Titan A.E. (2000)

Genre: Sci-Fi, Animation, Kids

Cast: Matt Damon, Drew Barrymore, Bill Pullman

Synopsis: 15 years after Earth is destroyed by a bunch of energy-aliens, a young man forms an inappropriate relationship with an older gentleman and together they go off to find the human race’s only chance to build another planet.

I love Don Bluth cartoons. I grew up on films like All Dogs go to Heaven, The Land Before Time, and An American Tail so they take a special place in my heart. Rock-a-Doodle was also a classic but none of my friends at university believed it existed after I told them it was about a rooster that becomes Elvis after a bunch of magical owls overrun his farm…also there’s a magpie that likes lasagna. Looking back on it that is quite a strange plot. At any rate, Titan A.E. was a film that I never got to see so I thought I’d give it a go.

Titan A.E. is different from Bluth’s other works because it presents quite a lot of adult themes and imagery. For instance, space-fascism and space-genocide are central themes in this movie and there are a few scenes that are not appropriate for kids. Ultimately this is Titan A.E.’s greatest flaw: it doesn’t know what it wants to be. It tries to be adult with its message but tries to convey that message through a bunch of characters that are childish in construction. For instance, there’s this weird mincing bat-wolf-dog thing that is essentially the effeminate comic relief; it gets its neck broken in a pretty brutal way after it tries to shoot the main characters. The lack of focus and direction doesn’t necessarily spoil the movie but it makes it feel disjointed in places.

There are some positives to the movie though. The visuals are impressive and the scene with the ice crystals is imaginative and striking. The enormity of space really stands out when you’re baked. Also, there is this hilarious and totally inappropriate sugar daddy/intergalactic rent boy motif that runs throughout the movie. The main character lost his father when he was young and essentially grows up at this space truck stop where I’m sure he pimps himself out to various alien species interested in a little white meat. Anyway he meets this other space captain and they form this creepy sugar daddy sort of relationship because the main character has daddy issues. It’s deliciously creepy and there’s this one scene, during a montage no less, where oil spurts all over the main character’s face. If that doesn’t scream ‘Sigmund Freud’ like Madonna’s Die Another Day song then I don’t know what does.

If I’m perfectly honest, this movie was kind of disappointing. I expect more from Joss Whedon, who co-wrote this movie. It had a lot of potential but it just didn’t deliver. Also, what the fuck does ‘A.E.’ stand for? Is it ever explained? Either way, it’s probably better to watch Anastasia instead because that knows what it is…a highly inaccurate and festive portrayal of one of Russia’s darkest periods.

High-lights:

  • The gay hooker vibe was pretty funny.
  • Beautiful space visuals.

Downers:

  • Childish characters that you don’t necessarily connect with.
  • Absolutely awful soundtrack. It’s not as bad as the soundtrack from Catwoman but it isn’t far off. It’s just lots of angsty yet-family friendly rock music that will make your jaw clench because of the cringe.

Summary:

It’s not the worst movie to watch but it’s not the best. I like my sci-fi movies to have a gritty edge to them and I didn’t get that from this movie. Don Bluth has done much better movies in the past so I think that it’s best to stick to those.

5/10

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8 Comments

Filed under Animation, Kids, Meh, Sci-Fi

8 responses to “Titan A.E. (2000)

  1. It has been decades since I smoked up, but since you mention it, I would imagine Rock-a-Doodle would be outrageous amounts of fun in an altered state.
    (While you’re at it, double-feature it with Rock ‘n Rule, that was a constant companion on martini night back in college…)

  2. sanclementejedi

    This was actually a pretty decent watch. Well that is I watched it with my four year-old and he liked it.

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