Written by Ashley Orr
Despite its over-animated cover, Battle for Terra, directed by Aristomenis Tsirbas, was a surprisingly interesting flick. With an all-star cast playing the voices, this movie takes animated sci-fi and marries the ideas of philosophy and entertainment in an unusual way.
The movie takes place in an alternate universe some time in the future. Mala (played by Evan Rachel Woods), a smart and ambitious Terran, gets caught up in the mix of things after humans attack her planet and she decides to help one of them, Lt. Stanton (played by Luke Wilson), as he tries to return to his battalion.
Because Earth exhausted all of its resources, the humans are forced to take refuge on whatever planet they can conquer. Terra offers a suitable home to humans; however, it is already occupied by other beings who believe in harmonious and peaceful living. When the general of the human earth force discovers this, he forces his star hero, Lt. Stanton, to pick a side.
This animated film tells the time old tale of war and peace, fear and prejudice. It begs the question, can two nations co-exist peacefully, or must there be a winner and a loser?
The DVD is presented in widescreen format, with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. Because this is an animated film, the use of color and design play a major part in communicating the story to viewers. The director and the producers used bright colors and a clean design.
The audio on this is great. Bending metal and gasping for air are two examples of the realistic sound quality that this movie has. This DVD is in English with the option of Spanish. It is in 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio.
The disc has several special features, such as:
The Making of “Battle For Terra”- This is a short piece where director Aristomenis Tsirbas and his crew discuss all the work that went into making this movie, along with the artistic and theatrical points that they tried to hit throughout the film.
Deleted Scenes-This feature has four deleted scenes that are not found in the movie.
From Storyboard to Final Render: Mala Sneaks Around- This feature divides the screen into four sections and in each one shows what the movie looked like in four different stages of development.
Animatics: Mala’s Escape– This is another short spot that shows Tsirbas’ work on the animatics, a year before the film was even in development.
Production and Design- Here is another short feature. This feature shows illustrations that designers put together of their created universe, before it went into production. In this feature, there are also alternate illustrations for different characters in the movie.
Aristomenis Tsirbas: Pulling The Strings- A brief animated video of director Aristomenis Tsirbas explaining how he put this movie together and what he would like the audience to get out of it.
If you’re a fan of science fiction or animated films, I’d say this is a good one to watch. I’d suggest renting it first to make sure you like the way the two are blended together. But, overall, this was a pleasant surprise to watch.