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Terra
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Reviews & Ratings for
Battle for Terra More at IMDbPro »Terra (original title)

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72 out of 85 people found the following review useful:

A really surprising tale.....

7/10
Author: sanjr1 from United States
3 May 2009

I took my son to see "Battle For Terra" on it's opening weekend here in NYC. I have to admit I didn't want to see it as much as I wanted to see "Wolverine" but I always defer to my 7 yr. old when there is animated fare to watch on the big screen.

Much to my surprise "Terra" is probably a much more mature, Involving & Emotional filmgoing experience than anything on the big screen right now. It might even bring a tear to some eyes out there.

The story as it is tells the tale of the inhabitants of the planet Terra (By the way, That's the name given to it by the humans. I don't think the actual name of the planet is mentioned). They are kinda like large upright tadpoles who swim through their atmosphere. The "Swimming" animation is really spot on & something different for a film of this type. The "Terrans" aren't your usual cutesy alien creatures. There are no stereotypical characters here. No "Goofy" alien, No "Evil" aliens, although the main alien protagonist "Mala" is very handy & invents things.

The Terrans are a peaceful race & seem to spend their days learning & studying their heritage. Their world is a wonderful amalgam of large mushroom like trees that they live in & they even have gliders that they travel around in. There are even large Whale like creatures that live in their atmosphere. Much like Blue whales cruise thru our oceans. All of them live in harmony.

That is until Earthlings arrive announcing that since they have devastated the resources on 3 planets & destroyed them in the process they have no choice but to "Terraform" the planet & change the atmosphere to suit what's left of mankind. The fact that this would kill the peaceful Terrans is of little concern to the humans.

I cannot go into the rest of the film without spoiling it but suffice it to say there is little to no humor in this film. That's not to say that kids won't enjoy it. They will. But this is not your typical kiddie flick. It is a sort of allegory about war & peace, Racism, Militarism & most of all love & harmony between those who might look at each other differently.

The animation is mostly superb & there are scenes where you actually feel like you're there on the planet thanks to some good 3-D visualization. By the way, The 3-D is more of the depth perception kind of 3-D not the pop out of the screen type although there are a couple of scenes of snow falling that make you just want to stick your tongue out & catch a snowflake.

All of the voice performances are good to great & the film never lags. As a matter of fact the battle scenes are quite rousing (Insert homage to George Lucas here) & while not graphic...characters do die in battle so you might want to keep an eye on the little ones if you're with one of them.

The saddest part of the experience to me is that when we arrived at the theatre (a 5-600 seater) there were exactly 4 people in there besides my son & myself. "Wolverine" & "Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past" steamrolled over this little gem & it pains me to think that people are missing out on a truly moving experience. It'll be gone from theatres in a week & that'll be it. I hope it finds it's audience on home video. It's a good movie that deserves to be seen.

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86 out of 118 people found the following review useful:

TERRA is worth seeing - best film we saw at Toronto

10/10
Author: Angela Spolter from United States
13 September 2007

I was at the gala premiere of Terra in Toronto and was absolutely blown away by this film- I'm not a big festival goer- but I was in Toronto on vacation and saw something about Terra on the local news. It's hard to believe that 'kickmekenneth' and I were at the same screening. I've never commented on these types of websites but came across this review when I was looking for info about this film. The film was incredible- the world Tsirbas created is gorgeous and totally unique. I felt as though I was watching a painting come to life. It was so refreshing to experience an animated story whose characters had depth and conflict like those in a dramatic live action film. The environmental and anti-war themes were expertly woven into the plot and clearly Danny Glover, Brian Cox and Justin Long felt strongly enough about this film to present the premiere and Danny Glover was gracious enough to talk with us afterward. Terra's only flaw may be that it is ahead of its time in the US – where we are are used to our animated characters being simplistic, forgettable talking animals. TERRA is the future of CGI. I took a group of children who have not stopped talking about this film since the screening- we go to all the animated films, and I've never seen this kind of reaction from them. I also noticed a few adult audience members sniffling tears at the dramatic conclusion. BRAVO Mr. Tsirbas! This is a film worth seeing... Does anyone know who Mr. Tsirbas is or where I can learn more?

