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Titan A.E. is a 2000 American animated post-apocalyptic science fiction adventure film directed by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman and starring the voices of Matt Damon, Bill Pullman, Drew Barrymore, John Leguizamo, Nathan Lane, Janeane Garofalo, Ron Perlman and Tone Loc. Its title refers to the spacecraft central to the plot with A.E. meaning "After Earth". The animation of the film combines 2D traditional hand-drawn animation with the extensive use of computer-generated imagery.

Produced by Fox Animation Studios as its third and final film and project, the film was theatrically released on June 16, 2000 by 20th Century Fox in the United States. The film received mixed reviews from critics and made a loss at the box office.

Plot

In 3028, humanity has mastered deep space travel and interacted with several alien species. A human invention called "Project Titan" alarms the Drej, a pure energy-based alien species. As the Drej start to attack Earth, Professor Sam Tucker, the lead researcher for "Project Titan", sends his son Cale on one of the evacuation ships with his alien friend Tek while Tucker and other members of his team fly the Titan spacecraft into hyperspace. The Drej mother ship arrives and fires a directed-energy weapon into the planet that completely destroys Earth, while debris from the explosion also destroys the Moon. The surviving humans become nomads, generally ridiculed by other alien species.

Fifteen years later, Cale works at the salvage yard in an asteroid belt called Tau 14. He is tracked down by Joseph Korso, captain of the spaceship Valkyrie. Korso reveals that Tucker encoded a map to the Titan in the ring he gave Cale. Tek tells Cale that humanity depends on finding the Titan. When the Drej attack the salvage yard, Cale escapes aboard the Valkyrie with Korso and his crew: Akima, a human female pilot, along with Preed, Gune, and Stith, aliens of various species.

On the planet Sesharrim, the Gaoul interpret the map, and discover the Titan hidden in the Andali Nebula. Drej fighters arrive, capturing Cale and Akima. The Drej eventually discard Akima and extract the Titan's map from Cale. Korso's crew rescues Akima, while Cale eventually escapes in a Drej ship, and rejoins the group. Cale's map has changed and now shows the Titan's final location.

While resupplying at a human space station called New Bangkok, Cale and Akima discover that Korso and Preed are planning to betray the Titan to the Drej. Cale and Akima manage to escape the Valkyrie, but they are stranded on New Bangkok when Korso and the rest of the crew set off for the Titan. With the help of New Bangkok's colonists, Cale and Akima salvage a small spaceship named Phoenix and race to find the Titan before Korso does.

Cale and Akima navigate through the ice field in the Andali Nebula and dock with the Titan before the Valkyrie arrives. They discover DNA samples of Earth animals, and a pre-recorded holographic message left by Professor Tucker who explains that the Titan was designed to create an Earth-like planet. However, due to its escape from Earth before its destruction, its power cells lack the energy necessary for the process. The message is interrupted by the arrival of Korso and Preed. Preed reveals himself to be a mercenary for the Drej and betrays Korso while holding him, Cale, and Akima at gunpoint. Preed attempts to kill all three of them for the Drej, but he is killed by Korso. He and Cale then fight until Korso falls into the depths of the ship.

Moments later, the Drej attack the Titan. Given the fact that Drej are, essentially, beings of pure energy, Cale realizes that modifying the Titan to absorb them will re-energize the ship. In order to put this plan into effect, Cale must repair significant parts of the ship; he sets off to do this while the remaining crew of the Valkyrie distract the aliens. Korso, who survived and overheard Cale's plan, shows up and helps stall the Drej and then sacrifices himself to complete the repairs. The Titan absorbs the Drej mothership along with everything aboard, and uses this gained power, along with the ice field, to generate a new, habitable planet.

Cale and Akima stand in the rain, gazing at the beauty of their new home and discuss what this planet should be called. Stith and Gune do a fly-by on the Valkyrie as colony ships, filled with humans anxious to start life anew, approach.

Cast

  • Matt Damon as Cale Tucker
  • John Leguizamo as Gune
  • Nathan Lane as Preedex "Preed" Yoa
  • Janeane Garofalo as Stith
  • Drew Barrymore as Akima Kunimoto
  • Ron Perlman as Professor Sam Tucker
  • Tone Lōc as Tek
  • Jim Breuer as the Cook
  • Christopher Scarabosio as the Drej Queen
  • Jim Cummings as Chowquin
  • Charles Rocket as Firrikash and the Slave Trader Guard
  • Ken Hudson Campbell as Po
  • Tsai Chin as an Old Woman
  • Crystal Scales as a Drifter Girl
  • David Lander as the Mayor of New Bangkok
  • Roger L. Jackson as the First alien.

Production

Development

In development at 20th Century Fox since 1998, Titan A.E was originally going to be a live-action film. The script had been passed around to various writers such as Ben Edlund, Joss Whedon and Art Vitello. After $30 million had been spent in the film's early development with no progress, Art Vitello was sacked. Then-chairman of 20th Century Fox Bill Mechanic then gave the script to Fox Animation Studios creative heads Don Bluth and Gary Goldman, who were fresh from the success of their recent film Anastasia (1997). Mechanic had no scripts for Fox Animation Studios to work on and was faced with the choice of laying off the animation staff unless they took Titan A.E. Despite their inexperience with the science fiction genre, Bluth and Goldman took the script regardless.

