IF YOU'VE THOUGHT about going to see Titan A.E. because—and this is important—because you want to see some really cool animation, then, by all means, go. You were going to see it anyway, and you don't need me to tell you to.
directed by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman
with Matt Damon, Bill Pullman, Drew Barrymore, and Nathan Lane
opens June 16 at Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree
Titan has cool animation in spades. The ships are all sleek and smooth, the interiors spacious and meaningfully lit. The real achievement, though, is the look of the various interstellar locales, one of which is a planet covered in "hydrogen plants": giant luminous, well, hydrogen plants, which explode and—when not exploding—look really really cool. And then there are the Ice Rings of Tigrin, a galaxylike formation of gigantic ice crystals that—in addition to looking really cool—sound very ominous while crashing together. Add to this the highly reflective properties of space ice, and you've got one wild and crazy chase scene!
But then, alas, there's the story, and boy is it dumb. Earth is destroyed by the heretofore undefeatable Drej (a cross between Geiger's Alien and Battlestar Galactica's Cylons). Humanity's only hope is Cale—a pompous, sulking twerp, the voice of whom is, oddly enough, Matt Damon. To quote the press materials: "According to [director Don] Bluth, Damon was instrumental in shaping the character." Go figure. Cale has the map to the Titan, the greatest spaceship ever, which contains the DNA for every living thing on earth. But Cale is mad at his dead daddy and doesn't want to go looking for the stupid ship. Convincing him to accept his destiny requires some amazingly corny dialogue and Drew Barrymore's Mulan-in-space character, Akima. But Titan A.E. looks much, much cooler than its equally simple-minded 'toon predecessors. And if that's what you want (it is, isn't it?), you got it.