Aero-Troopers: The Nemeclous Crusade (Video 2003) Poster

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We REALLY enjoyed this film...
jk9027 April 2004
I initially rented the DVD at Blockbuster for my kids to see -- one is eight and one twelve. But then I sat to watch it with them -- and I got hooked.

It started slow, but then picked up the pace after about fifteen minutes. The story is a little thin, but the animation, the production designs (air ships, weapons, robots, costumes, etc.) are VERY creative. You can tell the designers spent a lot of time creating them. We kept rewinding just to see all the background details we missed.

The action sequences are GREAT, too! In fact, they're BETTER than most live action sci-fi films I've seen in years. The climactic battle scene alone had us glued to the screen.

Like I said, I rented the DVD, but I plan on buying it now. This is a movie we will watch several times.

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Flawed for veteran viewers, but not without delights for younger eyes
MwKaluta2 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
While the voice talent is a tad heavy-handed (other voices/actors might have raised the over- all level of the production: perhaps there is a subtitled version somewhere?) younger viewers will find a lot about this film to amaze and intrigue them. Jaded viewers will wince from time to time, but there's a charm to the piece that left me smiling and nodding my head, wishing I'd had Areo Troopers to watch when I was 15.

My chief salute goes to the design team: the retro-future world is fully realized. The film is full of cleverly designed machines, admirable costuming and inspired pyrotechnics. It was these triumphs that kept my 50+ eyes on the screen to the point where I began to care about the story.

If you are a fan of well-thought-out alternate-future machinery (as in films like Wings of Honneamise) you'll find Aero Troopers rewarding, and worth toughing it out through the sometimes artless dialog.
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For kids, both young and old
mstomaso1 April 2007
Aerotroopers is a cute, interesting fantasy which takes place on a planet without a solid surface. People live in tree villages floating in the sky and a giant beast (Nemeclous) is wreaking havoc on everybody and everything. The only thing as dangerous as Nemeclous himself is the slipstream - a raging torrent of air which destroys everything is its path.

Young Joshua wants to fly very badly and invents a glider early in his life. Nemeclous comes along and destroys his village, but his glider allows him to escape. He is eventually saved by an aerotrooper (Qyun) who takes him back to his airship (a fantastic dirigible) and recruits him as an aerocadet.

The story that follows is epic in nature, as it takes Joshua through his training, up to his young adulthood and the beginnings of a sweet and innocent romance, all with Nemeclous hovering nearby waiting to strike. In order to keep the story clear and to tie together many of the tangential scenes, a voice-over is provided. I don't usually enjoy voice-overs, but this one works.

The only weak links in this charming little story are the human animations and the soundtrack - both of which are a little painful. The ships look great, the back-story is surprisingly interesting, and the action sequences are fun.

The film is definitely appropriate for kids, though there is plenty of non-graphic violence, and the story does involve the death of a couple of the major characters - so be careful if you have a young one who is likely to be sensitive to this.
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A Strikingly Involving Fantasy Tale
Michael Daly5 January 2007
The Nemeclous Crusade is unlike anything else in science fantasy. Combining superior CGI visuals with the spirit of 1930s sci-fi magazines, it combines to keep the viewer interested and then some as it proceeds through its world of the sky. The story involves Joshua, a boy who becomes a warrior for a sky-based civilization that is battling a gigantic sky-ship that resembles both a whale and a shark. Joshua's relationship with his mentor and with a girl who lands on their sky-ship and assists in the battle with the whale/shark sky-ship becomes a focal point of the story, told throughout with the feel of a chapter of a biography. The film succeeds in making Joshua a fascinating individual and compels the viewer to see his struggles with an intensity that caught me by surprise the more I watched the film.