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55 out of 74 people found the following review useful:

Good SF is hard to come by

8/10
Author: cameratracker from Canada
13 September 2007

I'm in the special effects field and jumped at the chance to see this film at the festival. I love SF but have to say I was a little wary going in because I've been burned in the past by high and low budget SF films. Big budget SF is usually so dumbed down it betrays the genre while low budget SF usually consists of cheesy low-rent imitations of great films. But I still get excited hoping that the next one will 'be the one'. I find great SF in books, but great SF films are a rare breed. I was happy to discover that this film is different in a good way. It's a good SF film and a great animated movie. I was surprised to see a film this thought-provoking get made. The animation style is really eye-popping. There were times when I wasn't sure whether I was watching real footage or CG. The performances were generally great, but there was some stiff acting now and then, especially with the humans. The aliens however moved beautifully. The story begins as a fantasy but soon transforms into a mature look at environmentalism and war. It's an odd transition, but overall a nice surprise. In terms of SF, it's a mixed bag of genuinely inspired ideas in the form of a completely original alien world, and some familiar ideas from the humans. The film's tone and style make it special. There are more than a few scenes that are emotionally engaging. I was fearing Sci-Fi channel movie-of-the-week but got Spielberg instead. I'm not sure what the film cost but it seams to have had a decent enough budget behind it. The film is not perfect, but it gets enough right to make me a fan.

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32 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

Remember the time when animation used to be for kids?

8/10
Author: TheMovieCritique from United States
28 June 2009

Remember the time when animation used to be for kids? The good ol' days, eh? This animated movie makes pretty good use of the medium to tell a rather complex story. The movie has most qualities of good storytelling - ethical dilemmas, unique settings and gray areas aplenty. The premise of the movie is simple: Threatened with extinction, the human race needs to make one last desperate attempt at survival by the conquest of a seemingly peaceful alien world teeming with sentient life.

The movie explores possibilities that are the antithesis of staple sci-fi genre. For instance, What if the (typical) victim is the aggressor? (Humans attack a seemingly peaceful alien planet). Is peaceful bliss really a practical possibility? (without advanced weaponry, the alien world is threatened with extinction). Another highlight of the movie was that the aliens were, you know, just alien. They weren't cute and cuddly (a la E.T.) or menacing hordes (a la every-sci-fi war movie you've seen). The aliens are just rational beings who will fight, feel and cry when the need arises.

Now, the movie isn't without its flaws. It's not completely balanced (aggressors - no matter what the reason for aggression - are still painted in a slightly negative tone), characterization, even the quality of animation (in this post-Pixar universe) might be called into question - but I'm willing to overlook all of that for one simple reason: the director has a clear vision and explores it vividly on screen. That's worth a couple of hours of your life. Definitely is.

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24 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

This is not Toy Story

7/10
Author: Jim from GTA, Canada
10 September 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a pretty good animated movie. The story is interesting and pulls you in. The characters are uniformly interesting, Jim and Nala are very good and well developed.

I saw the world premiere with my wife and two sons (8 and 10)at the Toronto International Film Festival and we all liked it. It was a bit more serious in tone than I expected. The theme around mankind becoming extinct was well balanced and quite well done. The theme around personal choice and making hard decisions was very well done, both Nala and Jim had tough choices to make several times in the movie. The ending left us all feeling a bit sad but was still positive. The humor throughout the move and especially around the robot is so-so.

We also saw Danny Glover and Justin Long at the premiere and this was quite exciting for all of us. Danny was very polite and posed for a picture with the boys.

I would recommend this movie for families who have children aged 8 and up.

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25 out of 38 people found the following review useful:

See Terra!!!

9/10
Author: stevejwin from United States
27 April 2008

Saw this movie today at the Tribec Film Festival and they really did a GREAT job. The story is unique to anything that is out there, uplifting, and creative all around. There are a lot of amazing action sequences and visually, they did an excellent job; between the music and sound effects it all tied together extremely well (soundtrack used "big sound" orchestrated music...went great with the film). I'm not one to comment on animated films but I thought this one went above and beyond what I have seen in the past. The director spoke afterwards and said they made it between a small animation crew of about 20. Not bad for an indie; you would never know looking at the final product. I was expecting a few more laughs during the film (my animated movie stereotype) but there weren't very many. The audience found a few laughs at David Cross (who played a robot) on a couple of moments, but that was it for the most part. Regardless, the blend went over well with the audience, and I personally enjoyed it a lot. Kept you going and had a really good ending. Just my 2 cents, but definitely worth seeing.

