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Titan A.E

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Titan A.E

Titan A.E.
File:Titan AE One Sheet.jpg
Directed by Don Bluth
Gary Goldman
Produced by Don Bluth
Gary Goldman
David Kirschner
Written by Screenplay:
Ben Edlund
John August
Joss Whedon
Story:
Hans Bauer
Randall McCormick
Starring Matt Damon
Bill Pullman
John Leguizamo
Nathan Lane
Janeane Garofalo
Drew Barrymore
Music by Graeme Revell
Studio Fox Animation Studios
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) June 16, 2000 (US)
Running time 94 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $75,000,000 (estimated)
Box office $36,754,634

Titan A.E. is a 2000 animated post-apocalyptic science fiction adventure film directed by both Don Bluth and Gary Goldman. The title refers to the spacecraft central to the plot, with A.E. meaning "After Earth." The film stars the voices of Matt Damon, Bill Pullman, John Leguizamo, Nathan Lane, Janeane Garofalo, and Drew Barrymore.

The film's animation technique combines traditional hand-drawn animation and extensive use of computer generated imagery. Its working title was Planet Ice.

Plot

In 3028 A.D. humanity has mastered deep space travel and interacted with several alien species. A human invention called "Project Titan" alarms the antagonist alien species the Drej, who attack the human race. As the Drej destroy Earth, Professor Sam Tucker, the lead researcher for "Project Titan", sends his son Cale on one of the evacuation ships with his alien friend Tek while Tucker and other members of his team fly the Titan spacecraft into hyperspace. With Earth destroyed, the surviving humans become nomads, generally ridiculed by other species.

Fifteen years after Earth's destruction, Cale, now working in a salvage yard in an asteroid belt at Tau 14, encounters the human Captain Joseph Korso, his female human pilot Akima, and three aliens that make of the crew of the Valkyrie following the Drej's attack on the salvage yard. Korso reveals that Professor Tucker encoded a map in Cale's ring to the Titan, humanity's chance of recovery. Cale realizes the Drej want him dead before he can find Titan. On the planet Sesharrim, the bat-like 'Gaoul' interpret the map, and discover the Titan in the Andali Nebula. Drej fighters arrive and Cale and Akima are captured. The Drej eventually discard Akima and extract the Titan's map from Cale.

Korso's crew rescue Akima and Cale eventually escapes in a Drej fighter and rejoins the crew. Visiting the human space station 'New Bangkok' for repairs, Cale and Akima discover that Korso and his assistant Preed are working with the Drej to destroy the Titan in exchange for money, and are stranded by Korso. With the help of New Bangkok's colonists, Cale and Akima pursue Korso and the Drej to the Titan, where they learn that the said vessel can create an Earth-like planet, including the native animal and plant life, but has lost the energy necessary to that process. After killing Preed (who was earlier bribed by the Drej against him), Korso attempts and fails to seize Cale's ring. Moments later, the Drej attack the Titan, but are diverted by the Valkyrie's remaining crew.

Cale modifies the Titan to absorb the energy beam fired by the Drej mothership and aided by a repentant Korso who sacrifices himself in the process. The Drej Mothership vaporizes after being fired upon. The now active Titan creates a new planet titled "Bob" by Cale and "New Earth" by Akima. Their friends, Stith and Gune, leave on Korso's ship Valkyrie to another planet as they wave good-bye to their human comrades. The film closes with human colony ships approaching the new planet.

Cast

  • Matt Damon as Cale Tucker, the main protagonist of the film who carries the map to Titan in his ring.
  • Drew Barrymore as Akima, Cale's paramour.
  • Bill Pullman as Captain Joseph Korso, the lesser antagonist of the film, the captain of the Valkyrie and once an ally of Cale's father.
  • John Leguizamo as Gune, an amphibian-like 'Grepoan' and Korso's chief scientist who defends Cale and Akima during the final battle.
  • Nathan Lane as Preed, a Fruit Bat-like 'Akrennian' and Korso's first mate that was bribed by the Drej and later killed by Korso.
  • Janeane Garofalo as Stith, a marsupial-like 'Mantrin' who is the Valkyrie's munitions officer.
  • Ron Perlman as Professor Sam Tucker, Cale's father who was killed when he refuses to disclose the Titan's location to the Drej.
  • Tone Loc as Tek, Sam Tucker's friend who raises Cale. At some point during the fifteen years between the destruction of Earth and the events of the movie, he has become blind.
  • Jim Breuer as The Cook, an anthropomorphic cockroach at Tau 14 who disdains Cale and is later killed by the Drej.
  • Christopher Scarabosio as Queen Drej, the primary antagonist of the film.
  • Jim Cummings as Chowquin, Cale's overseer on Tau 14.
  • Charles Rocket as Firrikash, an alien who bullies Cale on Tau 14.
    • Charles Rocket also voiced an alien prison guard who surprises Preed with his unexpected intelligence.
  • Ken Hudson Campbell as Po
  • Tsai Chin as Old Woman
  • Crystal Scales as Drifter Woman
  • David Lander as Mayor

