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In the year 3028 an evil race of aliens called the Drej destroys Earth. 15 years later a young man named Cale (voiced by Matt Damon) discovers he has a genetically coded map leading to the Titan, a spaceship that holds the secret to the salvation of the human race. With the Drej in pursuit, Cale attempts to find the Titan before it, and humankind, are destroyed forever.

The cover of this DVD carries a quote reading "This is the one Star Wars fans have been waiting for." Not enough of them apparently because this $US75 million feature turned out to be Fox Animation’s first and probably last foray into the lucrative high-tech `toon market. Its failure to rack up Antz or Shrek-like box-office returns can be put down to a combination of factors, starting with its PG rating.

Although parents will now take the kids to see animations rated higher than G, it’s usually because they’re pitched at one level for moppets and another one for adults—Shrek being the most notable example. Titan A.E. is aimed squarely at a teenage audience, making it too sophisticated and scary for tots but not adult enough to attract savvy grown-ups. On a technical level it’s outstanding, with some beautifully detailed futuristic landscapes and one truly dazzling mirror maze-like sequence set in a minefield of spiky ice rocks floating in space. The story of an unwilling young hero who carries the hopes of humanity in a magic ring given to him by his late father is entertaining enough but suffers from villain let-down. The evil Drej are a faceless mass of chrome and electrical circuits who speak in subtitles and lack the character to make them connect with an audience and become hissable. Elsewhere we’re reminded of Star Wars a little too much. Important messages are delivered by Princess Leia-like holograms, hero Cale (Matt Damon) is rather too like Luke Skywalker, sidekick Preed (Nathan Lane) resembles Jar Jar Binks and scientist Gune (John Leguizamo) looks like a cross between Yoda and E.T.

Still, this is splendid to look at and the disc comes with a comprehensive range of extras. A 25 minute "making of" featurette takes a fascinating look at the animation process from first pencil drawings to final product and Bluth and Goldman provide absorbing commentary. There’s also a gallery of 120 stills and four deleted scenes presented in various stages of completion. Not a great film but definitely a good value purchase. There is a German language option on the audio although it is not mentioned on the cover.
Richard Kuipers

Publication Date: September 6, 2001

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You can buy it HERE - next day delivery within Australia


CAST: Voices of Matt Damon, Drew Barrymore, Bill Pullman, John Leguizamo, Janeane Garofalo, Nathan Lane.
DIRECTOR: Don Bluth and Gary Goldman
RUNNING TIME: 92 minutes

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
DVD RELEASE: July 4, 2001

SPECIAL FEATURES: Widescreen 2.35:1; Deleted Scenes; Trailer, Featurette; Audio Commentary with Directors Don Bluth and Gary Goldman. Languages: English, German. Subtitles: English for the hard of hearing, German for the hard of hearing, Czech, Portuguese, Hebrew, Icelandic, Hungarian, Polish

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