Movie Review for Battle for Terra (2009)

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Battle for Terra (2009) [PG]
W.I.P. Scale™ Rating: $11.75

| Expected Release Date: 5/1/2009 | Running Time: 85 minutes |
| official web site | | preview trailer |
| spoiler || 2cOrNot2c |

Directed by: Aristomenis Tsirbas (Terra)
Written by: Evan Spiliotopoulos (The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning) and Aristomenis Tsirbas (Terra) with story by Aristomenis Tsirbas
Unsung Member of the Crew: 2D - Artist – Adam Byrne

Featured Cast: (where you might remember him/her from)
Justin Long (He's Just Not That Into You) • Evan Rachel Wood (Across the Universe) • Luke Wilson (Henry Poole Is Here) • David Cross (Kung Fu Panda) • Amanda Peet (The X-Files: I Want to Believe) • Brian Cox (The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep) • Dennis Quaid (The Express) • Chris Evans (Push)

Don’t let the lack of a mega-studio advertising campaign deter you from finding and going to see this marvelous new animated film from Snoot Films. It features the voice cast of some great and current big name actors from Evan Rachel Wood and Amand Peet to Luke Wilson and Chris Evans for characters on two sides of a Battle for Terra, hence the title. As the film opens in cosmic, Real D™-3D blowing your mind and soul as you weave amongst stellar debris on a collision course with a mysterious planet inhabited by floating, liquid doe-eyed, peace-loving sentients who live, love, and learn in harmony with their planet. The humans of Earth Force on their ship called the Ark are barreling toward them with blood lust in some of their eyes. Having endured the devastation of earth, the subsequent terraforming of Venus and Mars, a brutal war of independence that left all three planets destroyed, what remains of humanity now lives aboard an aging ship with two months left of oxygen. As the so-called Terrians go about their daily lives, they are woefully unaware of the humans that approach. Led by a council and a compassionate futuristic president, they want to see what they are up against before going in like gangbusters. Then send in a squadron of aerial fighters that snatch up Terrians for experimentation and strike fear in to the hearts of all. The Terrian Elders immediately order a curfew for all as they ponder their next steps. Meanwhile, the curious and inventive Mala (Evan Rachel Wood) finds herself at odds with the rules of the elders when her father is taken by what some Terrians believe must be gods from the heavens and even ask to be taken. Her daring attempts to recover her father take her into an aerial battle with an Earth Force Lieutenant. When he crashes, she and his robot assistant Giddy (David Cross) save him back at her home by building him an oxygen tent and intensifying the oxygen in it. For as glorious as is Terra, it lacks something humans need to live, a higher concentration of oxygen gas. After being revived, Lieutenant James Stanton (Luke Wilson) realizes that maybe the Terrians aren’t all the bad. Mala save his life again when her nosey friend, Senn (Justin Long) comes poking around trying to find out what she’s up to and discovers she’s harboring one of them. Meanwhile, back on the Ark, the military commander, General Hemmer (Brian Cox) has decided the only way to save his people is to mutiny against the council and the President which had decided that an all out assault on Terra was not morally sound. When Stanton returns, Hemmer puts him in charge of leading a terraforming mission that will convert the atmosphere killing every living thing on Terra but making it the new home for what remains of human civilization. If you need more on the plot, consult the spoiler.

... marvelous new animated film ... in cosmic, Real D™-3 ...
It’s difficult to miss the allegories embedded in this story by Aristomenis Tsirbas who also directed the film. It turns out to be Fern Gully for the 2K0 generation along with some potent anti-war themes. Whether made to help guide children of those raised by Rush Limbaugh and friends or those of all imperial nations, The Battle for Terra most definitely packs a powerful punch. Moving some viewers to tears not only for the honorable, almost chilling ending based on an extreme act of courage but for the hope that arises from the ashes of the terraforming machine. Mr. Tsirbas has conceived a remarkable parable that serves up valuable lessons for all earth’s children. The 3D animation is fluid but doesn’t capitalize on the full value of the third dimension.

... Fern Gully for the 2K0 generation ...
Still, the film is beautiful and mesmerizing in so many places, especially when Mala is forced to confront, at last, the true history of her own people. Evan Rachel Wood endows her voice with strength yet compassion, both traits brought to Jim Stanton as well by Luke Wilson. Brian Cox plays up his militaristic resonance creating a commanding General Henner. Listen closely, though as you may notice James Garner, Danny Glover, Mark Hammil, David Krumholtz, Ron Perlman, and Dennis Quaid, all of whom lent their voice talents to various characters. The result is a heart-warming if not gut-wrenching film that reveals the possibilities and the best sides of human nature.

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