''Titan A.E.'' (for "{{After|TheEnd}} [[HitSoHardTheCalendarFeltIt Earth]]") is an animated science fiction film released in 2000 and directed by Creator/DonBluth, his last film before semi-retiring from filmmaking.

In 3028, humans create the ''Titan'', a huge spacecraft representing the very pinnacle of human achievement. Threatened by humanity's potential, the Drej, a race of EnergyBeings, attack and destroy Earth. The ''Titan'' manages to launch and escape, but it disappears far away in the aftermath, along with its primary creator Sam Tucker. The humans who survive the destruction of their planet become the homeless of the galaxy, living as laborers for alien species or on cobbled-together drifter colonies. Fifteen years later, Sam Tucker's son Cale (voiced by Creator/MattDamon) is recruited by Captain Joseph Korso (Creator/BillPullman), who reveals reveals that Professor Tucker encoded a map to the Titan in the ring he gave to Cale, and that all depends on finding the Titan. When the Drej attack the salvage yard, Cale is forced to escape aboard the Valkyrie with Korso and his crew: pilot Akima (Creator/DrewBarrymore), first mate Preed (Nathan Lane), munitions officer Stith (Creator/JaneaneGarofalo), and ditsy scientist and navigator Gune (Creator/JohnLeguizamo), who set out to find the lost ''Titan'' and restore hope to humanity, all the while hunted by the Drej.

''Titan A.E.'' received mixed reviews from critics and was also a commercial disaster, leading to the closure of Fox Animation Studios, and proved to be the final nail in the coffin for [[CreatorKiller Bluth's already floundering career]], forcing him into retirement until 2015. In a case of DuelingMovies, the superficially similar ''Disney/TreasurePlanet'' released around the same time also flopped badly, taking [[UsefulNotes/TheRenaissanceAgeOfAnimation funding]] for traditional WesternAnimation along with it. A variety of explanations for the film's failure have been suggested:
* [[invoked]]Its [[DevelopmentHell development was protracted]], with Bluth being the second director to have worked on it. The race to release before ''Disney/TreasurePlanet'' certainly didn't help.
* ''Five'' writers were credited for the story, primarily [[ComicBook/TheTick Ben Edlund]], Creator/JossWhedon and Creator/JohnAugust, but also Hans Bauer and Randall [=McCormick=]. The movie was in production for several years before Bluth was invited to direct, and at this point only Joss Whedon did a substantial amount of writing. The movie did not really have a vision for most of its production, until the end.
* [[invoked]]Above all, the film suffers from [[UncertainAudience deep uncertainty about its audience]]. Was it supposed to be a [[AnimationAgeGhetto cartoon film for children]], or was it aimed at an older science-fiction audience? Unsurprisingly its marketing was equally uncertain.

The movie eventually managed to find an audience, and has become something of a CultClassic. It is worth watching for its [[SceneryPorn impressive visuals]], cheerful willingness to [[TropesAreNotBad embrace]] and [[BetterThanABareBulb lampshade]] sci-fi tropes, and the wittier parts of the script.

!!Titan A.E. provides examples of:

%% * AbsentMindedProfessor: Gune.
* TheAce: Cale is able to fix things pretty quickly, and is usually smart enough to figure out things such as escaping the Drej prison cell, or powering the Titan back up.
* AceCustom: During the HomeworldEvacuation of Earth, most of humanity escapes ([[RedShirt to varying]] [[SinkTheLifeBoats degrees of success]]) in identical delta-winged ships, while the ships carrying Cale and his father are unique designs (some sort of tri-winged design and a massive spherical ship, respectively).
* ActionGirl: Akima. She flies, she shoots, she scores! And Stith is a kickass screaming Amazon with not only a great big gun, but a freakin' weapons turret in a spaceship. Although "Amazon" might be an understatement for someone who is naturally around 10 feet tall.
