The listing for the motion picture copyright of Earth Minus Zero at copyright.gov includes "1/2 inch videocassette" as the Description, "1997" as the Date of Creation, "1997-10-15" as the Date of Publication, "1998-03-19" as the Date of Registration, and "PA0000888167" as the Registration Number. This would mean Earth Minus Zero was released directly to video on or after October 15, 1997. See more »
The shoes Joey are wearing down the stairs the first time he almost steps on his shrunken mom are different from the ones shown from the mom's point of view. See more »
Every so often a film comes along and this is a film. Earth Minus Zero is, without question, one of the towering cinematic achievements of the late 20th century. Back in the mid 90's there was a time when it seemed like everyone was saying 'when will Pat Morita make a film about an alien building an intergalactic zoo'. So it was with some excitement when director Joey Travolta - one of the true cinematic visionaries who is only equalled by Kubrick, Scorsese and Lynch – agreed to make such a movie. With the colossal talents of Pat Morita and Joey Travolta it really can be no surprise that Earth Minus Zero turned into the complex, multi-layered masterpiece it was. Its failure to even be nominated for any Oscars whatsoever is a disgrace that the Academy has only recently recovered from. Laughably the big awards that year went to films such as The English Patient, Fargo, Jerry Maguire, Secrets and Lies and Shine – all films that have been more-or-less forgotten, while Earth Minus Zero continues to top critical film lists and influence film-making. Without Earth Minus Zero would we have had The Lord of the Rings trilogy? Yes in fairness we probably would have but that's not really the point.
Most people remember the movie for primarily two things. One, Pat Morita's multi-nuanced performance as the midget doctor. And secondly for its ground-breaking special effects. When you watch this film you really are taken into another world. You see little people next to giant clothes pegs and books and you immediately think 'there's some little people next to giant clothes pegs and books'; it really is that brilliant in its authentic rendering of it's fantasy world. The effects are often used metaphorically, such as the memorable sequence when one of the characters enters the television set and battles with a dinosaur - that was probably a metaphor for something. Special mention must also be made in regard to the performance of Monty the Dog – he really captured the essence of what it is to be a dog in a world full of shrunken people and in many respects puts Lassie, Benji, Hooch and K9 in the shade.
In the final analysis, Earth Minus Zero remains an incredible monument to what can be achieved when image and sound travel together in unison. Joey Travolta never did top this film of course, even if he did go on to direct the outstanding Enemies of Laughter. And even though Pat Morita continued to give quite brilliant performances in films such as Bloodsport 3 and The Karate Dog, this is the movie that everyone will remember him for.
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