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Titan AE

"Titan AE" on DVD

Space Opera at its Best

Titan AE may go down in history as the movie that killed Fox Animation Studio, and if that’s the case it’s a damn shame.

The Don Bluth, Gary Goldman followup to the terrific “Anastasia” is a rollicking sci-fi adventure in the grand tradition of the pulp SF of decades past. Not only that, it’s a real animation tour de force where you often almost forget that this is, at heart, a cartoon.

Set in the thirty-first century, the movie begins with the destruction of planet Earth at the hands of the vile Drej and the last-minute escape of as many humans as can get away.

One of the refugees is Cale, a young lad whose father left him in the last minutes before the attack so he could take to safety the Titan, a ship whose importance we only learn much later.

Flash forward fifteen years and Cale is a nondescript salvage worker – until a mysterious human shows up and drags him along on a wild adventure across the galaxy in search of the lost Titan and the secrets it holds.

Cale, Korso (a former friend of Cale's father who came back to get him), Akima and the rest of the crew stay a maximum of a single step ahead of the Drej, who are still intent on making humanity extinct. This gives the filmmakers many opportunities for outrageously exciting space battles in unbelievable galactic locations.

Titan AE uses a blend of traditional and computer animation and the result is an outstanding visual experience. From sweeping spacescapes to outrageous aliens, Bluth and company have fashioned a marvelous movie experience. It’s not a cartoon for kids, it’s a cartoon for everyone who loves a ripping yarn well told and well made. The fact that it's a cartoon becomes irrelevant.

The voices are well cast, with Matt Damon as Cale, Bill Pullman as Korso, and Drew Barrymore as Akima. Supporting voices include Nathan Lane, John Leguizano, Janeane Garofalo,

The DVD is in widescreen, with DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio offered on the same disc. Video quality is wonderful, and the audio will positively rattle your walls. In fact, we thought there was a tad too much bass in places, but it’s very tight and well produced regardless. Extras include a PC Friendly DVD ROM component, director's commentary, a Fox kids special "The Quest for Titan," a music video deleted scenes, still gallery, etc. There's also the "THX Optimode" setup tests for ensuring your home theater's tweaked to its utmost.

It’s a shame that Titan AE didn’t reach its potential audience. It has all the things people love about Star Wars, and despite its feel for old Heinlein, Asimov, and Harry Harrison stories in the end it’s its own movie, and a “must see” at that.

Titan AE, from 20th Century Fox Home Video
95 minutes, Widescreen (2.35:1), Dolby Digital/DTS
Starring Matt Damon, Drew Barrymore, Bill Pullman
Produced by David Kirschner, Gary Goldman, Don Bluth
Written by Ben Edlund and John August and Joss Whedon, Directed by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman


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Updated May 13, 2006