Though three decades old (with some of its science superseded by later info), UNIVERSE is a fine documentary which serves as a good primer (even today - as long as it's prefaced by noting when it was made) on the basics of Astronomy. Odd that even though one of the 'anachronisms' in the film is that it includes PLUTO as a planet, the two planets that are given the shortest shrift in the journey through our solar system are Uranas and Neptune - not Pluto!
The visuals are exceptionally well chosen and mix NASA footage with then state-of-the art hand-drawn animation. Computer animation can't be beat as far as giving dimension and clarity, but there remains a beauty all it's own for the traditional animation technique. It's not surprising that this short was nominated for an Academy Award.
Today, the film is known, if at all, for the fact that William Shatner narrates. This may have come during the fallow period between the end of the STAR TREK TV series and the beginning of the feature TREK franchise, but Shatner gives it a strong solid effort without ever calling attention to himself (or his famous pauses and delivery ticks).
Note: Although IMDb lists this film as unavailable on Home Video, you may find a copy on Amazon and other outlets on the VHS release of WHO'S OUT THERE? (a NASA short hosted by Orson Welles) on the UAV Entertainment label (the edition with the INDEPENDENCE DAY looking cover). BOTH films are included on the tape. It is well worth seeking out.
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