I’ve finally been able to watch Battle for Terra and I am so thankful that I did. I’m so thankful that this 2007 animated flick was remastered and shown here in my area. I’m so thankful that this original 2D flick was rendered in live 3D because the effects are absolutely stunning! I’m so thankful that Aristomenis Tsirbas wrote it because it’s a great addition to the stories that we know. I’m so thankful that producers Ryan Colucci and Keith Calder supported this storyline because it really is worth telling. I’m so thankful that Aristomenis Tsirbas also directed this film because he was able to get the right movie formula out of the story. To stress, I’m so veerrryyy thankful that I decided to watch this film!
Battle for Terra is a story of two species fighting to have dominion over a planet. The original inhabitants of the planet are peace-loving and simple-dwelling creatures who float and fly below the atmosphere. Their heads resemble the E.T. aliens (big and fluid eyes, smaller mouth, indistinguishable nose) but their bodies taper up to their posterior ends (In the cinema, a kid right behind me said that they looked like sea monkeys). One day, their planet gets an unexpected surprise visit from the would-be invaders of their planet: Human beings.
Giddy (a robot resembling WALL-E, voiced by David Cross) relates the story why mankind lost its home. At first, the human population boomed, and the Earth’s resources were exhausted. As a solution, society branched out into nearby planets, Venus and Mars, and formed colonies. Misunderstandings between the three colonies ensued and resulted into an intergalactic battle, which lead to the destruction of the three planets. With that, survivors of the human race formed a huge traveling mother ship, the Ark, in search of the nearest life-sustaining planet, which then brings us to the current domain of the story. After seemingly endless generations of living in the Ark, humans have finally found a possible home. This planet was named “Terra” by the human survivors, (thus the title of the film) and its inhabitants, Terrians.
Now, the conflict lies in the fact that Terra is already inhabited with intelligent life forms. Apparently, a greedy-minded and impatient Earthforce army leader, General Hemmer (voiced by Brian Cox) will stop at nothing to get the planet. His argument is valid, with the humans being tired of living in a “graveyard” mother ship and wanting a solid home. But does that justify the harsh means of obliterating Terra’’s original dwellers?
Fortunately, two characters, one from each side, rise to settle the differences and conflicts. Lt. Jim Stanton (voiced by Luke Wilson) gets injured in a pre-invasion attack but is helped by a Terrian girl named Mala Evan (voiced by Evan Rachel Wood). They both form an allegiance to help one another on certain terms (Stanton, to return to the spaceship; and Mala, to see his abducted father), but this only ends in a painful parting. It’s really difficult if you are given the task of choosing between friend (Mala) and family (Stewart Stanton, Jim’s brother, voiced by Chris Evans), which was actually presented to our male protagonist. Is his cordial relationship with Mala doomed for death in the climactic battle?
The final battle at Terra was really traumatic for Jim. He comes undecided as to killing the Terrians, or ensuring the continuity of the human race. The focal point that I saw was when he accidentally injured (or killed) a creature resembling a whale. Defenseless, innocent, heart-breaking. I must say, my heart was beating the whole time since the action and the battle scenes began. The pounds against my ribcage let loose tears from my eyes as Stanton emerged in an ultimate act of sacrifice. Yes, he died.
The movie actually made me disgusted at our capacity for violence, greed, ignorance, and inconsideration. From my point, it was humankind’s fault that their homes were destroyed—it serves them right—so they shouldn’t go on suddenly claiming other properties as their own. Oh sure, you may be thinking, “It’s only human,” but I believe we should let ourselves fall to the imperfections of being human. In an imperfect world, we should strive to attain perfection and all that is good—through means that are in accordance with the Divine Law.
I was actually inching for a romantic development between Jim and Mala. Oh sure, they’re different, but they actually looked attached to each other especially in the scene when Jim acted to take Mala as hostage to get back to his ship that was taken by Terrian authorities. After that episode, Mala pounded Jim in a true “lovers’ quarrel” fashion. It never happened. Oh well. But even so, I wished they both acknowledged each other as friends; I’m just sorry that they never got the time to sit down for a cordial talk.
I absolutely recommend this animated flick; it’s for people of all ages. At a short, one hour and 25 minutes, you will never feel like you’ve wasted your money. If you’ve noticed, this film flips the “alien invasion” storyline from the point of view of the humans to that of the Terrians, which is something very refreshing. The effects come equipped with a great musical score. The story is fast-paced at some points so you wouldn’t get bored. Most of all, the lessons and moral considerations it imparts are absolute treasures that you should keep. I watched The Day the Earth Stood Still yesterday, and I think Battle for Terra is the modern-day equivalent of the former.