Review of Titan A.E. by Joe Tracy, Publisher


Titan A.E. Review by Eric Lurio


Here's what movie critics are saying about Titan A.E.:

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times - "Here's the animated space adventure I've been hoping for--a film that uses the freedom of animation to visualize the strangeness of the universe in ways live action cannot duplicate, and then joins its vision to a rousing story...There is a sense of wonder here..."

Kim Morgan of The Oregonian - "[Titan A.E.] is an impressive array of themes, stories and sequences that use both computer imagery and, often, hand-painted animation to an effect that's better than many live-action films..."

Jim Lane of the Sacramento News & Review - "Titan A.E., the new animated feature from 20th Century Fox and directors Don Bluth and Gary Goldman, is a sleek, shiny, space opera for boys of all ages...As in every film Don Bluth has ever made, Titan A.E. sets up expectations for dramatic payoffs that never come..."

Donald Munro of the Fresno Bee - "...While the computer animation in Titan A.E. is impressive, it often seems awkward when blended with traditional two-dimensional style. The effect sometimes suggests the goofy juxtaposition of 'Mystery Science Theater,' with silhouetted characters in the foreground of live action..."

Mike Clark of USA Today - "The visually impressive but woefully dumbed-down Titan A.E. actually opens with Earth's destruction, suggesting a dramatic detonation that never begins to materialize...The biggest question here: How much insipid plotting will audiences endure to wallow in production design and pumped-up audio?"

Liz Braun of The Toronto Sun - "Titan A.E. is an inventive and quick-moving film that's filled with little jokes in the dialogue and small visual wonders on the edges of the main action..."

Chris Vognard of the Dallas Morning News - "We were dazzled by the look of the two Toy Story films; just as important, we were utterly charmed by their effusive personality. That's the tricky balance that eludes so many animated films, including the breathtaking but benignly shallow new sci-fi cartoon Titan A.E..."

Jay Stone of the Ottawa Citizen - "Another blonde young hunk of the future with a father complex saves mankind in Titan A.E., an animated feature built of spare cinematic parts and technologically advanced computer graphics...The best part of Titan A.E. is the animation...The human characters and the plot, however, are far too linear and prosaic for the kind of metaphorical myth-making that the best kind of science fiction -- the Star Wars kind -- can evoke."

Lawrence Toppman of The Charlotte Observer - "I recommend Titan A.E. to anyone who spends at least 20 percent of his waking hours playing video games. It's visually compelling, relentlessly loud and so shallow you need just a fragment of your brain to follow it...If you can stand the insipid story, you might enjoy the bright, sometimes inventive visual effects..."

Susan Stark of the Detroit News - "Set a thousand years in the future, Titan A.E. brings sci-fi to feature animation in a big way. Although the story is quite muddled, the visuals range from impressive to just plain spectacular...there’s no denying the visual thrills this film has to offer. The computer has finally, ironically liberated Bluth and Goldman, who got their start in the laborious business of hand-drawing animated characters..."

Peter Howell of the Toronto Star - "...So why should you go and see Titan A.E., if it's just a cartoon knock-off of Star Wars? Do it to see the many delicious art details: the shimmering Wake Angels that hitchhike on ships; the glowing hydrogen trees that explode on contact; the confusing ice crystal galaxy that mirrors images across the vast space plains. Titan A.E. is a treat for the eye, not the brain, unless you want another mental workout in dreaming up the title for the inevitable sequel. How about The Empire Strikes Back, A.E.?"

Glenn Whipp of the Los Angeles Daily News - "Titan A.E. is a movie that will probably be more successful (and warmly received) as a video game than as a big-screen product. The latest offering from the animation team of Don Bluth and Gary Goldman contains some jaw-dropping sci-fi sequences (which, interestingly enough, were created by outside studios) and a decidedly earth-bound story that trades heavily in shopworn ideas that were done better by Star Trek and the Star Wars movies..."

Jay Boyar of The Orlando Sentinel - "Watching Titan A.E. is like playing a video game. Or, more precisely, it's like watching other people play video games. Those other people would be Don Bluth and Gary Goldman, co-directors and co-producers of this visually impressive but otherwise tedious exercise in sci-fi animation..."

