The Sci-Fi That Killed Fox Animation Studios Was Secretly a Masterpiece

The Sci-Fi That Killed Fox Animation Studios Was Secretly a Masterpiece
Image credit: Twentieth Century Fox Film

If released today, it would eat.


  • Many of the 2000s movies were left forgotten simply because they were released at the wrong time
  • Still, they managed to receive the cult following they deserved, albeit way too late
  • This animated family sci-fi is a perfect example of exactly that

If you still can't help but rewatch Anastasia from time to time, then you are already no stranger to the work of Fox Animation Studios — a once-promising endeavour that, however, released only three animated movies and shut down 10 days after the premiere of their last one.

The said "last one" is the movie we're here to tell you about. Meet Titan A.E. — an underrated sci-fi gem that had all chances to be something way more iconic that it ended up being.

The dark and surprisingly adult sci-fi cartoon takes us on a journey to a universe where there is no place for humankind. Humans are nomads here; all because of a hostile alien race that destroyed our planet.

The movie revolves around a young man who seeks to protect a huge ship that is capable of creating a new planet for humans before the evil aliens destroy it.

Unfortunately, despite a great premise, the movie never received the treatment it deserved: first, multiple layoffs at Fox Animation Studios basically killed its marketing leading to it becoming a box office flop; then, 10 days after the premiere, the studio officially shut down.

Titan A.E. is remembered today as something that was so ahead of its time that it was a death sentence. Yes, in today's renewed interest for all things sci-fi, space and dystopia, the movie would thrive; but back then, the divide between "cartoons for kids" and "adult animation" was way too big.

Back then, kids watched Anastasia, and adults watched South Park. Something that could work for both groups was virtually doomed.

"The story, the characters, the visual effects, it was great in my opinion, the music was also nice and the general atmosphere of the movie was also great, I'm a big sci-fi fan and Titan A.E. hits all the buttons for a great sci-fi adventure. I tell you, if this film came out today, it would be a great hit since sci-fi is now more popular than ever thanks to the MCU, Star Trek, Star Wars and Final Space," Redditor ardouronerous said.

Titan A.E. also sadly turned out to be the final movie for Don Bluth — the very man behind Fox Animation Studios' undisputable hit, Anastasia.

The fact that today Titan A.E. enjoys a cult following doesn't really help, because it ultimately feels too late. For avid Titan A.E. fans, it's borderline painful to watch how similar animated projects blossom in today's changed environment that gave birth to Love, Death + Robots, the Spider-Verse series, Arcane, Scavengers Reign, and many other adult animation gems.

Well, maybe Titan A.E. walked so the new hits could run?