Ben 10: Alien Swarm
|Based on||Ben 10: Alien Force
by Man of Action
|Written by||John Turman
|Directed by||Alex Winter|
|Theme music composer||Michael Wandmacher|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||69 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Trouper Productions
Cartoon Network Studios
|Original channel||Cartoon Network|
Ben 10: Alien Swarm is a 2009 science fiction action television film directed by Alex Winter. It is based on the Cartoon Network animated series Ben 10: Alien Force and a sequel to 2007's Ben 10: Race Against Time. The film stars Ryan Kelley, Galadriel Stineman, Nathan Keyes, Alyssa Diaz, Herbert Siguenza, and Barry Corbin. The film premiered on Cartoon Network on November 25, 2009.
The film opens as Ben, Gwen, and Kevin are negotiating with a group of black market dealers, who are attempting to sell them alien nanochips. One of them reveals herself to be Elena, a childhood friend of Ben and Gwen and a fellow Plumber's kid. Elena explains that she had set up the negotiations to lure Ben out into the open, and explains that her father has been abducted and that she needs their help to find him.
Just as Ben agrees to help her, the chips suddenly spring to life, controlled by a man hiding in the rafters. Kevin sees it as a double cross, though Elena insists that she is not responsible. While the dealers escape, Ben transforms into Big Chill and drives off the intruder. Elena escapes in the confusion, further justifying Kevin's suspicions. Though Gwen quickly sides with Kevin, Ben is not as easily convinced.
Arriving at their headquarters underneath the Bellwood auto repair shop, the trio, along with Grandpa Max, study the chips, learning that they are Techno-organic material/a hybrid of organic and technological components. Elena, having followed the trio, breaks in; Max orders her to leave, explaining that Elena's father, Victor Validus, was an apprentice of his who was dishonorably discharged after stealing the original chips. Ben refuses to believe that Elena is like her father, and breaks ranks with his grandfather and teammates to help her.
While Max is away, Gwen and Kevin hack into the computer files relating to Victor Validus and discover a video of Max interrogating Victor, in which Victor insists that "the Hive", the hive mind intelligence behind the chips, is coming to take over the planet. Realizing that Max's anger towards Victor's betrayal may be clouding his judgment, Gwen and Kevin decide to aid Ben as well.
Meanwhile, Ben and Elena arrive at Victor's old laboratory. It has been cleared out by the Hive, but they left Ship-It order slips behind. Other discarded files indicate that Victor was studying and upgrading the chips, and a picture shows Elena is close to the person controlling them. A mob under the control of the chips attack Ben and Elena, forcing them to retreat. They head to the Ship-It building to investigate further, though Ben is now somewhat suspicious of Elena himself, having found an order slip made out for that day, when Elena claimed that Victor had already been missing for weeks.
Gwen and Kevin, having reached the building first, are too late to stop the distribution of the chips. Instead, they are met by one of the Ship-It employees, who is also under the chips' control. He has a chip swarm attack Gwen and Kevin, which eventually wreck Kevin's car (a modified Dodge Challenger) after a lengthy chase. Ben, overhearing the commotion and following them, uses Humongousaur (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker) to defeat the swarm, completely demolishing Kevin's car in the process.
By the time they return to headquarters, the chips have spread across the globe, and number in the millions. The group deduces that there must be a Queen (voiced by Wendy Cutler) controlling the Hive, and by destroying her they will likely destroy the chips as well. During their search for the queen, however, one of the chips takes over Max. Pulling together, the group notices an anomaly in the chip distribution; while world population centers are all infected, the relatively remote Barren Rock, Missouri, has the highest concentration. The town is home to the central headquarters of Ship-It. With Kevin's car out of commission, Kevin reveals that he has built a black and green car for Ben (a heavily modified Mazda RX-8), called DX Mark 10 (confirmed by Bandai and Dwayne McDuffie) as a "late birthday present."
Infiltrating the factory, the group discovers that the Queen infected Elena's father and his body is being used to mass-produce the chips; when questioned, Elena admits that she knew her father was the Queen's host all along, but didn't tell them because she feared they wouldn't believe her just as the Plumbers didn't believe Victor. Gwen and Kevin reluctantly suggest killing Victor to stop the Hive, but Ben and Elena refuse to consider it. Ben uses the Omnitrix to transform into a new alien that he calls "Nanomech" (voiced by Alex Winter) which was created by scanning the DNA of the chips. He enters Victor's brain and battles the queen while Gwen, Kevin, and Elena fight the drones. After a grueling battle, Nanomech electrocutes the Queen, and all of the other chips, freeing everybody from their control.
In the aftermath, Max, after personally apologizing to Victor, decides to retire and leave his position as leader to Ben, but Ben refuses to allow him to do so. The film ends as Ben, Gwen, Kevin, and Elena drive home.
- Ryan Kelley as Ben Tennyson
- Galadriel Stineman as Gwen Tennyson
- Nathan Keyes as Kevin Levin
- Alyssa Diaz as Elena Validus
- Barry Corbin as Max Tennyson
- Herbert Siguenza as Victor Validus
Major hurdles for film’s initial production stage included the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America strike as well as the theat of strikes by other guilds. Prior to a potential Directors Guild of America strike, Winter began creating animatics of action sequences featuring characters rejected for the 2007 film. This would allow animators to complete sequences if the Directors Guild of America went on strike in January 2008, which ultimately did not happen. Winter considered making a small project in between '’Ben 10'’ and its sequel, but decided against the idea, saying "you have your baby and you don't want someone else to take it".
Inspired by its use in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, three action sequences in Ben 10: Alien Swarm were shot using IMAX cameras. Although screenwriters John Turman and James Krieg suggested that the IMAX footage would be 3D, Winter late said he found 3D too gimmicky. Winter added that shooting in IMAX was easier than using stereoscopic cameras.
Cartoon Network became more involved in the designs of the aliens than the company was for '’Ben 10'’. The company along with Boomerang, suggested to the filmmakers that combining aliens be the main draw for the sequel.
The score to Ben 10: Alien Swarm was composed by Michael Wandmacher, who reunited with director Alex Winter to record his score with a 71-piece ensemble of the Hollywood Studio Symphony at the Sony Scoring Stage.
In December 2009, Warner Bros. Pictures and Cartoon Network are reportedly interested in fast-tracking a third Ben 10 film due to the second film’s success. However, such plans have yet to be seen.
- "Ben 10 Alien Creation Chamber". PRLog. November 20, 2009. Retrieved December 30, 2013.