Titan A.E.

USA 2000

Reviewed by Andrew O'Hehir


Our synopses give away the plot in full, including surprise twists.

The 31st century. Earth is destroyed by the Drej, an alien race consisting of pure energy. The scientist in charge of the secret Titan spaceship project escapes with his ship, entrusting his young son Cale with a powerful ring and sending him into exile on a different vessel. Fifteen years later, human survivors are adrift in the universe. Cale works at a remote salvage station. Korso, a visiting trader, convinces him that his ring holds a map to the abandoned Titan, which can reunite humanity. But the Drej also know of the ring and pursue Cale, who barely escapes with Korso, a girl named Akima and their alien shipmates.

Aided by the bird-like race of Planet Sesharrim and the mysterious map on Cale's palm, the group survives many close calls. Having been betrayed to the Drej by Korso and his sidekick Preed, Cale and Akima escape to the human colony of New Bangkok, rebuild a ship and reach the Titan before Korso and the Drej do. In the final battle, Korso dies helping Cale defeat the Drej. Titan creates a new planet and populates it with all of Earth's life-forms.


Children of the 8 to 11 years-old age group should find the odyssean quest of the animated science-fiction film Titan A.E. enthralling, especially if they have seen the original Star Wars fewer than a dozen times. But for many adults, the experience of watching Titan A.E. will be a matter of trying to ignore the simple and exaggerated style of directors Don Bluth and Gary Goldman's character animation and the inane dialogue provided by five credited writers, while focusing on the richly coloured backgrounds and lush, painterly outer-space vistas.

Bluth has of course been making animated features since the days when they were called cartoons, and the approach here is not much different from that of his earlier efforts The Secret of NIMH or An American Tail: cuddly creatures occupy the foreground, facing a big and often frightening world. Here, the bland and muscular Cale (with a voice to match by Matt Damon), whose haircut makes him look a boy band member, never really seems to belong. He's less compelling than the saucy Akima (voiced by Drew Barrymore) and less memorable, if also less irritating, than the cantankerous kangaroo-like Stith (Janeane Garofalo) or the wise tortoise Gune (John Leguizamo).

Some of Bluth and Goldman's depictions of outer space are undoubtedly delightful: the glowing hydrogen trees of Planet Sesharrim, the enormous ice crystals in which the Titan is hidden, the cloudy nebula through which Cale leads the mysterious deep-space creatures called "wake angels". But the directors also seem to distrust their audience's attention span; such scenes are undermined by an atrocious musical score that veers from faux 80s heavy metal to faux 90s trip-hop. Then there's the nonsensical plot (Korso kills an awful lot of Drej for someone in league with them) and the achingly weak dialogue with its leaden efforts to acquire a degree of street credibility. (Consecutive lines from a battle sequence run: "I'm out!"; "Let's do this!"; "It's been fun!"; "Who's your daddy?") At times, it seems that two completely different films have been superimposed on each other - against those glorious hydrogen trees, Bluth and Goldman have placed ludicrous bird-like creatures that resemble the Thanksgiving turkeys from television's South Park.

While the influence of the often adult-oriented Japanese anime and of its master, Hayao Miyazaki, is now widespread in animation, Bluth and Goldman's film - like almost all Hollywood cartoons - is still aimed at a pre-adolescent common denominator. Given their evident talent and flashes of visionary sensibility, this seems regrettable. But their films have consistently drawn large audiences, while the Hollywood-dubbed version of Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke, whose Tolkienesque fantasy was perhaps too sophisticated and dark for very young children, bombed in the US. To anyone who takes animated film seriously, Titan A.E., for all its striking imagery, will seem tepid and outdated. But its core demographic should go home happily stuffed with sweets.


