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With: (voices) Evan Rachel Wood, Luke Wilson, Justin Long, David Cross, Brian Cox, Chris Evans, James Garner, Danny Glover, Amanda Peet, Dennis Quaid, Rosanna Arquette, Beverly D'Angelo, Mark Hamill, David Krumholtz, Laraine Newman, Ron Perlman, Danny Trejo, Vanessa Johansson
Written by: Evan Spiliotopoulos, based on a story by Aristomenis Tsirbas
Directed by: Aristomenis Tsirbas
MPAA Rating: PG for sequences of sci-fi action violence and some thematic elements
Running Time: 85
Date: 09/08/2007

Battle for Terra (2009)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Cartoon Wars

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Too often the science fiction genre is used as a disguise for war movies, complete with war movie messages. In this dull, dry, 3D computer-animated tale, a race of aliens lives peacefully, looking at life through their big, friendly E.T.-like eyes. Suddenly, an evil race attacks, and they turn out to be human. (The film explains that reckless humans eventually strip-mined their planet dry and had to turn elsewhere for places to live.) Then we get the usual battles and rescues. Directed by Aristomenis Tsirbas, Battle for Terra is a bad combination of simple-minded and heavy-handed. And the 3D animation feels practically coagulated in comparison to the fluid, smooth, energetic work in Monsters vs. Aliens. Voice talent includes Evan Rachel Wood, Luke Wilson, James Garner, Justin Long and Brian Cox as an evil human General Hemmer. (Is it me, or does Hemmer vaguely resemble George W. Bush?)

DVD Details: Lionsgate's 2009 DVD does not feature a 3D option, which is probably just as well. There's a commentary track by director Tsirbas, plus writer Spiliotopoulos and editor Jim May. We get a very short "making of" featurette, some outtakes, animatics and lots of other behind-the-scenes stuff. There's also a selection of trailers for other Lionsgate releases.

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