Titan A.E. (2000)

Weird music, beautiful drawn—and early CGI—visuals, and one of very, very few sci-fi movies in which the artificial gravity malfunctions and everything starts to float: Titan A.E. in a nutshell.

In movie history, it was the film whose financial failure destroyed Fox Animation Studios, the company responsible for the widely respected film Anastasia, its direct-to-TV sequel, and absolutely nothing else. (Fox’s BlueSky studio—responsible for the Ice Age franchise, among other things—is having better luck.)

Steve Perry and Dal Perry’s novelization of Titan A.E., which I read in 2007, added a lot to the characterization of the aliens by giving us the queen’s perspective.

I love not only the gravity malfunction, but also the hip 90s feel, the shiny bits of Wheedonesque dialog, the alien language and spacecraft, the hydrogen plants, the wake angels, the tense hide-and-seek sequence among the reflections in the ice crystals, and the (admittedly rather too instantaneous) transformation at the conclusion. I even like the prologue and yes, the “scrappy/grand” humans-are-underdogs plot.