Don Bluth
Gary Goldman
David Kirschner
Gary Goldman
Don Bluth
Ben Edlund
John August
Joss Whedon
Story by
Hans Bauer
Randall McCormick
Fiona Trayler
Bob Bender
Production Designer
Philip A. Cruden
Graeme Revell
©Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Production Companies
Twentieth Century Fox Animation presents a Don Bluth film
A Gary Goldman production in association with David Kirschner Productions
Executive Producer
Paul Gertz
Associate Producer
Hans Bauer
Live Action Supervisor
Cathy Goldman
Scene Planning Supervisor
Vincent Clarke
Scene Planners
Derek Nielsen
Kip Goldman
Aran O'Reilly
Production Managers
Colum Slevin
Brenda McGuirk
Ciarán Morris
Gerry Carty
Unit Production Manager
Melissa Kurtz
Post-production Consultant
Paul Hirsch
Assistant Director
Jason Ayon
Continuity Supervisor
Cynthia A. Nason
Marion Levine
Loop Group:
K.B.A. Voice
Colour Key Styling
Paul X.X. Cheng
Zoë Evamy
Animation Colour Styling Supervisor
Carmen Oliver
Crane/Camera Operator
Live Action Reference:
Robert Pflumn
Camera Operators
Live Action Reference:
Cary Trulock
Mark Sanchez
Craig Schwisow
Digital Scanning Supervisor
Frank Richards
Director of Animation
Len Simon
Directing Animators
Troy Saliba
Renato Dos Anjos
John Hill
Edison Goncalves
Robert Fox
Paul Newberry
Animation Supervisor
Paul J. Kelly
Character Animators
Kelly Baigent
Hélio Takahashi
Tobias Schwarz
Melvin Silao
Rafael Díaz Canales
Manuel Galiana
Marco Plantilla
Joey Paraiso
Maximillan Nepomuceno
Salvador 'JoJo' Young
Allan Fernando
Hugo M. Takahashi
Steve Cunningham
John Power
Michael Tweedle
Dimitri Tenev
Jean Kalilie
Robert Sprathoff
Additional Character Animation
Sandra R. Keely
Michael Lahay
Debbie Gold
Jeffrey J. Varab
Ryan McElhinney
Barry Iremonger
Nassos Vakalis
Animation Co-ordinating Supervisor
Bernie Keogh
Additional Animation
Yowza Animation Studios, Inc
3D Animation
Fox Animation Studios
Thomas M. Miller
Directing Animators:
Chris Kazmier
Charlie Breakiron
Mary F. Clarke-Miller
David Satchwell
Senior Animators:
David Munier
Mark A. Kauffman
Guner Behich
Robert S. Clegg
Patricia Frazier
Bil Van Ness
John P. Rand
Mayo Tirado
Additional Animation:
Kelly 'Kel' Nelson
Co-ordinating Supervisors:
Tracy A. Butenko
Karri Lindamood
3D Animation
Ice Crystals/ Wake Angels Sequences
Persistence of Vision Digital Entertainment
Reality Check Studios
Visual Effects Supervisor:
David Paul Dozoretz
Paul Martin Smith
Co-visual Effects Supervisor:
Kory Jones
Visual Effects Producer:
Chandra Joy Hagopian
Associate Visual Effects Producer:
Robert Wadell
Digital Sequence Supervisors:
Kevin Baillie
Ryan Tudhope
3D Animation
Creation of the New World
Blue Sky Studios Inc
Director of Animation/ Effects:
Jan Carlée
Digital Effects Producer:
Christopher Scollard
Digital Effects Co-ordinator:
Lauren Price
Lead Technical Director:
Michael Eringis
Senior Technical Director:
Mitch Kopelman
Technical Directors:
Andrew Beddini
Christopher M. Burrows
Rob Cavaleri
Senior Digital Artist:
John Siczewicz
Dan Whiting
Daniel Williams
Tim Nordquist
Executive Producer:
Carol Laufer
3D Animation
Additional CGI Animation/ Effects
Rhonda Graphics
Rhonda Sanders Olson
Technical Director:
Loren Olson
Rick Rogers
Scot Olson
Clean-up Animation Artistic Supervisor
Peter Donnelly
Director of Digital Technology
Mark Weathers
Special Effects Animation
Artistic Supervisor:
Peter Matheson
Directing Animators:
Deirdre Reynolds-Behan
Julian Hynes
Declan Walsh
Leslie Aust
Edwin Bocalan
John Costello
Stephen Deane
Earl A. Hibbert
Sonnie Lagonera
