The Horror Honeys: Saturday Morning Cartoons and Sci-Fi Animation!

Saturday Morning Cartoons and Sci-Fi Animation!

A Sci-Fi Honey Saturday Morning Cartoons Review

War of the Worlds : Goliath (2012)

I want to preface this review by mentioning that there is a trailer on the DVD for a movie called Poseidon Rex, about some divers that discover an underwater creature that is basically a swimming T-Rex. It looks hilariously terrible, and I hope someone live-tweets or reviews it sometime.

War of the Worlds: Goliath is a Malaysian sci-fi animation film released in 2012, an alternate-history/steampunk-ish style sequel to H. G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds (1898). The film is voiced by actors like Adam Baldwin (from Firefly/Serenity WOO!), Adrian Paul (Highlander) Jim Byrnes, and Rob Middleton, among others. I watched the Tom Cruise movie of War of the Worlds and really liked it, so I was pretty interested in seeing this. It received various awards from film festivals. Plus I have a degree in military history, so I was curious what they’d do with WWI and the technology in 1914.

Martian invader, verra nice!
Basic synopsis: War of the Worlds: Goliath is set in an alternate-reality New York City in 1914, years after a Martian invasion killed hundreds of millions of people before the Martian invaders were defeated by a bacteria. Earth is again being invaded by Martians, this time using some 100 foot tall machines with heat rays, and just as WW1 was about to break out. The Martians have become immune to the bacteria that killed them in War of the Worlds.  These bad boys zap humans into skeletons with their heat rays, and the people then disintegrate, it’s actually a pretty badass-looking effect. There is an international resistance force, A.R.E.S., that is the World’s LAST HOPE!  When Archduke Ferdinand is assassinated to start WWI, these plucky fighter decide not to return to their homelands, but to stay with A.R.E.S. and fight the Martian invaders. The team attempts to fight the Martians while dealing with tensions in their home countries with family members and the events of WWI. 

The A.R.E.S. fighters have Walkers that remind me of AT-AT’s in Star Wars, they look great and move well. There are also Zeppelins (which I always enjoy) and Biplanes and Triplanes. US President Teddy Roosevelt gets in a bar fight, and doesn’t break his glasses, so he’s obviously pretty manly. It was interesting to see female soldiers/pilots/commanders in a movie set in 1914. Not totally accurate, but interesting. Watching biplanes/triplanes take on Martian spaceships (which looked and sounded a bit like Cylon Raiders from Battlestar Galactica) stretched the boundaries of belief a bit, even for an animated feature, but hey it looked cool. How the Zeppelin stayed in the air I have no idea, I was expecting it to Hindenberg at any minute.

The animation reminded me quite a bit of the TV show Battle of the Planets (1978) that I watched as a kid, the big-shiny-eyed pointy-chinned person look, so it was a lot like watching Saturday Morning cartoons for me (YAY!). It was a bit odd to me that all ethnicities in War of the Worlds: Goliath looked pretty similar - like the Asian and the Sikh and the Irish guy. The Martian invaders looked fantastic. 
Let's play "Guess the Country of Origin!"
Who is the Canadian?
Character-wise, it was also pretty much like a Saturday Morning Cartoon - I didn’t get attached to any of the characters. It wasn’t like Wall-E or Up where I got emotionally invested in the fate of animated characters. It was more like a standard action cartoon where I watched it and enjoyed it and then it was over. So yes, I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t revolutionary or life changing.

No one fucks with Teddy Roosevelt!
Sci-Fi Honey Lowdown: I enjoyed how the writers wove actual WWI events into the story. It’s not badly written; it’s a PG-13 movie, and it isn’t very complex story-wise. It looks great, the animation is excellent if you like that style - I was a fan. The sound is really well done. I found the homogenous look of all ethnicities of the characters a bit perplexing, but again that might just be the style. I didn’t get attached to any of the characters, but it was definitely an entertaining way to spend a Saturday morning. I also found myself noticing how it reminded me of other movies/tv shows. That didn’t detract from the film for me, since I enjoyed all the reminders, but it wasn’t as original as I anticipated going in. Again, it reminded me of cartoons from the 70’s that I used to watch, so it got a thumbs up from me.

Sci-Fi Honey Rating: I give War of the Worlds: Goliath Four Bacteria-Resistant Martians with Bad Timing out of five. It looks great and I got to be eight years old again.

In the end it matters not where we're from. None of us have necks.