Battle for Terra-A review

Posted: 30th December 2010 by aseem.ace in Opinions, Reviews
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An animation feature with an important message for the audience. Although considering humans as the aliens takes some getting used to (though after the more recent Avatar phenomenon it’s quite easier to assimilate) but the confrontational instincts of some of our leaders and the disastrous consequences thereof are explained via a world where the lesson of peace has been learnt the hard way and put into practice by a regime that’s peaceful yet demands total conformity(which is an oxymoron in my opinion) .
The movie begins with a sort of highlight reel of the planet Terra and its wonders. The gliders which are used by kids(including Mala and Senn), the flying blue whale like creatures, the quite human exuberance of youth which sometimes brings us pretty close to disaster, all making the aliens quite human in the audience’s viewpoint.

Then human aggression commences and as they capture locals, most of whom consider their aircrafts as gods, one of the attacking aircrafts crashes. The pilot James Stanton is rescued by a local whose father has been kidnapped with the help of Giddy, a robot accompanying James(reminded me of Wall-E but this movie preceded Wall-E). In return she desires to meet her dad. As James comes to he tries to attack Maya. To which Giddy sagely replies he only did this because he was scared, and that human species is scared of a lot of things.

Maya helps him get back to his ship and during this attempt James witnesses the beauty of their culture and their peaceful existence. On the ship James is presented with the dilemma of attacking Terra or condemning his species to possible extinction as the human aircraft is decaying and running out of oxygen. The human general then stages a coup and issues orders for an attack on Terra.

The contrast between the war preparation speeches by the Human general and the Alien elders is quite stark and a deliberate attempt to portray the kind of ideas hawks in government policy(in reality)profess.
What commences is a battle with visuals we have come to expect in sci-fi animated features (although the budget constraints limit them. The result being creditable visuals but nothing as spectacular as Wall-E) and without giving away the conclusion I would just say the triumph of nobility results in the best possible outcome under the given circumstances.

The movies has its share of battle sequences but the philosophical contrast between humans and the alien species and the portrayal of humans being on the verge of extinction as their resources run out lend a philosophical air to the movie. I highly recommend the movie and to those who think it has a similar concept as Avatar, this movie actually came out before Avatar and though visually less spectacular it has a better story and dialogues.

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