Thursday, April 30, 2009
For first-time director Aristomenis Tsirbas, his cosmic parable “Battle for Terra” has been in the making since he was a kid. The concept for this 3-D sci-fi animated adventure, which hits theaters Friday, first struck Tsirbas in his youth after reading H.G. Wells’ seminal book, “War of the Worlds.” He was bemused by the author’s portrayal of the aliens, whose intentions for invading Earth were not explored in depth.
“'Battle for Terra" was me not buying that an entire race can be evil,” he said. “It seemed obvious to twist that concept 180 degrees.”
The premise has enough clarity for young audiences but also has messages for adult moviegoers. Humans have destroyed Earth with war and pollution. The remnants of our species have been flying around space looking for a new home to permanently settle when they come across the idyllic, peaceful Terra, which is inhabited by nature-loving aliens.
The aliens, however, have a secret of their own that the elders (voiced by "Star Wars" and "Batman: The Animated Series" vet Mark Hamill and big Red himself, Ron Perlman, from the "Hellboy" films and animated movies) will do anything to keep. The humans make an initial attack on the dreamy planet, but amid the chaos, a Terrian called Mala (Evan Rachel Woods) saves a human soldier named Jim Stanton (Luke Wilson), and their unlikely friendship blurs the lines as species of two worlds fight for their survival.
"I wanted to make sure not to paint either culture too simply," Tsirbas said. "The humans were not uniformly evil -- there was a lot of debate whether they should invade. The aliens also have secrets and darkness to their history. Things are presented in a very simple way in the beginning, but soon after, things deepen."
The A-list cast also includes James Garner, Rosanna Arquette, Chad Allen and Dennis Quaid as the aliens; Brian Cox, Chris Evans, Danny Glover and Amanda Peet as the marauding humans; and actor-comedian David Cross as the lovable robot, Giddy.
Source: Los Angeles Times
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