Kaena: The Prophecy

2004

Kaena: The Prophecy

Critics Consensus

Though Kaena: The Prophecy is visually inventive, its story is incoherent, derivative, and dull.

7%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 30

44%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,648
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Movie Info

Billed as the first European 3-D CGI feature-length film, Kaena: The Prophecy revolves around a mammoth tree that rises 100 miles from the planet's surface and provides shelter and sustenance for a variety of different races and species. Referred to as Axis, the tree has been losing its sap at a rate alarming enough to threaten the well-being of some of its inhabitants. Determined to get to the root of the disappearing sap is Kaena (Kirsten Dunst), a rambunctious teenager who leaves her village against the wishes of its elders. She encounters the mysterious Selenites along the way; led by an insidious queen (Anjelica Huston), the Selenites have resorted to enslaving another race in order to prevent the tree's decline into death. Directed by Pascal Pinon and Chris Delaporte, Kaena: The Prophecy began filming in 1999 on a budget of 26 million dollars, and has been described as having merged elements from Shrek and Final Fantasy.

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Critic Reviews for Kaena: The Prophecy

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (2) | Rotten (28)

Audience Reviews for Kaena: The Prophecy

  • Apr 08, 2010
    The film was disjointed. I really wanted to like it, but it just felt flat.
    Marion R Super Reviewer
  • Feb 17, 2010
    KAENA isn't bad, but it is just not what is considered "ground-breaking," and there are many who claim it is. It's impressive considering that it was done on a low budget and dreampt up by people who at the beginning of the project had very little knowledge of film-making. KAENA is a great example of how a little resourcefulness can pull the rabbit out of the hat, but overall it certainly is not a revolution in CGI animation. This is why it is not a CGI revolution: -Sometimes they had to cut corners by reducing the frame rate to 12 FPS. Ugh. I would've just cut the shots out altogether. -The character models often did not deform right. For example, if a human model lowered his arm, the skin would fold like clothing. Sometimes this would lead to noticeable distortions in the characters. Maybe they didn't care too much for painting skin weights properly. -The animation was very linear in some places. Objects and characters would basically switch between poses one at a time, a problem especially noticeable when characters are talking. You can almost see the animators pulling the sliders for their blend shapes! Here's an "O", here's an "M"... -Weight and inertia problems. Often people and objects did not move as they should under certain stress conditions. For example, Kaena landing on the floor after a very long jump. Not enough emphasis was put into the animation to make her landing credible. Or, when a huge sap monster stomps around, the camera shakes, but it does not seem as though the monster has as much mass as the screen area he occupies suggests. This happens so often, it's hard to buy into most of the character movements throughout the film. -The texturing was really monotonous. Most of the humans were very smooth-skinned, the wood texture for the roots was used too much (why couldn't they have something grow ON the roots? Or at least do something to give the surfaces more detail...it's almost as if they made a single NURBS surface for the floor in some shots), and sometimes, bump mapping was used very little on surfaces that were immediately noticeable to the viewer. It serves for some really dull and monochrome backgrounds. -Design inconsistency. This is a huge problem. Some humans looked more proportionately accurate than others, for example, Kaena had a somewhat realistic human body design, and others would be drawn more distorted, like cartoons. In addition, the sap monsters have really detailed models and effects, where many human characters were smooth or cartoon-like. The animation was also inconsistent this way-- sometimes Kaena would have more expression in her face than her body, and sometimes it'd be the opposite. It's almost as if, wow, many different artists worked on this film (but, we aren't supposed to know that, right?). -Motion blur. Please, if you aren't going to use deformations, turn up the motion blur. It seems as if the animation is STROBING. It would really help in those low frame rate shots. But... there are some good things about the art of Kaena. The fluid effects were nicely done (although they did not often interact well with other objects), the lighting was well done, in somewhat of a chiaroscuro fashion, and some of the models are convincing; mainly the sap monsters because of their amount of detail. Bravo in these respects. AXIS, a gigantic coiling plant, stretches high above the clouds... At its center is a village whose people are in mortal danger because Axis is withering... it's sap is drying up. The people beg their gods for help... but to no avail. Compelled by a mysterious force, Kaena, a rebellious, high-spirited teenage girl will defy the High Priest and her people's ancestral beliefs to take the perilous journey through the Axis and discover what dark secrets lie beyond the clouds... A dying world, an evil force, a terrible secret...
    Sergio E Super Reviewer
  • Jan 25, 2009
    found out about this animated film by mistake, and looked interesting so i decided to watch it. Hmmm..ok so it's not incredible but it doesn't suck either. It's good...yeah good's the word(dot).:)). A little cgi and a very interesting and surreal story (surreal like...WHERE DO THEY GET THESE IDEAS FROM? DAYUM), the main character Kaena is very good, she is the type of person that asks question, and questions are necessary for evolution, so she wanted to move on, to see something bigger, better, than just living on some huge roots and vines that were supposedly a planet. and so on so on the story is complicated (see for yourselves http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0297753/#comment). I'm not sure if i understood it right but it might have a conection to the birth of the tree of life, guess it depends on each and everyone's different imagination. And i have a pretty fucked up imagination:>. ok....just watch it and try to see it your way, it's interesting so yes i'd recommend it.
    Ovi G Super Reviewer
  • Sep 22, 2007
    I found this a better-than-average science-fiction cartoon. Kaena figures out why her world is dying. You need to watch this movie twice to figure out which race is which, and how they are all intertwined.
    Red L Super Reviewer

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