sorry for what he did and thus helped them in the end. This is a very good lesson to learn. The only thing really bad about this film is that the beginning can be a bit jumpy and confusing (the middle and end are very simple to understand) AND the EVOLUTIONARY part of this film. I cheked out the Web site and they said the Drej was EVOLVED… and there is some hints to evolution in this film itself… which was NOT good of course. My Ratings: [4/5]
—Nk, age 15
…“Titan A.E.” breaks the mold. The movie takes a bold leap in the right direction, and in classic Don Bluth fashion, takes us places we’ve never seen in animation—or live action for that matter—before. As is typical in action films, there isn’t much plot to be found here… The musical score, in particular, is unforgivable. While it’s usually very good, there are several very obnoxious rock songs sprinkled throughout the movie that tarnish what would otherwise have been delightful scenes.

And the plot, while bold and action-packed, offers very little depth, until towards the end. Aside from the two main characters, the cast of the movie are cardboard cutouts.

Still, while the movie may not be perfect, it’s definitely worth the trip to the theater.

From a Christian perspective, the movie is pretty clean, almost could have been PG-13, because of the violence (bloody wounds and things of that sort), and mild sexual innuendos as well as occasional nudity (though it isn’t sex-related and is never actually seen). On the upside, there was absolutely no profanity in the film that I could catch, and not once is God’s name taken in vain. Teenagers will adore this film, but young children expecting a lighthearted Disney-style romp should stay far away.
My Ratings: [3/3½]
—Ben Bernsten, age 16
I saw this movie and liked it a lot. The music fit the mood of the movie, the plot was pretty cool, the special f/x were awesome (for a cartoon), and has some pretty good dialogue. I like futuristic stuff, so I might like this better than some other people. But really, anyone my age can’t resist aliens blowing up the Earth. There is blood, violence, some gun-play (although they’re not guns), and the movie shows the main character’s butt for about 1 to 2 seconds. This is done in a non-sexual manner and is a guy’s butt (like that would matter). I thought this was really cool. Parents wouldn’t care about it, and I would suggest that kids of the ages of about 10-14 should see it. My Ratings: [3½/4]
—Shaq, age 13
“Titan A.E.” Boring title? Yeah. Boring movie? Not in the least! I have been eagerly awaiting this movie since I saw the commercial for it during the Super Bowl, and I was NOT disappointed!… Profanity is practically non-existent. When I saw the movie, I didn’t hear a single cuss word, although I have heard there are a couple uses of the “D” word somewhere in there. Sensuality, while present, is mild, and—at most—is rather amusing in a way. It’s nothing terribly offensive or graphic.

Violence is very heavy with plenty of explosions and laser blasting, but that’s to be expected in any sci-fi flick. While there is some blood, none of the violence is graphic… The only thing parents should be concerned about is the heavy level of violence. There are no spiritual issues ever discussed throughout the entire movie… My Ratings: [4/4½]
—Josh Bizeau, age 17
Movie Critics
…This $65 million film is full of wonderfully eccentric characters, great animation and witty dialogue…
—Paul Clinton, CNN
…very little content that will concern parents of older children. …space fantasy that avoids profanity, sexual situations and Force-like spiritual counterfeits…
—Bob Smithouser, Plugged In, Focus on the Family
…With a caution about the frequent violence and brief, animated rear nudity, TITAN A.E. can be recommended for age ten and up…
—Preview Family Movie and TV Review
…Two styles that don’t blend well make for a disappointing film…
—Michael Elliott, Movie Parables
…ambitious, eye-popping computer-generated space battle effects… bad guitar rock soundtrack… None of these protagonists have any more depth than video game characters…
—Rob Blackwelder, Spliced Online
…lots of sexual innuendo… MTV soundtrack… Anime-influenced style… cool CGI effects… doesn’t live up to its potential…
—Kevin Maynard, Mr. Showbiz