The year is 3028. Earth has been destroyed by the Drej, a vicious alien race determined to conquer space. What’s left of the human species escapes with its greatest treasure, a magnificent ship christened the Titan. It’s up to a small band of heroes to protect the starship from the marauding Drej in this animated film from legendary cartoonist Don Bluth.
Every cartoon coming out these days declares, “It doesn’t feel, look or sound like any other animated film, thanks to exciting new technologies and cutting-edge computer imagery.” Well, it does have a lifelike look, but neither the drawing nor the “inventiveness” of “Titan A.E.” did much for me. Borrowing freely from “Star Wars” and “Battlestar Galatica,” sci-fi buffs have pretty much seen all this again and again. The hero looks like an adult version of Johnny Quest; complete with that same black shirt Johnny wore every week. (I never could figure that out. The Quests could fly all over the world in a supersonic jet, but they couldn’t afford to buy this kid a new shirt?) The female lead is a beautiful and highly skilled pilot who can keep up with the boys. Monstrous villains want to destroy all humans. And, of course, there are cute talking-creature sidekicks who help save the day. But hey, if you’re a kid, it’ll all be new to you. Gratefully, the producers have focused their energies on the animation and story, without including any objectionable language or gratuitous sex, which is gaining popularity in animated films of late.
Many in the Christian community look upon science fiction with a raised eyebrow, but this genre does serve a purpose. A good sci-fi actioneer is really a parable about good vs. evil (“Star Wars,” “Forbidden Planet”) or a cautionary tale (“The Day the Earth Stood Still”). Although “Titan A.E.” is loud and raucous, it does contain positive messages about friendship, sacrifice and fighting for justice. Without meaning to sound old fogey-ish, however, be cautioned: this is a loud one!