Kaena: The Prophecy (2004)



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

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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.
PG-13 (for sensuality and some frightening images)
Action & Adventure , Animation , Art House & International , Kids & Family , Science Fiction & Fantasy
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Critic Reviews for Kaena: The Prophecy

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (13)

The monsters are derivative, the attempts at humor are mostly feeble and the story, in the end, lacks a certain je ne sais quoi.

Full Review… | August 6, 2004
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Derivative and aimless filmmaking by directors and 'writers' who know only how to craft eye candy.

Full Review… | August 1, 2004
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Simplistic writing and one-dimensional characters do in this animation film.

Full Review… | July 15, 2004
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

There are moments in Kaena that are absorbing, but too much of the time it simply becomes tedious.

July 8, 2004
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Augurs well for dazzling visual work but struggles mightily on the storytelling front.

July 8, 2004
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

If Kaena's alternate universe isn't nearly as fully realized as Fantastic Planet's, the 3-D imagery is often gloriously turbocharged.

Full Review… | July 8, 2004
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Kaena: The Prophecy

One line summary: Relentlessly ugly and poor animation meets nearly opaque script. -------------------------- The picture starts near a village high on a huge vine called Axis. One resident is Kaena, a young adult woman who likes to adventure, while the rest of the village is bound to harvesting sap and offering it to the gods. For sassing the priest, she is exiled. She is captured by an unfamiliar group that is very interested in her because she has curiosity, and will venture beyond the village. Opaz and his people have reconstructed a star ship to return to their home planet. Kaena sees visions of a repository of knowledge of Opaz' people. After various machinations, the repository opens itself to Kaena, with conflict all around her. Will the disputes among the groups be resolved? ------Scores------- Art/Animation: 2/10 There is seriously too much negative space is the artwork for most of the scenes, rather like the more disgusting parts of the Alien series, or most of H. R. Giger's paintings or sculptures. It is mostly dark, dull, depressing, surreal, and hideous. Other parts of the film are overly bright and washed out. Neither of these habits is attractive or 'eye candy' as I have seen this monstrosity described so often. Here and there I see serious frame jumps, the kind one sees in a flip book. Sound: 2/10 Amazingly bad leveling. Keep your hand near the volume control. This detracted seriously from the voice acting. Acting: 4/10 Richard Harris and Keith David were fine; Kirsten Dunst was much better than I expected. The queen and so many others were just terrible. Screenplay: 3/10 Next to opaque. Exposition of motivations was a distant, never achieved goal.

Ed Collins
Ed Collins

The film was disjointed. I really wanted to like it, but it just felt flat.

Marion Ravenwood
Marion Ravenwood

Super Reviewer


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 Lats
Red Lats

Super Reviewer

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