AXIS, a gigantic coiling plant, stretches high above the clouds... At its center is a village whose people are in mortal danger because Axis is withering... it's sap is drying up. The ... See full summary »
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AXIS, a gigantic coiling plant, stretches high above the clouds... At its center is a village whose people are in mortal danger because Axis is withering... it's sap is drying up. The people beg their gods for help... but to no avail. Compelled by a mysterious force, Kaena, a rebellious, high-spirited teenage girl will defy the High Priest and her people's ancestral beliefs to take the perilous journey through the Axis and discover what dark secrets lie beyond the clouds... A dying world, an evil force, a terrible secret... Written by
This movie reminded me, more than anything else, of "Final Fantasy: the Spirits Within." I think that critics of movies like these sometimes criticize them for being A: animated, and B: science fiction. That's sort of like criticizing "Terminator" or "Lord of the Rings" because, as one reviewer wrote: "that could never happen." Well, yeah. I mean, isn't that the point, to create something that can only exist in the imagination? I have a hard time seeing the relevance of comparing "Kaena" even to other animated features like "Toy Story" or "Ice Age." SciFi is a genre unto itself and needs to be judged on its own terms. "Kaena" is a fully-realized fantasy. It has a comprehensive story, background and setting. The voice-over narration (English) is particularly good, especially Kirsten Dunst in the title role. The only real criticism I have is that the quality of the animation is uneven, ranging between mid-90's video game at one extreme and almost breathtaking at the other. The choice of a very muted color palate for most of the scenes doesn't quite make up in atmosphere for what it loses in vibrancy and realism. Overall, I give "Kaena" an 8 based on the strength of its story and characters.
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