The surreality of this world of the sky easily draws the viewer in and keeps the viewer fascinated to the end, making for a sleeper science-fantasy triumph.
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Aero-Troopers The Nemeclous Crusade
thorne128 March 2006
I think the movie was worth watching the idea of free flight is great,and the action sequences are good.And as far as the animation i believe it could have been a bit better the model work and color were great as was the background the dialog was suppose to sound philosophical this was a movie about people who lived in the sky and are supposed to be wise. i believe this movie is not a great movie but a good one,it does have some violence but nothing like you would find in a slasher movie. so i feel it can be watched by the everyone,i enjoyed the show as did my family but with all the films shortcoming's it's worth renting.
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An Excellent Animated Story
wmhogg19 August 2006
I am too old to have grown up playing video games, but I also am young enough that Ray Harryhausen was before my time. I am an animation fan and have seen most animated movie features and watch anime series weekly on DVD.

So, after saying that, I loved this film. I am talking about the story, and the way it made me feel. The innocence, beauty, and noble ideals of the characters were very refreshing. It was a sweet movie.

I think my son might have problems with the animation, as he has played video games most of his life, and as I've seen from the other comments, the expectations for animation is very high from these individuals. But for me, the characters appearing puppet-like was endearing. The scenery was beautiful and the colors were marvelous.

I watched AeroTroopers twice and will recommend it to my son, with the hope that he'll enjoy the story and not worry that the animation does not match up to that of his latest video game.
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philip-15 September 2004
Badly written, slow sci-fi animation story. Characters are cardboard which perhaps fits the puppet like animation. Miserable pacing of the story.

Action sequences are not edited well and are difficult to follow. Background animation is miserable and often out of focus. Obviously this is a low budget attempt.

The dialogue is ludicrous. They all seem to talk like Yoda from Star Wars? Why?

There are good ideas here; just poorly executed.

Don't waste your time. Not even worth a rental.
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Uh-oh! Boredom alert! (And some minor SPOILERS!)
etaonrishdluc16 June 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I can't speak for the tastes or perspective of the previous reviewer, and perhaps this would appeal to young kids, but for the more mature, discriminating viewer (especially sci-fi fans,) this is bad, bad, BAD. I almost stopped watching this movie before it was a third over, but to be fair to it I wanted to see if it ever improved. It didn't.

The story started seeming to borrow from Larry Niven's superb novel, _The Integral Trees_, using a a giant tree floating in the upper atmosphere of a planet as the very young protagonist's home, which I thought was really cool. But you never see much of this incredible environment, and NEVER anything of the planet below. Neither the first scene nor the narration give us any decent intro to the tree society or the boy's background before there's a tree-destroying attack, by a giant robot whale, no less! Our young hero is rescued by the Aero-Troopers, sort of a military order protecting the tree societies, it seemed, but all of which seem to be on just one WOODEN ship, continually aloft, focused almost solely on chasing this monster. I kept expecting the story to jump ahead maybe ten years so it might be plausible for the young protagonist to become a adult hero (it would be far better if it had.) But...he stays pretty much the same age throughout as he's trained to be an aero-trooper up to the climax, like a prodigy Anakin Skywalker. I won't spoil you with any more of the plot, just in case you REALLY want to see this.

However... As much as I love CGI movies, this was as BORING as _Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within_ was confusing. The CGI itself is mediocre, and the animation was like watching computerized marionettes. There are only brief references to aspects of the Troopers and various other groups or societies--no fleshing out in any kind of detail. Worse, the characters were as wooden as their movements--I'm not kidding. The dialogue was atrocious, and there is virtually no character development and little enjoyable interaction between them. The story and its scope were at the same time, grandiose and simplistic. What little humor there was reminded me of anime-style humor--again, boring. Even the surprise twist in the climax was laughably implausible. It just made no sense at all.