* ActivationSequence: Cale Tucker needs to power up the Titan to battle the Drej, made more difficult by the ship's batteries being nearly exhausted. Cale almost single-handedly has to jury-rig the mechanism to absorb and convert the Drej DeathRay as a substitute power source.
* AdamAndEvePlot: When the hero and heroine find the eponymous ship, onboard are genetic samples for long-destroyed Earth's species. Also, in a way, they are a symbolic "Adam and Eve". However, they do not need to populate the new world, mankind has been scattered across the galaxy and thus, they only need to call humans to the new planet. But who says that they won't anyway?
* AirVentPassageway: {{Lampshaded}}:
-->'''Korso:''' Follow ugly.\\
'''Cale:''' Yeah, cause ''no one'' would ever think to look for us in the vents!
* TheAlcatraz: The energy-cell brig on the Drej mothership, from which [[spoiler:Cale escapes by opening a hole in the wall ''with his fingers!'' Oops! Could be a {{Justified|Trope}} WeaksauceWeakness, since they probably [[LeaveNoSurvivors aren't accustomed to taking prisoners, especially not human prisoners]]. [[AllThereInTheManual The book even explains]] that he was smart enough to figure out the patterns in the wall were actually a sort of circuitry he could manipulate]].
* AlienLunch: Since the Earth blew up in the prologue, humans have to settle for alien food, which is pretty unappetizing.
-->'''Cale:''' I'd just like them to kill my food before they serve it to me. Is that too much to ask?
** Later he learns that his lunch had been ''[[IAteWhat laced with feces]]'' before it was served to him. Ew.
--->'''Gune:''' ''(licks Cale's hand)'' Spaghetti derivative, meatballs - sort of, anyway - and... Caldoch droppings. Who ate it before you did?
* AllThereInTheManual:
** The novelizations offer a great deal more exposition and world building, filling in some apparent plot-holes in the film, including how and why Cale can manipulate Drej technology so easily.
** The novelization is also responsible for turning the Drej into actual ''characters'' rather than generic Evil Aliens, showing a bit of how their civilization works, what their motivations are, and why they are so obsessed with the Titan ([[spoiler:the Titan has technology that works on similar principles to Drej LostTechnology; the Drej are hoping to capture the Titan to reverse-engineer it and hopefully repair their own failing tech]]). The Drej Queen's name (Susquehana) is also only known through the novels.
* AnalProbing: Averted for comedy:
-->'''Akima:''' Hand me the probe.\\
'''Cale:''' Where does the probe ''go?''\\
''(Akima jams the probe into a wound on his thigh)''
* AnimeHair: Akima definitely, and Cale to a lesser extent.
* AntiHero: Korso.
* AntiVillain: [[spoiler: Korso again. He's later revealed to have been working with the Drej, the guys responsible for blowing up Earth, the last hope for humanity. From what we can gather from the few hints dropped in the movie Korso might have just lost all hope of being able to beat the Drej and decided to take what he could get. Watching them destroy his planet and allow the human race to slowly die out within fifteen years might explain his actions along with some other possible reasons that happened off screen between the prologue and the start of the movie. He does make a HeelFaceTurn during the climax of the film. Whether its out of remorse, because he had nothing left to lose or both, he did ultimately help save humanity]].
** It's also worth noting that [[spoiler: his actions during the Prologue suggest he sincerely believed in the ''Titan'' project and Cale's father, but when Cale's father died and the ''Titan'' vanished into the aether, he [[DespairEventHorizon lost all hope]]]].
-->[[spoiler: '''Cale''': You lied? Everything you said, everything you told me...?\\
'''Korso''': Not everything. Your father hid his ship, then the Drej killed him. All because he couldn't face the truth!\\
'''Cale''': Yeah? What is the truth?\\
'''Korso''': That the human race is outta gas. It's circling the drain. It's finished! The only thing that matters is grabbing whatcha can before somebody else beats ya to it.\\
'''Cale''': No! I don't believe that!\\
'''Korso''': Then you're even more like your father than I thought... a ''fool''.]]