Paul Morris
Raquel V. Omana
Angelito Ramos
Gorio Vicuna
2D Digital Effects Artists:
Brad Gayo
Jimmy Jewell
Additional Special Effects
Giant Film Productions Ltd
Digital Checking Supervisor
Linda Fitzpatrick
Layout Artistic Supervisor
Anthony Christov
Layout Artists
Nelson 'Rey' Bohol
Juan 'Jo' Luna
Troylan B. Caro
Fred A. Reilly
Daniel Hung Yuan Chiang
Sinéad Somers
Abraham 'Abe' De Ocampo
Noly Zamora
Layout Co-ordinating Supervisor
Caroline Lynch-Server
Character Layout
Chris Schouten
Kris Pearn
Background Artistic Supervisor
Rob Nason
Background Co-ordinating Supervisor
Gary Busacca
Compositing Supervisors
Jeannette Maher-Manifold
Emmet Doyle
Digital Painting Supervisor
Liam T. Hannan
Character Design
Wayne Barlowe
Louise Zingarelli
Pre-production Design
John Lakey
Visual Development/ Design
Gene Dieckhoner
David Hardy
Stephen Holt
Jun Lofamia
Danny Taverna
George Villaflor
Art Director
Kenneth Valentine Slevin
Conceptual Artists
Oliver Scholl
Suzanne Lemieux Wilson
Bruce Zick
Simón Varela
Steve Burg
Ron Cobb
Barry Jackson
Stephan Martiniere
Doug Henderson
Additional Conceptual Artists
Russell Chong
Rozalina Tchouchev
Vladimir Spasojevic
Leonard Robinson
Yacine Elghorri
Rae McCarson
3D Draughtsman
Will Makra
2D Digital Star Fields/Nebulae
D. Perricelli
Storyboard Artists
Joseph Ekers
Hank Tucker
David Lux
Mike Ploog
Gábor T. Steisinger
Andy Friend
Costume Designer
Kym Barrett
Costume Illustrator
Lois Dearmond
Music Programmer
Paul Haslinger
Score Orchestrations/
Tim Simonec
Music Supervisor
Glen Ballard
Music Editor
Joshua Winget
Score Recorder/Mixer
John Kurlander
John Rodd
Bill Talbott
Electronic Score Mixer
Wolfgang Aicholz
"Cosmic Castaway" - Electrasy; "Everything under the Sun" - Fun Lovin' Criminals; "Everybody's Going to the Moon" - Jamiroquai; "The End Is Over" - Powerman 5000; "Renegade Survivor" - Wailing Souls; "Karma Slave" - Splashdown; "It's My Turn to Fly" - The Urge; "Like Lovers (Holding On)" - Texas; "Over My Head" - Lit; "Not Quite Paradise" - Bliss; "Down to Earth"
Sound Design
Christopher Boyes
Production Sound Supervisor
Mark Server
Re-recording Mixers
Christopher Boyes
Gary Summers
Supervising Sound Editor
Matthew Wood
Dialogue Editor
Scott B. Seymann
Sound Effects Editors
Andrea Gard
Michael Ferdie
Dennie Thorpe
Jana Vance
Frank 'Pepe' Merel
Tony Eckert
Sandina Bailo-Lape
Susan Sanford
Creative Consultants
Ben Edlund
Mireille Soria
Action Consultant
Live Action Reference:
Glenn Randall Jr
Voice Cast
Matt Damon
Bill Pullman
John Leguizamo
Nathan Lane
Janeane Garofalo
Drew Barrymore
Ron Perlman
Professor Sam Tucker
Alex D. Linz
young Cale
Jim Breuer
the cook
Chris Scarabosio
Queen Drej
Jim Cummings
Charles Rocket
Firrikash/slave trader guard
Ken Campbell
Tsai Chin
old woman
Crystal Scales
drifter girl
David L. Lander
the mayor
Thomas A. Chantler
male announcer
Elaine A. Clark
Roy Conrad
second human
Leslie Hedger
first human
Roger L. Jackson
first alien
Shanón Orrock
female announcer
Alex Pels
Eric Schniewind
Stephen W. Stanton
Patrick Nixon
Jon Simpson
Melinda Thomas
Christie Klein
Bruce Miles
Michael Potter
Rusty Ferracane
Curt Anthon
Scott Dillon
Mark Trombino
Elizabeth Loy
Amy Savage
Joseph Ranier
Michael Wayne
Myah Dillard
Nicholas Gaunt
Benjamin Rosenbaum
Derek Marquez
T.J. Wead
Hal Adams
Hamilton Mitchell
Laura Lakey
Alexa Lakey
Kathleen Lakey
Nicholas Nason
live action reference models
20th Century Fox (UK)
tbc feet
tbc minutes
Dolby Digital/DTS/SDDS
Colour by
Prints by
Anamorphic [CinemaScope]
Last Updated: 20 Dec 2011