Dave's Rating:


Kiddie movie about death.

Who's In It: Voices of Luke Wilson, Evan Rachel Wood, Dennis Quaid, Amanda Peet, Justin Long, Mark Hamill, Danny Glover, James Garner, Chris Evans, David Cross, Brian Cox

The Basics: The globby little creatures of Terra are peaceful, happily ruled by an autocrat, flying around, not bothering anyone. Then they get invaded by human beings who've destroyed Earth but are looking for a new climate to call home. And destroy. In fact, in order for the awful human beings to breathe on Terra they'll have to kill all the Terra inhabitants. In other words this movie would very much like to be your child's first film devoted to the subject of genocide.

What's The Deal: This movie is so weird it's almost outsider art. The animation is both hyper-realistic and hyper-not, with freaky character design that looks like it took its cues from last year's bizarre Delgo and an alternate-universe biology textbook open to the page about talking, flying tadpoles. The tone is deadly serious and heavy-handed, alternating between environmental holocaust terror and a sort of "Can't we all coexist like beautiful hippies who also happen to be talking, flying tadpoles?" way. But then there'll be moments of comic relief for no good reason and David Cross will show up to voice a robot. Why not.

How It Tries Hard And Gets It Wrong: It wants to deliver a serious message, which can be admirable. But unlike the worlds of other movies aimed at young audiences, movies with moments of serious provocation like Bambi, Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory or Bridge to Terabithia, there's nothing magically captivating about these characters or their surroundings, nothing to usher its target audience to the place where they can be taught. If a kid movie could be brussels sprouts, then this would be it.

Who It's For: Preachy environmentalists for whom the message takes priority. Adults who can't get enough of any kind of oddball animation, no matter how simplistic and muddled it is. Kids who are really depressed already. Also stoners.


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