Chris Evans, Evan Rachel Wood, Luke Wilson, Dennis Quaid, Justin Long, Amanda Peet, David Cross, James Garner, Danny Glover and Brian Cox
Out to buy on DVD 05/07/10
"Why are you doing this?"
For all of her life Mala (Wood) had only ever known the peace and tranquility of her home world. Living amongst the clouds, she likes nothing better than to fly with her best friend Senn (Long). That all changes when the sunlight is blocked from view by something that could only have been achieved by a God. When that rock releases ships and those ships start taking the citizens of the village, Mala gives chase and forces one of the ships to crash. In the wreckage she discovers someone and takes them back to her house. Nursing him back to health, he awakes and introduces himself as Jim Stanton (Wilson), a pilot in the Earth Force and part of the first wave on an invasion armada.
Computer animated movies have become ten-a-penny of late and it really takes something to make a new movie standout but does ‘Battle for Terra’ have what it takes to standout?
When it comes to creating an animated movie that will appeal to a broad audience there has been many a film that has failed to hit with adults as well as children. Filmmakers find it hard to strike a balance that will engage children and also keep the adults interested without making the watching of the film a chore. Science fiction allows the filmmaker to do just that for ‘Battle for Terra’.
The film is about an alien world, filled with peaceful creatures who life amongst the clouds. Flying around using wooden, wind propelled gliders and living a life of harmony with the air, this is a paradise. A young girl called Mala embraces life, racing her best friend Senn through the mountains and valleys that poke out above the clouds in her wooden glider. Her perfect life changes however when a black circle plots out the sun. Thinking they have angered the gods, they are surprised when ships descend from it and head toward their sky village. The ships attack and take some of the peaceful inhabitants of the village, including Mala’s father. When she gives chase, a ship locks onto her and gives chase but she knows the terrain like the back of her hand and forces the hostile craft to crash. Riddled by guilt, she heads to the crash site to discover a lone survivor. He is a human called Jim Stanton and only she can save him from dying.
This, of course, leads to a story about the differences between two species. One is driven by desperation, after the Earth is destroyed and their spacecraft is on its last legs so a settlement is needed before they all perish. The humans use force to take what they need however, enforcing themselves onto the local populace and attacking them because they have a resource that they need. As with a lot of good science fiction, this parallels real life, with a mighty, military force attacking a smaller nation for their resources or to bring them democracy, whichever way you want to see it. This is the storyline that will appeal to the adult audience and they cute design of the aliens and the action with give the younger audience something to revel in.
While the animation itself might not set new standard, ‘Battle for Terra’ is saved by a relevant story and characters that you can invest it. With an all-star vocal cast and a good story to tell, the film is one that all the family can enjoy.
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