By Scott Weinberg (Originally published 4/29/08 -- Tribeca Film Festival -- back when the film was just Terra.)
One always wants to give an independently-produced animated feature a little extra kindness, seeing as how amazingly difficult it must be to get a CG feature produced in an industry dominated by Pixar, DreamWorks, and Fox. These movies are monumentally hard to create, even with the best experts and a boat-load of money, so imagine how tough it must be for a Canadian outfit like Snoot Entertainment. Debut effort from the feldgling company, Terra is certainly not a brilliant little experiment, but it sure is colorful enough to warrant a few peeks. Animation buffs will appreciate the film's lush landscapes -- but I'm wondering if the movie has that "kid appeal" that's the absolute lifeblood of CG features.
The plot kicks off in slightly familiar fashion, but then we're thrown a nice little curve-ball: Seems the planet of Terra is populated by these kind-hearted and really adorable tadpole-ish creatures. This species knows nothing of war or violence, so when a massive "something" appears in the sky, most of the Terrians mistake the presence for that of a "new god." (The movie touches on religion only tangentially, but also rather interestingly.) But it's not a god; it's an invading force. Obviously the viewer is expecting the invader to be some sort of horribly nasty creature, and in some ways it is: The invader is us.