Bottom line: this movie came off as if it were written by a ten-year-old boy or someone who hasn't read much science fiction at all, let alone seen many good science fiction movies. Overall, this is really amateurish work by the Korean studio which did this. DO NOT BOTHER RENTING IT, unless it's for your kids. IF, however, they're imaginative or mature for their ages, even they will be bored. You have been warned.
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Good for some original creations, but little else.
lincolnmark00711 January 2005
Aero-Troopers was quite obviously never intended as a high-budget blockbuster. From the very beginning monetary restraints become obvious as the animation is poorly rendered with an overly bright 'dream glow' permeating from the background, likely to cover up some of the imperfections. Also, the plot and story are not particularly involving or believable. The one (and i might stress only) reason to see this movie is for its unusually original visuals. Everything looks very vintage mechanical, similar to what films like 'Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow' portray with their technology. The antagonist is a giant mechanized whale/shark creature while the main character, Joshua, and his people navigate through their sky world in highly stylized mechanical blimps. This is definitely not a movie for anyone expecting a great deal of plot reliability or heart-felt characters. Rather, i can recommend Aero-Troopers solely as an escape into a visual otherworld where unbelievable ideas take precedence over a believable story.
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At least it didn't have talking animals
telex1-114 July 2006
In today's computer animation age this film is at the bottom of the barrel. The animation is jerky,lip syncing is non existent and the overall look of the film is amateurish. However I've always had a soft spot for small studios that attempt big things. There no doubt that with companies like Pixar,Dreamworks and Blue Sky studios film like this are a joke.

Nueart Pictures tried to produce a science fantasy about a world of floating land masses,where no gravity exist, and dirigible are the main means of transport. I love computer animation yet with the exception of Pixar studios's The Incredibles, all the big studios are making are comedies with talking animals. And only small animation houses (mostly European and Japanese) are attempting to use this medium for more mature audience.

The story is about a boy (Joshua) who dreamed of the flying the winds. This takes him on an adventure against a mechanical whale that has been terrorizing the skies. The pace is set through narration by an older Joshua via The Wonder Years TV series. The story shares bits of Moby Dick and Frankenstein. There is some violence and death so this isn't intended for young children. And that's why I'm giving it five stars out of ten. It would have been more if they had polished the story more. However they did avoid the easy path of creating some flying talking animals, a princess and have an unlikely nerdy hero learning a life lessons while saving the day.

It is my hope that one of the major studios will attempt in the near future to give science fantasy genre a try without cartoon-like traits. May I suggest Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children. Which I recommend before looking at this valiant attempt but utter failure.
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It was OK
trekkstr22 July 2005
It was a different kind of animation. The story line needed some work. But the background of the story, the floating islands of trees reminds me of a book by Larry Niven called "The Integral Trees" Where a smoke ring around a neutron star supported plant and animal life. The people that lived there were in a constant state of free-fall or zero gravity. They lived on huge trees that were in my minds eye very similar to the floating forests in Aero-Troopers. I liked the bit were the kid made his own glider. And being able to fly under your own power was interesting. How the instructor teaching the cadets had a very eastern way of speaking.
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Worst CG film I've ever seen (POSSIBLE *VERY MINOR* SPOILERS)
imdb-41963 August 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I would have to classify this as one of the least enjoyable movies I've ever watched. There were many wonderful ideas, including imaginative locations and vehicles, and the basic premise of the story had merit, but the execution seemed *miles* off target.

Firstly, the main character looks to me like a little boy, somewhere between 3 and 8 years of age. The opening scenes find him running and playing, with suitable childish glee. I was both startled and disappointed, then, when he began laughing with the voice of a young teenager. The voice felt utterly wrong for the character - like sci-fi scenes where a woman speaks with a man's deep voice. We are also supposed to accept that a considerable amount of time passes over the course of the film, but his character never looks or sounds any older. His childish appearance is made all the more disturbing by the fact that he is given a love interest (whom we are supposed to like, but whom I found to be repulsively creepy).

One of the biggest overall problems with the film, however, is pacing. Things just don't happen at a natural tempo. This is true both in the bigger scope of the story, as well as within the context of particular scenes or camera shots.

A prime example of this would be the many scenes which simply showed two characters doing something and laughing. The purpose of such scenes is to establish that the characters are bonding, and having a good time together. This could be accomplished in about 5 to 10 seconds. Unfortunately for the viewer, these scenes are drawn out to a minute or two in length. At the end of the scene, the characters are still in the some location, doing the same thing, and nothing new has been presented. This extra time does nothing to advance the plot, and very quickly becomes tiresome.

