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With Jim Sabatini

Battle for Terra

Battle for Terra
Evan Rachel Wood, Justin Long, Luke Wilson, Dennis Quaid, Amanda Peet, Chris Evans

Rated: PG sequences of sci-fi action violence and some thematic elements
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: May 1, 2009 Released by: Lions Gate Films

This new animated space adventure is able to please kids and (especially sci-fi acolyte) adults alike who get to wear those dark 3D glasses again. Some of the action may be too intense for younger fry.

Battle For Terra features the voices of Evan Rachel Wood, Brian Cox, and Luke Wilson, among other high-profile actors. Too bad the line readings aren't as sharply rendered as the animation of this interplanetary invasion tale.

The premise from writer Evan Spiliotopoulos skewers to the liberals as Earth has been destroyed during a major galactic conflict and the tadpole-like inhabitants of a serene, rather idle Terra become threatened by those wanting to start a new brave world. The Elder-like ruling body are fine with their thin habits flying around (as if underwater) as long as they stay away from certain forbidden zones.

Tenets and mores have been fundamentally brought down to nearly most in Terra, except for the few like thoughtfully unsuppressed Mala (Wood). After spaceships thought to be deities by some pass through the atmosphere, Mala's father is snatched by the aliens, or Earthlings.

Crash-landing pilot Jim Stanton (Wilson) benefits from Mala's presence as she needs him to help get her dad back. They are staying a harm's distance from humans and Terra-reans, as an alliance has formed against the military might of those like Gen. Hemmer (Cox) who schemes to make atmospheric conditions favorable only to his species.

One must credit director Aristomenis Tsirbas and his crew that is enlivened in a wonderfully detailed way on its CGI and sound work as it works nicely off of live-action science fiction like The Day The Earth Stood Still and Planet of the Apes. As well as Japanese anime and visually striking U.S. animation like Titan A.E.

The dream-like, unsentimental and partially romantic Battle For Terra lets the good and bad side of survival come out in a way that doesn't end up on the kind of positive footing usually expected in this kind of entertainment. And, it definitely helps having David Cross in comic-relief mode as the Artoo-Detoo-like Giddy.

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