So, I’ve always wanted to review a film (animated, especially), i.e. give my thoughts on it, and now with this blog, I’m able to do just that. And I’ve recently watched a 2007 animated film entitled, “Battle for Terra”, so this will be my first review. Warning: There may be spoilers!
Ok, first off, “Battle for Terra” is a 2007 feature-length animated film that is based on an animated short film called “Terra.” Other animated films have come about this way as well such as Tim Burton’s “Frankenweenie” and Shane Acker’s “9.” The film is directed by Aristomenis Tsirbas and didn’t fare well at the box office only bringing in about $6 million worldwide. Is it really a bad film in my opinion? Well, let’s look at the film’s components one at a time.
Firstly, let’s look at the story. The story is a very familiar one, overdone many times, most notably by James Cameron in “Avatar.” It’s about this alien planet deemed “Terra” and the human invasion of the planet. Apparently humans have used up all their natural resources on Earth, relocated to Mars and Venus, caused great war(s), and the survivors have been living on a space station of some kind called The Ark. The humans are running out of oxygen and need to find another life suiting planet to colonize, and of course they pick “Terra”, thereby creating a big intergalactic battle for the planet and producing the tile, “Battle for Terra.” So, like I said the story is nothing spectacular or new and even the battle for the planet doesn’t really commence until like the last third of the film. I personally find the story quite weak and the buildup to the climax weak as well.
Next, let’s talk about the animation. The director and animators definitely wanted to do something new and creative, but sadly I think they fail in their task. The Terrians are like flying milk drops and the humans produce a feeling of the “uncanny valley” syndrome. The creativity isn’t quite creative; for example there are flying whales in this film which automatically remind you of “Fantasia 2000” and there are inventions made which remind you of films like “A Bug’s Life” and “Meet the Robinsons.” So, the animation didn’t impress me, although I could see that they were trying their best to.
Now, about the characters. Honestly, there are only two characters that really clicked with me. One is Giddy, Stanton’s robotic companion. He’s built in a traditional way and has the traditional abilities, i.e. analyzing compounds,doing what it’s programmed to do and nothing more, etc. He’s voiced by David Cross, who actually gives an enjoyable performance. The other character that I like is the villain, Captain Hemmer voiced by Brian Cox. He’s amazing in his role as a ruthless head of armed forces who wants nothing more but the security of his species and will do anything to ensure that. Even if it means war!
So to wrap up, I’ll now rank this movie. I had debated how I want to rank movies on this blog of mine. Do I want to give them a grade out of 5 stars? Do I want to grade each component of the film and tally up a percentage at the end? Do I want to rank them in terms of how excited one should be for this film? I decided none of these methods would work due to the fact that I’m not a critic to properly grade the movie and that how excited one should be for this film is purely a subjective statement. So I decided to use a comparison rank. I’d list the movie that I’m reviewing and list a similar/related film that I think is better than it and list a similar/related film that I think is worse than it. This way, you can get an idea of how I found the film and compare it to your opinions on the other two films. I’d show this via a mathematical equation using the “greater than, >” symbol.
So for this film, I’ve decided that: