cinema review: Battle for Terra (2009)

I have a weakness for science fiction. Cool cartoons with alternative engineering and physics defying planets from directors enable me to ignore lame plots, shallow characters, and black and white themes. Hence, I took my kids to see the Battle for Terra and I liked it. It's rated PG for animated sci-fi violence. I liked the tadpole/amoeba people on Terra, who are kept in ignorance of their self-destructive past by their priests, who, in secret, maintain all the war jets in hangars belwo the clouds, just in case. I liked the crazy space station the Earthlings live on as they travel through the galaxy looking for a home to replace Earth, which their ancestors blew up in a Civil War. It's more serious than Wall-E. I liked the hero who died to save his enemies. That's a nice theme.

However, why is the war-hawk earthling a white guy but his peace seeking opponents are a black president and a female advisor? Why did the amoeba people learn from their war years but the earthlings didn't?

A child might only see the conflict between nature lovers and greedy, land hungry invaders. I saw the white invasion of the americas. Unfortunately, the American Indians did not have an answer for gunpowder, steel, or germs. Someone should write a book about that. Someone did. But one could read anything into the movie. Perhaps a Dutch citizen would perceive the Muslim immigration to their country in this movie. The solution in the movie for co-existence is an earthling ghetto, where they can have their oxygen. But they have their little space ships to cruise the planet with the amoeba people. The movie ends with a pan over the Terran horizon showing clusters of treetops where the amoeba people live and the dome where the humans live. Is this the realist view? Is coexistence only possible by segregation?



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