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Review: Battle for Terra

A computer-animated sci-fi epic in 3D
By BRETT MICHEL  |  April 28, 2009
2.5 2.5 Stars

VIDEO: The trailer for Battle for Terra

Say you want to produce an independent computer-animated sci-fi epic but you don't have the deep pockets of Pixar or DreamWorks — what to do? If you're director Aristomenis Tsirbas, you simplify. Make your characters hairless, tadpole-like creatures who float through the air. (Legs don't come cheap.) Oh, and release the film in 3-D, so as to add to the illusion of more for less.

Precocious young Mala (Evan Rachel Wood) questions the teachings of planet Terra's Elders (James Garner, Mark Hamill), especially when some new "Gods" appear in the sky. No deities, these invaders are human (how Twilight Zone!), also bald (or hat-wearing, the better to reduce expensive hair work), but walking on two feet. Pricy!

Mala befriends one of these bi-pedal "monsters," injured pilot Jim Stanton (Luke Wilson), and his robot, Giddy (David Cross). Together, they spark a revolution — just like Tsirbas, who's plucky enough to challenge the big boys.

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