Titan A.E. (2000)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-Gary Goldman & Don Bluth
Featurette-The Quest for the Titan (21:26)
Music Video-Over My Head (3:37)
Deleted Scenes-4 (10:57)
|Year Of Production||2000|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (42:18)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||
Twentieth Century Fox
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (96Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.40:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
German for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Cale (Matt Damon) is but a boy when the Earth is destroyed by quite a nasty bunch called the Drej. He escapes as Earthlings flee, but he is separated from his father, a scientist working on the massive Titan project. His father leaves him a ring, advising him that as long as he is wearing it, there is hope. Flash forward and Cale is a young man working on a salvage ship in a part of the galaxy where humans are scarce, and only a little above the bottom of the food chain. He is approached by a mysterious ship's captain, Korso (Bill Pullman), who tells him that the Drej are out to get him, and that he may well be the last hope for the propagation of the Human race. Not really interested in Korso's story, but quite interested in his pilot, Akima (Drew Barrymore), Cale is given little choice but to join the crusade, and in addition to the two human crew of Korso's ship, there is a motley band of aliens along for the ride, including the hyperintelligent but absent-minded Gune (John Leguizamo), the lizard-like Preed (Nathan Lane) and a dead ringer for a four kneed kangaroo, Stith (Janeane Garofalo). Together, they attempt to avoid the deadly Drej, and find the Titan, whatever it is, and hope that it can save the human race from extinction.
Utilising a combination 2D/3D animation approach pioneered by such films as Prince of Egypt, Titan A.E. is at times an extremely eye-catching film. Images of far away galaxies and nebulae captured by the Hubble telescope were used as inspiration for much of the artwork, and images in the movie compare with the beauty of those images captured from deep space. But unlike the seamless integration of the Dreamworks trailblazer, the hand-drawn elements of Titan A.E. stand out obviously, with the characters often looking a little flat and two dimensional in contrast to the wonderful depth of the backgrounds and settings. Accenting this is the style of the drawing of the characters. Although they do exhibit certain qualities influenced by Japanese Anime style (as does the movie as a whole for that matter), director Don Bluth's Disney background is apparent in the simplicity with which the characters' faces are drawn, again in contrast to the complexity of the remainder of the frames.
The voice acting is sufficient without ever really being outstanding, but the joy of Titan A.E. isn't in the performances, or the story for that matter. Rather, it is a good old adventure movie filled with plenty of thrilling action, and some of the most beautiful visuals that you could ever hope to see. Although the movie as a whole isn't the most memorable that I've seen, I sure will remember some of the images for a long time.
As with most animated movies made in the last few years and released on DVD, the transfer is clear and razor sharp. It would appear to me that everything intended by the animators has made its way on to the DVD, and thus any analysis of shadow detail is somewhat futile. The backgrounds and space scenes could at many points be mistaken for live action footage: it is only the 2D characters that damage this impression.
The colour palette was wonderfully rendered, and there is a wide range of colours on show. There is no bleed or oversaturation, and what we get is a truly beautiful spectrum of colours, from darker earthy tones, to neons and other extremely bright colours. At the other end of the spectrum, the blacks are deep and lush, with the overall effect being one of richness of colour.
As far as defects go, there isn't much to speak of. There were no MPEG artefacts that I could spot, however, there was the mildest hint of aliasing at the 28:00 mark. There were also a couple of isolated film artefacts in the nature of white flecks, but these are barely worth mentioning.
This disc is RSDL formatted, with the layer change placed during Chapters 8 at 42:18. It occurs at the end of a fade-to-black, and is therefore hardly noticeable.
There are three audio tracks on this DVD, with the default being an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track. There is also an English Audio Commentary track, with Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded sound, and a German Dolby Digital 5.1 track. I listened to the English audio and commentary tracks.
As you would expect from an animated feature where all of the dialogue is carefully recorded in a studio, it was all very clear and easy to understand. There were no audio sync issues.
The music was a mix of a traditional orchestral score from Graeme Revell (Pitch Black) and a more contemporary collection of rock tracks from the likes of Lit, Urge and Creed. Both styles were used to good effect reflecting the attention given these days by music supervisors to selecting tracks that will not only suit the on-screen action but drive soundtrack album sales as well.
From the opening moments of the movie, the surrounds (as well as the mix generally) create a wide but immersive soundfield. As you would imagine from a sci-fi action movie, there is plenty going on all around the viewer, and you feel like you're in the thick of it as the surrounds are filled with laser fire, ships' thrusters and in one of the most impressive scenes in the movie, thousands of huge creaking ice crystals.
The subwoofer, too, gets into the action from the word go, and pretty much doesn't stop. From ground-shaking explosions to the more restrained rumble of spacecraft in flight the soundtrack was a real window shaker. It was never gratuitously bassy, but rather a well-balanced use of the LFE channel in situations that made the visuals all the more effective.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
|DVD||Toshiba 2109, using S-Video output|
|Display||Sony Trinitron Wega (80cm). Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre.|
|Speakers||Front: Yamaha NS10M, Rear: Wharfedale Diamond 7.1, Center: Wharfedale Sapphire, Sub: Aaron 120W|