It is the year 3043. Earth was destroyed fifteen years ago by a powerful alien race called the Drej and humanity has all but ceased to exist. The only hope to save humanity is through Project Titan, a large spaceship hidden somewhere in the universe that holds the key to making a new Earth. Only one person in the universe, Kale, can turn on the Titan. The film tracks his quest from a scrapyard in the depths of space to a nebula filled with ice. Along the way, he must contend with backstabbing crewmates, love, and the all-important Drej, who track his every move. This is the premise of the 2000 movie “Titan A.E.”
The story itself is fairly commonplace in the science-fiction universe. A dying species must get to some point and do something to bring the remaining people together to start anew. However, “Titan A.E.” follows this plot in fantastic fashion. The story is quite convoluted, which always keeps viewers on their toes.
For an animated movie, the graphics are surprisingly good. The characters are styled similarly to those in “Atlantis: The Lost Empire,” although there are few humans. The range of aliens in this movie helps give the viewer a sense of how alone Kale is in the universe. Most of the aliens are based on animals, such as the cook, who is a cockroach. Others are based on kangaroos and vultures, so none of them seem strange at first glance. However, as the story continues, viewers get a sense of how different each species really is.
The environments and the scenes showing the ship from a distance really give this movie its flair. As opposed to the flat animation of the characters, ships look extremely three dimensional and nebulas are quite breathtaking to look at. Even the planets are extremely beautiful, with the bubbles of hydrogen trees lit by a sunset and the realistic ripples in the water.
However, the ending of the movie was a let down. The story ends with the creation of new Earth or, as Kale affectionately calls it, “Planet Bob.” There is no telling of how the humans fared on this new planet or how many even colonized it. Additionally, the graphics were lacking on this new planet. What could have been a beautiful scene was marred by the basic gradients covering a mountainous landscape. It really hurt the aesthetics of the final scene, which was meant to be quite touching.
Nonetheless, “Titan A.E.” is a must-see for all science fiction fans. It includes the voice talents of Matt Damon and Drew Barrymore, among many other well-known names. Joss Whedon, the creator of the acclaimed series “Firefly,” was even involved in the screenplay. While this movie certainly has its flaws, the well-done storytelling and good animation make it a good movie.