Fox’s DVD of Don Bluth and Gary Goldman’s vastly underappreciated sci-fi action-adventure bears the “Special Edition” label, but while the disc contains a fairly high number of features, too many aren’t exactly what I’d call “special.” The de rigueur “making-of” documentary, The Quest for Titan, is in actuality a repackaged promotional special that originally aired not on the standard Fox network, but in their Fox Kids kiddie programming block; as such, this overview of the production is dumbed down accordingly. The “Over My Head” music video by Lit just serves as a reminder of one of Titan A.E.’s worst aspects, an alt-rock soundtrack that was more a blatant promotional tool than an enhancement to the film. A gallery of concept art is a welcome supplement to an animated film, but it would have been nice if there were some indication as to what was being depicted in each drawing.
However, not every extra is a bust. While the featured deleted scenes and alternate takes are no big loss to the final film, not all the animation in these clips are finished, and the wireframe work and various unfinished portions provide an always-intriguing look at the animation process. More insight on this process is provided by Bluth and Goldman on a commentary track; the pair eloquently discuss, among other things, how animators should have an understanding of acting, and the technical challenges of creating such a smooth blend of traditional two-dimensional, hand-drawn animation techniques with 3-D computer effects.
Which leads me to the best feature on the disc–the movie itself, which remains as breathtaking as it was on the big screen. The range of and subtle grading in the color palette is preserved; the computer-generated images retain their meticulous detail; and the audio master gives the film’s impressive action sequences an added kick on the home screen.
Specifications: 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen; English DTS; English 5.1 Surround; English Dolby Surround; French Dolby Surround; English and Spanish subtitles; English closed captioning; DVD-ROM features.