Digital screening

Titan A.E. became the first major motion picture to take part in end-to-end digital cinema. On June 6, 2000, ten days before the movie was released, at the SuperComm 2000 tradeshow, the movie was projected simultaneously at the tradeshow in Atlanta, Georgia as well as a screen in Los Angeles, California. It was sent to both screens from the 20th Century Fox production facilities in Los Angeles via a VPN.[1]

Reception

While Titan A.E. was met with a mixed response, though it received an Annie Award nomination for Best Animated Feature (which it lost to Toy Story 2), the film was a box office bomb. After the film's failure, Fox Animation Studios was shut down. The film opened at #5, with only $9,376,845 for an average of only $3,430 from 2,734 theaters. The film then lost 60% of its audience in its second weekend, dropping to #8, with a gross of just $3,735,300 for an average of $1,346 from 2,775 theaters. The film ended up grossing a mere $36,754,634 worldwide ($22,753,426 in the United States and Canada, and $14,001,208 in international markets).

One of the reasons most commonly given for the financial disaster of Titan A.E. was its poor marketing with a poorly identified target audience. People were unsure, having seen trailers for the film, whether it was intended for an older sci-fi fan crowd, or whether it was pitched more at children. This confusion was further increased by the mixture of people used to write and direct the production. Joss Whedon, was, at the time, famous for the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer as well as for making contributions to films such as Speed and Toy Story, whereas directors Don Bluth and Gary Goldman were more noted for also creating G-rated children's cartoons such as The Secret of NIMH and Anastasia. Bluth later added to the confusion when he stated during an interview with HBO's First Look, "This is not one of those cute, little kid musicals; this film is nothing but action". Film critic Roger Ebert enjoyed it, giving it 3.5/4 stars for its "rousing story", "largeness of spirit", and "lush galactic visuals [which] are beautiful in the same way photos by the Hubble Space Telescope are beautiful". He cited the Ice Rings sequence as "a perfect examine [sic] of what animation can do and live action cannot".[2]

Prequels

To tie in with the film, a series of prequel novels were released, as well as a comic book mini-series.

  • Cale's Story: the adventures of Cale, ending with the beginning of the film. The book chronicles Cale growing up on Vusstra, Tek's home planet, for ten years and having to move to a different place every time the Drej attack. It also reveals how Cale became resentful of his father's disappearance and how he came to despise 'drifter colonies'.
  • Akima's Story: the adventures of Akima, ending with the beginning of the film. The book chronicles Akima's life aboard drifter colonies, and reveals whence Akima learned her karate skills; her friendship with Stith; and her reason to find the Titan.
  • Sam's Story: a Dark Horse Comics prequel comic telling the story of Sam Tucker and his crew, and their quest to hide the Titan.

Video Game

A video game of the same name was planned for release on the Playstation in the fall of that same year, but was cancelled for multiple factors (the only officially made one was due to film's failure at the box office). However a demo disc was released one month before the game's cancellation which contained two levels, a low-quality trailer for the film, and a gallery of screenshots.

Soundtrack

  1. "Over My Head" — Lit
  2. "The End is Over" — Powerman 5000
  3. "Cosmic Castaway" — Electrasy
  4. "Everything Under the Stars" — Fun Lovin' Criminals
  5. "It's My Turn to Fly" — The Urge
  6. "Like Lovers (Holding On)" — Texas
  7. "Not Quite Paradise" — Bliss 66
  8. "Everybody's Going to the Moon" — Jamiroquai
  9. "Karma Slave" — Splashdown
  10. "Renegade Survivor" — The Wailing Souls
  11. "Down to Earth" — Luscious Jackson

Creed's song "Higher" was played in many of the theatrical trailers for Titan A.E., but the song did not appear either in the movie or on the soundtrack.

See also

  • List of films featuring space stations

References

External links

  • Internet Movie Database
  • AllRovi
  • Rotten Tomatoes
  • Box Office Mojo
  • communications about historic digital screenings
  • IGN Information Page on the cancelled game
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