* AnythingThatMoves: Aside from drooling all over Akima, Preed ''really'' [[NightmareFetishist gives off this vibe.]]
* ApocalypseHow: Class X, thanks to the EarthShatteringKaboom.
* ApocalypseWow: The film's ActionPrologue.
* TheArk: The eponymous ''Titan'' is a ship holding the DNA of all known Earth organisms and the capacity to recreate the planet from scratch.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: A guard points out all the ways the main cast are screwing up their serious attempt to pass him. His final critique is their costumes are made from bedspreads.
* AssholeVictim
** That [[SmallAnnoyingCreature cockroach chef]], who insults Cale and calls humans "unsanitary". When the Drej attack the cafeteria, he seems to care more for the safety of himself and his food than Cale and Korso. Also, [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking his voice is annoying.]] Is it really that tragic when the Drej shoot and splatter him over the wall?
** An early conversation between Cale and [[PromotedToParent Tek]] hints that this could be why humans are TheScrappy of the galaxy. According to Tek, [[YouShouldKnowThisAlready if Cale had bothered to read a history book like instructed]], he would know that humans weren't exactly the nicest species before their planet blew up. Now that it has, most other aliens [[TakeThatScrappy aren't inclined to pity or help them]].
* AsteroidThicket: The ice-field. Combined with a HallOfMirrors.
* BatmanCanBreatheInSpace: Elegantly averted. Korso and Cale make a magnificently scientifically-accurate "jump" from their damaged and drifting shuttle to the airlock of another ship. They even remember to exhale first, and are treated afterwards for frozen skin and decompression. In the novelization, they even shut their eyes and spray their faces with foam from the fire extinguisher before they make the jump, to protect the delicate tissue there. [[ShownTheirWork Hot damn.]]
* BigBad: The Drej Queen.
* BigDamnHeroes: Just as the Titan's defenses are destroyed and the ship is helpless against the villains, Gune, whom everyone thought was dead, comes roaring in to help defend the ship.
%% * BigSleep: See DisneyDeath.
* {{Bowdlerise}}: For the home video release, Cale had the gun in his hand taken out and redrawn with his hand outstretched showing the map. This was due to the UsefulNotes/{{Columbine}} High School shooting incident at the time the film was being made in 1999. At least one TV airing has somewhat sloppily edited [[spoiler:Preed]]'s death as well.
* BloodlessCarnage: Averted. This is possibly Bluth's bloodiest film, with characters getting shot, impaled, and one gets blown up into a pile of green goo on screen. The most unusual example being when a character bleeds copiously in zero-gravity and it just floats everywhere.
* BreakTheCutie: Cale seems to have undergone some of this between the ages of 6 and 21. But, as he says-[[EarthShatteringKaboom "having your planet blown up will do that to you]]." As will being considered a third-class race by most of the galaxy.
* CallBack: A subtle example, during Earth's evacuation, young Cale says he wants to drive their vehicle. Korso replies "maybe when you're older." When they reconnect years later, Korso let's Cale pilot his ship.
* TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive: [[{{Herald}} Korso]] [[CallToAdventure tries to recruit Cale for a mission to locate the ''Titan'']]. [[RefusedTheCall Cale blows him off]], but the agents of the BigBad promptly kick down the door and try to kill him.
* CannotDream: Preed states that Akrennians do not dream. Of course, they are a totally different species...
* {{Canon}}: Two short novels came out with the film to help explain the two main characters' pasts and motivations, as well as the world in which it is set.
* ChekhovsGun: Korso's rant about how trying to defeat the Drej is futile because they're pure energy. [[spoiler:At the end, when Kale is trying to start up the Titan (whose fuel cells have long since run dry) he recalls Korso's speech and figures out that he can use the Drej's own energy (and the Drej themselves for that matter) to power the ship.]]
* ChekhovsSkill: [[spoiler: All those years working in a ship breaking yard allow Cale to direct the repair and restoration of the ''Phoenix'', and give chase to Korso]]
* {{Chickification}}: Refreshingly averted. Stith kicks energy-being ass all the way through, and Akima shows no signs, even after being [[spoiler:shot by Preed]].