Fox Animation Studios was given a production budget of $75 million and 19 months to make the film. Unlike Bluth and Goldman's previous films, the animation in Titan A.E. is predominantly computer-generated while the main characters and several backgrounds were traditionally animated. Many of the scenes were enacted by the animation staff using handbuilt props before being captured by a computer. Many scenes and backgrounds were painted by concept artist Paul Cheng, who had worked on Anastasia and its direct-to-video spinoff Bartok the Magnificent (1999). Much like Anastasia, the storytelling and tone in Titan A.E. is much darker and edgier than Bluth and Goldman's previous films with the film being regularly compared to Japanese anime. Although Bluth and Goldman denied any influence by anime, they have acknowledged the comparison.

During production of Titan A.E., Fox Animation Studios suffered a number of cutbacks which ultimately led to its closure in 2000. Over 300 animation staff were laid off from the studio in 1999 and as a result, much of the film's animation was outsourced to a number of independent companies. Several scenes were contracted to David Paul Dozoretz's POVDE group; the "Wake Angels" scene was animated by Reality Check Studios (their first feature film work) while the film's "Genesis" scene was animated by Blue Sky Studios, who would later go on to making 20th Century Fox's Ice Age and Rio film franchises as well as The Peanuts Movie (2015). Under pressure from executives, Bill Mechanic was dismissed from 20th Century Fox prior to Titan A.E.'s release eventuating in the closure of Fox Animation Studios on June 26, 2000, ten days after the film's release. All these events stunted the film's promotion and distribution.

Casting

On November 24, 1997, Matt Damon joined the cast of the film along with Bill Pullman, Drew Barrymore, Nathan Lane, Jim Breuer, Janeane Garofalo and Lena Olin. Later, John Leguizamo joined the cast.

Music

Main article: Titan A.E. (soundtrack)

Release

Titan A.E. became the first major motion picture to be screened in end-to-end digital cinema. On June 6, 2000, ten days before the film was released, at the SuperComm 2000 trade show, the movie was projected simultaneously at the trade show in Atlanta, Georgia as well as a screen in Los Angeles, California. It was sent to both screens from the 20th Century Fox production facilities in Los Angeles via a VPN.

Home media

Main article: Titan A.E. (video)

Titan A.E. was released on VHS and "Special Edition" DVD on November 7, 2000 by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, which contains extras such as a commentary track by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman, a "Quest for Titan" featurette, deleted scenes, web links, and a music video for Lit's "Over My Head". The region 1 North American version also comes with an exclusive DTS English audio track in addition to Dolby Digital 5.1 featured in most international releases.[17] Chris Carle of IGN rated the DVD an 8 out of 10, calling the movie "thrilling... with some obvious plot and character flaws" but called the video itself "a fully-packed disc which looks and sounds great" and "for animation and sci-fi fans, it's a must-have." As of 2019, the film has yet to release on Blu-ray.

Triva

  • Titan A.E. would be in 1.78:1 aspect ratio on the television broadcast premiere on THX Animation and CBBC Kids.

External Links

Template:Titan A.E.

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Animated films distributed by 20th Century Studios (20th Century Fox)
Hugo the Hippo (1975) • Wizards (1977) • Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure (1977) • Fire and Ice (1983) • FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992) • Once Upon a Forest (1993) • Everyone's Hero (2006) • Space Chimps (2008) • Cheech & Chong's Animated Movie (2013) • The Book of Life (2014) • Ron's Gone Wrong (2021)
Live-Action Films with Cel Animation/Stop-Motion/CGI
The Pagemaster (1994) • Monkeybone (2001) • The Call of the Wild (2020)
Japanese anime films distributed by 20th Century Studios (20th Century Fox)
Digimon: The Movie (1999/2000) • Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods (2013) • Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F' (2015) • Dragon Ball Super: Broly (2018)
DreamWorks Animation films distributed by 20th Century Studios (20th Century Fox)
The Croods (2013) • Turbo (2013) • Mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014) • How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014) • Penguins of Madagascar (2014) • Home (2015) • Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016) • Trolls (2016) • The Boss Baby (2017) • Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017)
20th Century Animation (20th Century Fox Animation)
The Simpsons Movie (2007) • Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) • Bob's Burgers: The Movie (2020)
Fox Animation Studios
Anastasia (1997) • Titan A.E. (2000)
Blue Sky Studios
Ice Age (2002) • Robots (2005) • Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006) • Horton Hears a Who! (2008) • Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009) • Rio (2011) • Epic (2013) • Rio 2 (2014) • The Peanuts Movie (2015) • Ice Age: Collision Course (2016) • Ferdinand (2017) • Spies in Disguise (2019) • Nimona (2022)
Searchlight Pictures (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Waking Life (2001) • Isle of Dogs (2018)
International animated films distributed by 20th Century Studios (20th Century Fox)
Asterix Conquers America (1994) • The Magic Pudding (2000) • Wizards and Giants (2003) • The Happy Cricket and the Giant Bugs (2009) • Worms (2013) • Space Chicken (2017)
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