Battle For Terra (2009)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Despite its earnest aspirations to be a thought-provoking sci-fi alternative, Battle for Terra lacks both a cohesive story and polished visuals, and fails to resonate.


Movie Info

When the peaceful inhabitants of the planet Terra come under attack from humans in search of a new home, the friendship between a human pilot and an alien girl may hold the key to saving both races. Mala (Evan Rachel Wood) is an alien girl living on the planet Terra. The Terrians are gentle race of extraterrestrials that have no need for war, and harbor a deep respect for nature. When Earth's natural resources began to dwindle, the human race established colonies on Venus and Mars. Although that … More

Rating: PG (for sequences of sci-fi action violence and some thematic elements)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Animation, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: Aristomenis Tsirbas, Evan Spiliotopoulos
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 22, 2009
Box Office: $1.6M
Runtime:
Roadside Atrractions - Official Site

Cast


as Jim Stanton

as General Hammer

as Giddy

as Maria Montez

as Stewart Stanton

as Professor Lina

as President Chen

as Elder Vorin

as Elder Barum

as Elder Orin
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Critic Reviews for Battle For Terra

All Critics (95) | Top Critics (27)

This 3D computer animation is more otherworldly than most sci-fi films, and its environmentally conscious theme couldn't be more timely.

Full Review… | December 16, 2009
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

In making animation that isn't dark enough for older fans and is too message-centric for kids, Team Terra has created a film that will probably satisfy no one.

Full Review… | May 13, 2009
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

It did not work as [well] as many of the recent animated movies that we've had in the earlier part of this year or last year.

Full Review… | May 4, 2009
At the Movies
Top Critic

I don't think younger or older audiences will be interested.

Full Review… | May 4, 2009
At the Movies
Top Critic

If there were ever a need for artificial intelligence, this is it. E.T., phone your agent.

Full Review… | August 18, 2011
East Bay Express

There are exciting moments but it's all a little too earnest and forgettable.

Full Review… | February 16, 2010
Birmingham Post

Audience Reviews for Battle For Terra

Wow, talk about derivative! This film borrows heavily from just about every space film ever made - from Avatar to Star Wars, while telling its tired cautionary tale of bad, greedy humans putting themselves first and foremost; regardless of the cost.

It is so obvious in its message and ham handed in its delivery that it makes the inventive "alien" race and their "fantastic planet" (see, here's a couple of sci fi film titles thrown in just for the fun of it), easy to overlook, which is unfortunate, for, without the sociological preaching and some dumbed down for children aspects, there could have been a decent film here. The fact that the film races through its explanation of human history as if even the filmmakers were tired of the message, should tell you all you need to know.

In a nutshell, we are at first introduced to the planet Terra and her environs, kinda tadpole looking creatures capable of floating on the planet's atmosphere. Some nicely done animation shows the denizens going through their daily lives - but then trouble starts as the film focuses on two citizens, a boy and a girl who race around in DaVinciesque flying craft and attempt jaunty banter that comes off as a banal attempt at making these characters identifiable to the kiddies in the audience. This is just the first in a series of missteps, as the film is simply too earnest for its own good -everything is so black and white that even the eventual payoff where a human must chose between his own people and showing signs of humanity (think Avatar in a big way), lacks emotional punch.

There is a nice bit of irony when the Humans first appear for the Terrans think their nifty spacecraft are gods, so run in front of them pleading "take me, take me"; I just wish the film had more ironic moments like this in its short run time, for too often it squanders its inventiveness by resorting to cliché and lame solutions to the problems presented to both Terran and Human alike. And speaking of cliché... in the final, balls to the walls battle sequence (again so reminiscent of Avatar), the pilots of the flying crafts on both sides utter just about every line from the Star Wars battle scene - all the "cover me, I'm going in", "I can't shake him", "I've got your 6", etc ad nauseum is all there in embarrassing excess, while the battle itself is simple a jumble, lacking the scope and yet singular focus of the first Star Wars film that this is so obviously mimicking.

I'm amazed at the voice talent hired to do this overtly obvious bit of sociological commentary - makes me think that the film was pitched to the talent as a "teach the youngsters about the sins of their fathers" kind of BS. I suppose the kiddies need to learn this lesson, so I'm going to shrug and not condemn this film completely for perhaps it had its heart in the right place, but it's really about as thought provoking as an episode of Gilligan's Island (unless you spend your days wondering why Tina Louise was wearing an evening dress for a 3 hour boat tour - and... ahem, how to get inside that dress... I know I did! LOL).

maxthesax
paul sandberg

Super Reviewer

½

Aristomenis Tsirbas' Battle for Terra is an enjoyable animation with pieces for kids and adults alike.The beginning is sweet and cuddly as the adorable alien creatures of Terra get their introduction; however, what lies beneath is a solid, although simplified, science fiction story. This film is a brief watch, as it doesn't even reach 80 minutes, but it isn't all fun and games. There is a consistent serious tone throughout and this is what caters to the more mature audience.The visuals are above average while the human characters end up as the weakest part of the production. The action is also limited, but the final battle sequence is worth noting for both the CG animations and cinematography.Despite some recognizable names, the casting isn't extraordinary, but it is acceptable. Evan Rachel Wood is the only one that stands out and is probably the most memorable.Simply put, like the story and dialogue, Battle for Terra isn't a masterpiece; nonetheless, it is one to recommend for a viewing.

skactopus
JY Skacto

Super Reviewer

Battle For Terra just barely squeaks by thanks to its appropriate length, good pacing, and moderate entertainment level that will keep average viewers engaged, but it could have been so much more. The visuals are mediocre and lack polish like many have said (seemed to me like they lacked texture) and the story wants to be something extraordinary, but settles for a rushed and too tidy ending that doesn't do its ideas justice. It has some good ideas packed into its running length and the action, although pretty ordinary, at least keeps things from getting boring. It's a decent movie, but lower your expectations accordingly.

jlewis07
Josh Lewis

Super Reviewer

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