Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Don Bluth
|Produced by||Don Bluth
|Screenplay by||Ben Edlund
|Story by||Hans Bauer
|Music by||Graeme Revell|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Running time||94 minutes|
Titan A.E. is a 2000 animated post-apocalyptic science fiction adventure film directed by both Don Bluth and Gary Goldman. The title refers to the spacecraft central to the plot, with A.E. meaning "After Earth". The film stars the voices of Matt Damon, Bill Pullman, John Leguizamo, Nathan Lane, Janeane Garofalo, and Drew Barrymore. The film's animation technique combines traditional hand-drawn animation and extensive use of computer generated imagery. Its working title was Planet Ice. The film has since developed a cult following.
In 3028 A.D., humanity has mastered deep space travel and interacted with several alien species. A human invention called "Project Titan" alarms the Drej, a pure energy-based alien species who attacks Earth after breaching the Global Defense System. As the Drej start to attack Earth, Professor Sam Tucker, the lead researcher for "Project Titan", sends his son Cale on one of the evacuation ships with his alien friend Tek while Tucker and other members of his team fly the Titan spacecraft into hyperspace. With Earth destroyed by the energy beam fired by the Drej Mothership with the explosion also breaking the Moon, the surviving humans become nomads, generally ridiculed by other species.
Fifteen years later, Cale is working in a salvage yard in an asteroid belt at Tau 14. Cale encounters Captain Joseph Korso, his female human pilot Akima, and the alien crew members of the Valkyrie named Preed, Gune, and Stith. Korso reveals that Professor Tucker encoded a map in Cale's ring to the Titan, humanity's chance of recovery. When the Drej attack the salvage yard, Tek convinces Cale to go with Korso as Cale and Korso escape from the Drej. Cale realizes the Drej want him dead before he can find the Titan. On the planet Sesharrim, the bat-like Gaoul interpret the map and discover the Titan is hidden in the Andali Nebula. Drej fighters arrive and capture Cale and Akima. The Drej eventually discard Akima and extract the Titan's map from Cale.
Korso's crew rescues Akima while Cale eventually escapes in a Drej fighter and rejoins the group. While visiting the human space station called New Bangkok for repairs, Cale and Akima discover that Korso and his assistant Preed are working with the Drej to destroy the Titan in exchange for money. Cale and Akima are caught by Preed where it is mentioned by Korso that the Drej have killed Sam Tucker. After escaping from Korso, Cale and Akima are stranded on New Bangkok. With the help of New Bangkok's colonists, Cale and Akima salvage a small spaceship named "Phoenix" and set out to find Titan.
When they arrive at the massive ice field in the Andali Nebula where Titan is hidden, Korso and the Valkyrie secretly follow them. Upon docking with the massive vessel, they learn that Titan can create an Earth-like planet including the native animal and plant life thanks to stored DNA samples, but has lost the energy necessary for the reactor to start the process after its initial escape from Earth. Cale also finds a recording by his father in the event that the Drej had gotten to him first and in the event that Cale had arrived at the Titan where the recording urges Cale to finish the job of preserving the human race. After killing Preed (who was earlier bribed by the Drej against him), Korso attempts but fails to seize Cale's ring. Moments later, the Drej attack the Titan, but are diverted by the Valkyrie's remaining crew. Cale modifies the Titan to absorb the energy beam fired by the Drej mothership aided by a repentant Korso who sacrifices his life in the process. The Drej Mothership is vaporized after being fired upon. The now active Titan creates a new planet titled "Bob" jokingly by Cale and "New Earth" by Akima.
While on "New Earth", Cale and Akima witness the planet in action. Stith and Gune leave on Valkyrie to another planet as they wave goodbye to their human comrades. Human colony ships (including the New Bangkok) approach the new planet to start life anew. The final shot of the planet is labeled "New Earth (Planet Bob)."
- Matt Damon as Cale Tucker, a male yard-salvager who carries the map to Titan in his ring.
- Alex D. Linz as Young Cale Tucker
- Drew Barrymore as Akima Kunimoto, the pilot of the Valkyrie.
- Bill Pullman as Captain Joseph Korso, the captain of the Valkyrie and old ally of Sam Tucker.
- John Leguizamo as Gune, an amphibian-like Grepoan and Korso's chief scientist.
- Nathan Lane as Preed, a Fruit Bat-like Akrennian and Korso's first mate.
- Janeane Garofalo as Stith, a kangaroo-like Mantrin who is the Valkyrie's munitions officer.
- Ron Perlman as Professor Sam Tucker, Cale's father and a researcher who helped to develop the Titan Project.
- Tone Loc as Tek, Sam Tucker's alien friend who raises Cale while Sam is away. At some point during the fifteen years between the destruction of Earth and the events of the movie, he has become blind. Following the Drej's attack on Tau 14, Tek gives Cale to Korso to look over.
- Jim Breuer as The Cook, an anthropomorphic cockroach at Tau 14 who disdains Cale and is killed during the Drej's invasion.
- Christopher Scarabosio as Queen Drej, the leader of the Drej armies who plans to destroy all human species.
- Jim Cummings as Chowquin, Cale's overseer on Tau 14.
