Judging from the nearly empty theater in which I saw 'Titan A.E.' on opening weekend, I am not alone in my opinion.
'Titan A.E.' is a mess. It is Recycled Cr*p That Should Have Never Been Made.
Don Bluth is famous more as a defector from the Disney Studio fold. He left just before Disney began producing films like 'The Little Mermaid' and 'Beauty and the Beast'. In other words, he left just as they were experiencing a renaissance. He seems to be at the head of every high-profile animated effort that a competing studio has released in the last few years. Can you name any? Pretty difficult because most of the films are completely forgettable. No one is likely to go to the local video store hunting down a copy of 'All Dogs Go To Heaven' or 'The Pebble and The Penguin'.
'Titan R.C.T.S.H.N.B.M' is recycled from just about every science fiction movie ever made. It even steals dialogue from the films. If you are going to steal and recycle, at least try to mix things up a bit. If you have seen 'Star Wars', 'Star Trek II', 'Star Trek: First Contact' and many other films, you will not be surprised by any element in this film.
Matt Damon provides the voice for Cale, a young human that is bitter that his father left him just as Earth was about to explode. Drew Barrymore voices Akima, the inevitable human mate for Cale. Bill Pullman, Nathan Lane, John Leguizamo and Janeane Garafolo also provide voices. Basically, Cale has a map that will lead the last few humans to a spaceship that will recreate Earth. Cale, Akima, Korso (Pullman) and his cronies have to find the spaceship while trying to elude the Drej. For some reason that is never explained, they are afraid of humans, which is why they destroyed Earth in the first place.
This film combines two very distinct styles of animation. Most of the backgrounds and the action sequences appear to be very realistic and almost 3D. It is pretty obvious that these were generated by computer. Some of these are very interesting and visually amazing. For some reason, all of the characters are drawn in a 2D style that brings memories of 'Johnny Quest' and 'Scooby Doo' to mind. The two styles don't mix and only point out how inept the animation is for most of the film.
Add to this mix a very dated soundtrack of songs that sound like they were created in the 80s by every two-bit hard rock band and you have a film that is pretty much avoidable.
There has been a lot of press in the last few years about Disney's efforts to bury animated works from other studios. They rereleased 'The Little Mermaid' to compete with 'Anastasia'. They rereleased 'Fantasia 2000' to compete with 'Titan A.E.'.
Memo to Michael Eisner: If Fox continues to put out animated works of this quality, you don't have anything to worry about. The last film Fox released was 'Anastasia' (also a Don Bluth film). It was much, much better, but it only made about half what a bad Disney film makes. Why waste all the time, energy and money. I think it is safe to say that 'Titan A.E.' will make no where near as much as 'Dinosaur'. If a true competitor comes around, embrace it. There are so few animated films that two successes can only help expand the marketplace.