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Battle for Terra (2007)

A movie directed by Aristomenis Tsirbas

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A runner-up to Avatar

  • Dec 5, 2010
I don't know what the relationship was between the makers of this movie and the makers of Avatar, but this movie and Avatar seem highly alike, except this one seems like a cheaper, scaled down, more child-friendly version. In both movies mankind has stumbled upon a planet that is useful for humanity, but is occupied by a native species. In both movies, mankind decides to take the alien planet by force, and do so by killing of the natives. And in both movies, a human soldier befriends a local female, gets converted to the native side, and helps to fight against his own people. So two very similar movies, but with very different results at the box office.

Whereas Avatar is a heavyweight among recent films, Terra disappeared from the big screen soon after it debuted, and received minimal notice from critics. Personally, I agree with its failure. For a movie made in 2007 with state of the art special effects, the film suffers from horrible screen-writing. First of, the aliens speak English. Yes, there is another planet in this Galaxy occupied by aliens that speak perfect American English. Second, they have very American habits, such as public schools, rebellious teenagers, kids who don't like their parents' cooking, rulers who like to hide facts from their people, etc... Third, it is quite easy to tell the male aliens from the female aliens. Seeing that most people would not be able to distinguish a male dolphin from a female dolphin, or a male crocodile from a female crocodile, even though dolphins and crocodiles are familiar animals on Earth, why would this movie's producers go to the trouble to make the aliens so easily recognizable as boys and girls. Now all this would be ok if the movie was comedy, such as in Planet 51. But for a "serious" movie, these clear white-washes suspend belief. If you want to watch a child-friendly movie about humans visiting another world, might I suggest Planet 51 or some of the Star Trek movies instead.

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Newton Ooi ()
Ranked #164
Hi everyone, so here is the rundown of me. I like reading and writing, nonfiction for both. I love movies, especially original ones. I like nonfiction music, eating out, and basketball. I love to travel, … more
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About this movie


Earthlings are the bad guys in this animated saga, which was released to theaters in 3-D. And the good guys? That would be the Terrans, big-eyed little tadpole creatures whose planet is about to be invaded by human beings in search of a permanent living space--and hey, if the atmosphere of this alien planet isn't exactly fit for humans, the visitors can always blast the place with an oxygen-producing terra-forming machine that will make it habitable. The only collateral damage is that the natives will be killed off. Huh? As you can see, the allegorical undertones here are, well, overtones, all of which might seem less heavy-handed if the story were absorbing and the characters were compelling, but director Aristomenis Tsirbas concentrates on the environmental message and the non-show-offy 3D design. We mostly follow a Terran (voiced by Evan Rachel Wood) who comes upon a lone astronaut (Luke Wilson), much to the confusion of her Terran quasi-boyfriend (Justin Long). In the absence of a lot of plot excitement, kids might take some enjoyment in the nerdy declarations of a cute robot (David Cross). Can the brutal intentions of the invading general (Brian Cox) be stopped in time to save Terra? Will you still be awake to learn the answer?--Robert Horton

Stills from Battle for Terra (Click for larger image)
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DVD Release Date: September 22, 2009
Runtime: 84 minutes
First to Review

"A runner-up to Avatar"
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