I don’t usually do reviews of movies-not because I don’t like them, but because I don’t own a TV. This animated one is based on a book, so I’m going to cheat and include it.
The central premise is that the world is just recovering from the invasion detailed in H.G. Wells’ famous book War Of The Worlds. As a result, a world military force called A.R.E.S. (Allied Resistance Earth Squadron) has been set up to prepare for a possible second strike using huge tripedal mechs and airplanes. The pilots for these machines are from the military from all over the world: the USA, Britain, Japan, Germany, India, and others.
The main characters are a group of the best and brightest who have been assigned to the biggest and most powerful mech: The Goliath. Led by young Eric Wells’, who saw his parents killed by the Martians moments before the aliens died from exposure to microbes, the team is trained to operate the huge war machines. A weird note: for some reason the mechs have open cockpits for the captain on top of the machines with no cover. Unfortunately, their training is interrupted by the very event that A.R.E.S. was founded to prevent-invasion by a larger and more advanced second force of aliens. Just to top things off, WWI begins at about the same time, and the empires of the world are itching to bring their soldiers home to fight each other…
This is an animated film, but it doesn’t stint on the gore and adult situations (though there’s no nudity). People get disintegrated a LOT in this film with an almost depressing regularity, and there’s the implication of mass death. For the most part the art is pretty good (the alien tripods are snazzy). The voices are quite nice as well (with such talents as Peter Wingfield, Adam Baldwin, Jim Byrnes, and Adrian Paul), though I don’t have a good enough ear to say if the accents are accurate or overdone. It also has a few real historical characters added as supporting players (one has a very fun bar fight).
The story itself is fairly barebones-aliens attack, we respond, people die and sprinkles of character are dolloped out to each person, though not very much. It feels more like the set-up for an animated series rather than a full movie. Goliath is an entertaining film with an interesting idea behind it. How will you know if you like this movie?
If the idea of the Red Baron dogfighting UFO’s over Roswell doesn’t appeal to you, it’s not up your alley.