Jack Garner of the Rochester Chronicle - "Titan A.E. is an entertaining science fiction adventure about orphaned Earthlings in search of a new planet...Titan A.E. demonstrates a vivid imagination that more than makes up for its cartoon heritage."

Walter Addiego of The Examiner Staff - "Parts of Titan A.E. have a visionary sci-fi beauty that gets you wondering if it's some kind of great leap forward in animation. Unfortunately, the story -- a routine, Saturday-morning tale of the human race vs. soulless aliens -- is no leap at all..."

Steve Simels of TV Guide - "...The animation is generally as good as it gets, and there are moments of visionary beauty — a chase through a forest of explosive hydrogen trees, Cale floating outside a giant starship as space seems to recede into infinty — that rank with the best sci-fi films ever made. The inclusion of trendy rock and rap tunes is a jarring cop-out, serving no purpose beyond guaranteeing a successful soundtrack album."

Bruce Westbrook of the Houston Chronicle - "...Adults, beware. The buzz suggests this film has a worthy plot, but the buzz is wrong. Titan A.E. is woefully unoriginal, melding a grab bag of bits from Star Wars, Independence Day, Star Trek, Heavy Metal, Battlestar Galactica and Al Williamson's Flash Gordon comics..."

Steven Rosen of the Denver Post - "...Animation isn't inherently just for young children - the success of Toy Story proves that. But if animated films are going to appeal to older kids, they'll need better stories and fresher visions than Titan A.E. offers."

Bob Graham of the San Francisco Chronicle - "...The animation frees the imagination yet grounds the main characters in quirky humanity. It is impossible to take your eyes off the screen...Titan A.E. comes through where it counts, in the big picture..."

Ted Anthony of the Associated Press - "Titan A.E. begins with one massive explosion and ends with another. In between, as with most sci-fi epics, the fate of humanity hangs in the balance. Ignore that cliché, though, and this engaging, technically magnificent piece of computer-age animation delivers the mix of punch and pathos that modern moviegoers have come to expect from action yarns. It even has a positive — and yes, subtle — message buried within it..."

Erik Lundegarrd of the Seattle Times - "If you were thinking about checking out Titan A.E., there's no need. You've already seen it...No one thought to create any fictional scientific leaps for the intervening thousand years. (Apparently our scientists are going to take the millennium off.)...For this foray into sci-fi, Bluth says in the press kit, they let their "imaginations run wild." Their imaginations ran all right - right down to the nearest video store."

Stephen Holden of the New York Times - "...Titan A.E. has problems in pacing, storytelling and character definition. In striving to be all things to all generations, the screenplay, adapted from a story by Hans Bauer and Randall McCormick, vacillates uneasily between the fluff of Saturday morning cartoons and fairly sophisticated wisecracking. Although the action sequences are lively, they zip by too fast to build up much cliffhanging excitement..."

Jay Carr of the Boston Globe - "After years of leaving full-length animated sci-fi to Japanese anime, Hollywood fields a good-looking entry in Titan A.E...On balance, the delivery system here feels fresh, the content rather less so. Still, Titan A.E. is a space shot worth taking..."

David Elliott of the San Diego Union-Tribune - "Titan A.E. is an exciting space show. And near the end it has one of the greatest sequences ever done with computer animation -- a showdown hunt in a vast, floating, crunching junkyard of immense ice crystals. It's scary in a coldly beautiful way..."

Jonathan Foreman of the New York Post - "...In the end, it is inadequate, juiceless storytelling that deprives Titan A.E. of any dramatic force: There are no surprises anywhere along the way, and, in any case , you couldn't care less what happens to any of the film's colorless, charmless characters."

Michael Wilmington of the Chicago Tribune - "...Despite its highly derivative story, this animated saga from the Don Bluth-Gary Goldman team (An American Tail, Anastasia) is done with such visual razzle-dazzle and massive resources, there's no denying it's some kind of a technological marvel: a modern digitized lollapalooza concocted out of old-fashioned slam-bang space opera elements..."

Paul Clinton of CNN - "Titan A.E. borrows liberally from other classic adventure stories, but that doesn't lessen the enjoyment...This $65 million film is full of wonderfully eccentric characters, great animation and witty dialogue...The film is visually splendid."

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