* TheChosenOne: Cale is the only one able to operate the ultimate TreasureMap to humanity's salvation.
* TheChosenZero: Cale, at least as far as Akima and Preed are concerned at the beginning:
-->'''Akima:''' This is just great. We cross half the galaxy and nearly get our butts shot off by the Drej just so we can rescue the [[ItMakesSenseInContext window washer]].\\
'''Cale:''' Hey! I happen to be Humanity's last great hope!\\
'''Preed:''' [[DeadpanSnarker I weep for the species.]]
* ColonyDrop: Inverted. When the Drej blow up Earth, a piece of it shatters the Moon.
* ConspicuousCG: There's a rather jarring contrast between the computer-generated and traditional hand animation. Though this may be intentional in order to drive home how alien the Drej are.
* ContemptibleCover: Some promotional material for the film showed Akima in a breast-baring {{Stripperiffic}} outfit which appears nowhere in the film.
* CoolStarship: The ''Valkyrie'', the Drej mothership and fighters, the ''Titan'', and perhaps the ''Phoenix'' as well.
* CreatingLifeIsAwesome: [[spoiler:Mankind triumphs by creating an entire planet for itself, complete with a fully populated biosphere]].
* CreationStory: [[spoiler: It ends with the heroes using the Titan to create a new world, a home planet for mankind to replace the one they lost in the DownerBeginning.]]
* CynicismCatalyst: The destruction of Earth was this for most of the human race.
--> '''Cale''': Having your planet ''blown up'' can do that to a species.
* DamselOutOfDistress: Akima is kidnapped, but by the time the the rest of her crew shows up to rescue her, she's sitting on a pile of unconscious prison {{Mooks}}, not distressed in the least. She asks what took them so long.
* DarkIsNotEvil: The Gaoul are creepy part-bat part-pterosaur aliens... who happen to be quite helpful in finding the ''Titan'' and escaping the Drej.
* DeadpanSnarker: All of the crew, especially Preed, have their moments, except perhaps Gune.
* DeathIsTheOnlyOption: [[spoiler:Captain Korso first made a deal with the Drej that would let them destroy the [[OurTitansAreDifferent Titan]] in exchange for money and a "Do Not Kill" tag. After Cale Tucker saved his life, Korso returned the favor by [[HeroicSacrifice using himself as a shunt in a huge circuit breaker]] to help Cale power up the Titan.]]
* DespairEventHorizon: It's implied that crossing this before the start of the movie is the reason [[spoiler:Korso tries to hand Cale over to the Drej.]]
* DetonationMoon: The Earth is blown up with such force that even the Moon is destroyed.
* DisneyDeath: [[spoiler:Gune]] saves Stith from [[spoiler: a bomb Preed placed on her wrist, only for it to detonate and leave him wounded]] and he mutters "I'll just take a little nap", before collapsing. Later, just when the Drej are about to destroy the Titan, [[spoiler: Gune]] arrives to the rescue and hangs a lampshade on this trope and the BigSleep.
-->'''Gune:''' I finished my nap!
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: During the battle in the climax, when Stith and Akima are fighting off the Drej with the laser turrets, they seem to act more like overly enthusiastic teenagers at an arcade than freedom fighters holding the last line of defense.
* DownerBeginning: The movie begins with another race [[FinalSolution destroying planet Earth]].
%% * DrillSergeantNasty: Korso, of course.
* DyingRace: Humanity. In addition to those lost during the destruction of Earth, many have been lost to the hostile galaxy they've been forced to take refuge in, while others have simply given up. Korso believes that in a few generations they'll be reading about them in history books and displaying their bones in alien museums.
* DungeonBypass: The Drej deal with the AsteroidThicket by simply blasting a path to the center.
