my collection (Tron contains live action). It only barely made the list, and I think it is there just because it's one of those very unique celluloid creations. I decided to watch it for the second time last night and would like to attempt to describe some of that uniqueness. The first thing that stands out is the animation style itself. It is probably the best integration of hand drawn and CGI work I've ever seen. The hardest thing to do in CGI is create convincing human characters, so why not just hand draw them and leave the space ships, planets, and the robot-like hostile aliens in CGI format? Motion capture is also utilized when animating people in space suits. In order to smooth out the integration, most of the immediate environments of the main characters are also hand drawn. Although you can tell which is which, it is difficult to notice where they meet.
In general, the whole thing was given a top billing production. The original score was a combination of classical and modern rock pieces as is common in modern animated dramas, but the plot and characters are just a bit edgier than your average family film. The voice casting was so well matched and well performed that I didn't even realize I was listening to the voices of Matt Damon, Drew Barrymore, Bill Pullman, and many others I should have recognized. In short, a lot of cash was spent.
Wikipedia, it didn't do well at the box office and recouped only about half of its $75M production cost worldwide. I can understand why. They really didn't know what audience they were targeting. The heavy plot premise is a bit daunting to begin with, suitable for hard-core sci-fi fans. The space action and love interest sidebar between Cale and Akima targeted teens, and the cutsie supporting characters were portrayed as if targeting young children. For me, it is this juxtaposition of approaches that actually adds to its originality. But it also makes it hard to predict who might actually enjoy it and who might cast it into the trash in disgust. You'll never know unless you watch it for yourself.
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