- Charles Rocket as Firrikash, an alien who bullies Cale on Tau 14.
- Charles Rocket also voices a Slave Trader Guard, an alien who surprises Preed with his unexpected intelligence.
- Ken Hudson Campbell as Po, an alien who bullies Cale on Tau 14.
- Tsai Chin as Old Woman
- Crystal Scales as Drifter Woman
- David Lander as Mayor
- Thomas A. Chantler as Male Announcer
- Elaine A. Clark as Citizen
- Roy Conrad as Second Human
- Julian B. Wilson as Fleet Commander
- Leslie Hedger as First Human
- Roger L. Jackson as First Alien
- Shannon Orrock as Female Announcer
- Alex Pels as Soldier
- Eric Schniewind as Alien
- Stephen Stanton as Alien Prisoner, Colonist
Titan A.E. became the first major motion picture to take part in end-to-end digital cinema. On June 6, 2000, ten days before the movie was released, at the SuperComm 2000 trade show, the movie was projected simultaneously at the trade show in Atlanta, Georgia as well as a screen in Los Angeles, California. It was sent to both screens from the 20th Century Fox production facilities in Los Angeles via a VPN.
Titan A.E. was met with a mixed response. Though it received an Annie Award nomination for Best Animated Feature (which it lost to Toy Story 2), the film was a box office bomb. After the film's failure, Fox Animation Studios was shut down. The film opened at #5, with only $9,376,845 for an average of only $3,430 from 2,734 theaters. The film then lost 60% of its audience in its second weekend, dropping to #8, with a gross of just $3,735,300 for an average of $1,346 from 2,775 theaters. The film ended up grossing a mere $36,754,634 worldwide ($22,753,426 in the United States and Canada, and $14,001,208 in international markets).
One of the reasons most commonly given for the financial disaster of Titan A.E. was its poor marketing with a poorly identified target audience. People were unsure, having seen trailers for the film, whether it was intended for an older science fiction fan crowd, or whether it was pitched more at children. This confusion was further increased by the mixture of people used to write and direct the production. Joss Whedon, was, at the time, famous for the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer as well as for making contributions to films such as Speed and Toy Story, whereas directors Don Bluth and Gary Goldman were more noted for also creating G-rated children's cartoons such as The Secret of NIMH and Anastasia. Bluth later added to the confusion when he stated during an interview with HBO's First Look, "This is not one of those cute, little kid musicals; this film is nothing but action". Film critic Roger Ebert enjoyed it, giving it 3.5/4 stars for its "rousing story", "largeness of spirit", and "lush galactic visuals [which] are beautiful in the same way photos by the Hubble Space Telescope are beautiful". He cited the Ice Rings sequence as "a perfect examine [sic] of what animation can do and live action cannot".
To tie in with the film, a series of prequel novels was released, as well as a comic book mini-series.
- Cale's Story - The adventures of Cale, ending with the beginning of the film. The book chronicles Cale growing up on Vusstra (Tek's home planet) for ten years and having to move to a different place every time the Drej attack. It also reveals how Cale became resentful of his father's disappearance and how he came to despise "drifter colonies."
- Akima's Story - The adventures of Akima, ending with the beginning of the film. The book chronicles Akima's life aboard drifter colonies, and reveals whence Akima learned her karate skills, her friendship with Stith, and her reason to find the Titan.
- Sam's Story - A Dark Horse Comics prequel comic telling the story of Sam Tucker and his crew, and their quest to hide the Titan.
Cancelled video game
A video game of the same name was planned for release on the PlayStation in fall the same year, but was cancelled shortly before its release. However, a demo disc was released one month before the game's cancellation which contained two levels, a low-quality trailer for the film and a gallery of screenshots.
Home media release
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment - R1 (America) - DVD 
- Picture format: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic) [NTSC]
- Soundtrack(s): English (DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 / 2.0 Surround) French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
- Subtitles: English and Spanish
- Audio Commentary with Director-Producers Don Bluth and Gary Goldman
- The Quest for Titan (Fox TV special)
- 2 Deleted Scenes
- 2 Extended / Alternate scenes
- 2 Theatrical Trailers
- 2 TV Spots
- Gallery of Production Artwork
- Over My Head (Music Video) by Lit
- THX Optimizer
- DVD-ROM: Including weblinks and game link
- Case type: Keep Case
- Notes: THX Certified
- "Over My Head" — Lit
- "The End is Over" — Powerman 5000
- "Cosmic Castaway" — Electrasy
- "Everything Under the Stars" — Fun Lovin' Criminals
- "It's My Turn to Fly" — The Urge
- "Like Lovers (Holding On)" — Texas
- "Not Quite Paradise" — Bliss 66
- "Everybody's Going to the Moon" — Jamiroquai
- "Karma Slave" — Splashdown
- "Renegade Survivor" — The Wailing Souls
- "Down to Earth" — Luscious Jackson
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Titan AE|
- Titan A.E. at the Internet Movie Database
- Titan A.E. at AllMovie
- Titan A.E. at Rotten Tomatoes
- Titan A.E. at Box Office Mojo
- White Paper (pdf) by Qwest communications about historic digital screenings