Not only is this laughter hard to justify from a story-telling standpoint, it's also hard to accept it as believable. When people are enjoying an activity, the normal human response is not to laugh, but to smile. People only laugh for extended periods (without anything funny happening) when they are exceptionally tired or drunk, and the laughter in the film didn't seem to be caused by either of these.

In many of the shots, the animation was also just *slightly* too slow to feel natural. Other shots were clearly intended to be slow-motion, but these lost much of their effect and believability, because motion blur wasn't added.

It is also worth mentioning that a substantial portion of the dialog in the film consisted of single words. The characters showed a tendency to say things like "oh" "ah" and "ooh", in response to their environment, to a degree which was excessive, annoying, and rather silly. They also liked to answer questions with single word answers, whenever possible.

If I'd seen the movie more recently, I'm sure I could quickly double the length of these comments. Since it was a few months ago, however, (and I don't plan to watch it ever again,) I shall conclude my ramblings with the recommendation that you go and watch this, as a spectacular example of how *not* to make a CG film.
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guido-lissmann14 December 2004
From the beginning, it is obvious that the writer was a great fan of "Treasure Island". Just as obvious is that he has no talent. The story is plain painful. The execution, on the other hand, is probably worse. The cheapest animation (the original Toy Story looks better), coupled with directing compared to which Mr. Ed Wood would have deserved an Academy Award and editing that hardly deserves the name...this film doesn't even qualify as a waste of time, it's an atrocity against the viewer and the poor, defenseless computers it was rendered on. Literally watching paint dry is more enjoyable than this terrible edifice to the incompetence of untalented filmmakers.
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An Awful Film
Robert Jackson20 July 2011
This is the worst CGI film I have ever seen. The cgi itself looks like bad graphics from a cheesy low-budget video game. It is also a very boring movie.

I found about this movie from my brother. He watched at one of his friends house. He told my about it I wanted to see it ( but just to make fun of it). I watched it and got bored after like 10 minutes. I don't understand what the people that gave it positive reviews are talking about. How could anyone like this awful film?

Nothing interesting seems to happen for quite a while, and when it does, it is confusing or strange. (Not that I don't dislike surrealism. I love surreal cartoons like "Adventure Time". This is just very confusing and boring.) The characters are ugly and unpleasant to look at. This is might even be the worst film I have ever seen in my life.
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Larry Niven should sue
Daedalus395 November 2005
Much of this cinematic waste of time feels like a rip-off of "The Integral Trees", Larry Niven's 1984 masterpiece. Given the possible variety of plant and animal life-forms that could evolve, thrive and be animated in conditions of continual free-fall, all this film does is drop like a stone. Problem is, I really wanted to like this because of the environmental/physical similarities, but the dialog was inane and I suspect the original target audience was actually older than the 7 - 10 year old demographic to which it belongs (due to some fairly graphic violence, e.g., blood spatter). Also, the tone is so preachy I only kept watching so I might see if it could be saved by the insertion of a cute air-bunny or something to provide comic relief (no luck there, just whining pirates). If you can endure the saccharin and the stolen physical metaphors (e.g., worst use of a flying whale as a template for terror), have fun ripping it to shreds (ala MST3000).
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You call this great animation???
jendoer4 November 2005
I can't understand the comments that give praise to the animation here. Maybe if this film had been produced in the 70's - and was being evaluated in terms of its peers at that time - the praise might make sense. But the expressionless faces and absolutely grotesque grimaces that were supposed to represent smiles were so poorly done I thought I was watching a junior high school media arts production. Aside from the graphics, the bad plot line, and the completely wacky scene transitions, the dialog is another big disappointment. Its no wonder these people were at war - listening to some of these characters would unleash hostility in any society. This is a candidate for CGI hall of shame...
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