Battle for Terra, an animated film


This film opens on another planet where the inhabitants are peaceful, intelligent and ingenious. At one time they almost destroyed their planet, but they brought it back into a harmonious balence.

One day a space craft throws a dark shadow across teh land. Smaller fighter craft come down and abduct some of the terrans including Mala’s father.

Mala, a young girl, goes out into the hinterlands to investigate a crashed ship. She brings home Lt. James Stanton, the pilot. His small robot is able to implant his language into her brain so that they can communicate. It instructs her to build an oxygen chamber to save the pilot. The deal is that he will take her back to the mother ship to look for her father if she will help him to repair his ship. She fulfills her side of the bargain.

Back on the mother ship we learn that the humans destroyed not only Earth but terraformed Venus and Mars and then destroyed them in a huge battle for independence. A few ships escaped and this is the last of the human race, travelling through space in a decrepit ship with only a few months worth of oxygen left. The general overrides the ship’s council, even after hearing that there are peaceful sentient beings on the planet. He commences terraforming which will increase the oxygen level for human life but suffocate the terrans. It turns out that the Terrans had saved away weapons and war ships from the bad old days so now they can fight back. Lt. Stanton has the ultimate decision, to save Mala’s planet or to allow his own species to take it over, killing all the native species including the great air whales. He makes the ultimate sacrifice to destroy the terraformer. The lesson is that there is always a choice. We are not forced into war to destroy the “other.” We as individuals can have influence on the course of history. There was an alternative to allow both the Terrans and the humans to co exist on the planet.

This film brings up important themes for discussion. I feel it can be viewed by tweens from age 9 through middle school, tempering the discussion to the maturity of the individuals. Enjoy the discussions.

It has several prominent actors providing voices, including Danny Glover and Dennis Quaid. Rated PG, 85 minutes.

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About KLevenson

I am Teacher Librarian at Piedmont High School in the San Francisco East Bay. I am a part time reference Librarian I for the San Francisco Public Library. I have a Masters in Library and Information Sciences from San Jose State and a Teacher Librarian credential in addition to my teaching credential in Science. My first MA was from Harvard in Archaeology. My students teach me something new every time I am with them!
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