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29 out of 46 people found the following review useful:

An Epic Movie For Both Children And Adults

10/10
Author: Grissom66 from Canada
10 May 2009

Mala (voice of Evan Rachel Wood) is a precocious girl living on the beautiful planet Terra, a place where peace and tolerance are celebrated. Unbeknownst to Mala and her fellow Terrians, the last inhabitants of Earth have exhausted the resources of their planet and those of three others, and are now searching for a new home. This Earthforce has discovered that the use of a Terraformer will make Terra habitable for humans but poisonous for Terrians.

When the Earthlings embark on a hostile invasion of Terra, Mala's father, Roven (voice of Dennis Quaid), is kidnapped. Hoping to save her father, Mala captures and hides a crashed human pilot named Jim (voice of Luke Wilson). While Mala nurses Jim back to health, the two forge a friendship and a plan that could save both the human race and the planet of Terra.

Soon, however, they realize that peace will not be secured unless they can combat both the Terraformer and dark political forces that will stop at nothing in their drive to achieve power for power's sake. Battle For Terra 10/10

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21 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful and powerful, flaws and all.

8/10
Author: harpoonjake from Canada
13 September 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

For an indie science fiction this stands out as one of the more visually striking and emotionally resonant. But what makes this film so unique is that it's intentionally dramatic.

It almost seems like the filmmakers were blissfully ignorant of the unspoken requirement that all American animation must be presented as a comedy, instead opting to tell the story as a somewhat conventional drama. That in itself makes this film feel immediately different. The fact that it methodically develops a case against unilateral war is downright rebellious, especially since the alien world is introduced in an almost naive, Disney-like way.

From the very first moments when you're introduced to the lush alien world, you know that this film will be a visual treat, and it delivers right through to the end. Unlike a lot of first films made by graphic artists and such, this animated piece quite obviously has an aspiring auteur behind it. There are a good number of compositions and cinematic constructs that scream out 'I have a vision!'.

But the film isn't without its flaws. There are a few moments that feel a little clumsy in the animation movement, some of the dialogue falls a bit flat, and the pace drags in spots. But these annoyances are thankfully few and far between, and are offset by an overall solid flow of drama and even a few moments of true brilliance. The best being saved for last in what has to be one of the most emotionally stirring conclusions for the genre in some time.

So on the whole, this is a terrific animated film with something to say and a beautiful way of expressing it. It's also the best animated science fiction film yet.

It's that good. Flaws and all.

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24 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

Great story

7/10
Author: kosmasp
12 March 2009

A movie that also has a message, always does have thinner line to walk. You have to deliver your message but still not be too judgmental. In this case, the CGI has to be top notch too. And since Pixar made Animation their own, it's all the more difficult to prove yourself in that field.

This movie holds up though, in every department. The voice talent is great and the story has a few surprises. That being said, there always will be people who will be disappointed with how a movie with a dark edge/message concludes itself. It doesn't even matter which path it takes, some people will be annoyed and/or disappointed. Same goes here too. Even if you'd wish the movie ended differently, I hope you can overcome that and be happy with what you just saw ... I was.

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22 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

Solid Film

8/10
Author: Stangeways from Canada
12 September 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I saw this film at a Toronto premiere and was taken by its beauty and storytelling. The cg animation is gorgeous and the character/set design original. The film's best attribute is its ability to be quite moving at times, especially at the end. As is the case with a lot of science fiction and fantasy the film is often allegorical which thankfully feels organic and balanced for the most part. But this is definitely a film with a message.

Action is another positive of the film. It begins quietly but builds over time with each successive action sequence being generally more intense the last. The final aerial battle is nicely paced and satisfying.

This is I think the first successful combination of cg and dramatic science fiction. It succeeds because it tells a good story with clarity and occasional flare - unlike the almost incomprehensible Final Fantasy.

Overall a solid science fiction adventure.

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