* DutchAngle
* EarthShatteringKaboom: In the [[ApocalypseWow first five minutes of the movie]], the Drej don't just blow up Earth, they make the planet spin so fast that centrifugal forces blow it up. The explosion itself is particularly impressive. One evacuation shuttle is disintegrated by the blast and at least one other is destroyed by debris from the planet. Huge chunks of Earth then slam into the Moon, breaking parts of it off as well.
* EarthThatWas: Earth gets blown up, forcing humanity to eke out an existence in drifting, [[UsedFuture jumbled composites]] of spacecraft known as drifter colonies.
* EndangeredSpecies: Humans themselves after the hostile Drej destroyed the entire planet, leaving the survivors scattered among the cosmos.
* EnergyAbsorption: [[spoiler:Which conveniently deals with the big, bad Drej at the same time.]]
** The novel explains that [[spoiler:the reason the Drej destroyed Earth was that the energy-to-matter technology of the Titan was the same as that which created their species. The Drej queen actually considers using the tech to repair their energy source before deciding it's too dangerous.]]
* EnergyBeings: The Drej, sort of. What the Drej really are is far more complex: the novel seems to indicate that the Drej have mastered the transfer of matter to energy and can easily reverse the process.
** [[spoiler:At the end of the movie, the heroes actually use the Drej mothership to power the Titan.]]
* EvilCounterpart: It is eventually revealed in a plot twist that [[spoiler:Korso]] is the evil counterpart to Cale.
* ExplosiveDecompression: {{Averted}} for once. The original script for the scene in question had Korso and Cale ''in''haling. They found out later that this would actually ''increase'' the likelihood of death and rewrote that scene to have Korso tell Cale to ''ex''hale (to a bit of vocal protest from Cale). If you look closely, you can see that the animation was made before the change with Cale inhaling.
** However, the above also makes sense if one assumes that Cale didn't listen to Korso and inhaled ''anyway'', which would explain why in the next scene Cale was unconscious in the medical bay, while Korso was already up and about.
* {{Expy}}: Both Cale's character design and {{deadpan snarker}} attitude (along with his animation as well, for that matter) are virtually dead-ringers for Dimitri from ''WesternAnimation/{{Anastasia}}'', a previous Don Bluth/Gary Goldman movie.
* FamilyUnfriendlyDeath: In scenes that are very dark, even for Don Bluth, [[spoiler:Preed has his neck broken by Korso, who in turn is electrocuted. Also Gune's body thumping against the wall after shielding an explosion.]]
** And early on, there's the insectoid cook that gets splattered by the Drej.
* FanOfThePast: One of the main characters and several minor ones either collect relics of the [[EarthShatteringKaboom destroyed]] Earth, or continue Earth traditions, like football (soccer to Americans).
* {{Fanservice}}: Both Cale and Akima get scenes of brief nudity in the film.
** We're even treated to a nice shot of Cale's bare ass when he's in the sick bay.
* FantasticRacism: Humans are regarded as the homeless of space, and despised accordingly.
* ForceFieldDoor: Cale is thrown into one of these energy jails by the [[AliensAreBastards Drej]]. Seemingly inescapable, his only hope is to [[spoiler:touch the walls, using his fingers force himself out of the cell]].
* GadgeteerGenius: Cale is a gifted mechanic; he can often figure out how they work and what's wrong with them after a simple glance. [[spoiler:This applies to Drej tech too.]]
** And of course, Cale's father who was the lead scientist in charge of the ''Titan'' project, which seems to have been his idea.
* GenerationShips: After Earth is destroyed, most of the surviving humans turn their ships into this. Fortunately, this only lasts 15 years until [[spoiler:Planet Bob (AKA New Earth) is created]].
* GenesisEffect: When they finally [[spoiler:turn the Titan on, resulting in]] Planet Bob.
* GenocideBackfire: The Drej attack humanity and destroy Earth in fear of humanity's potential and technology threatening them. [[spoiler:15 years later their species is obliterated by humanity and, in a fitting fate, used to power humanity's means of creating a new Earth]].
* GilliganCut: A great one toward the end, with Cale naming [[spoiler:the new planet Bob, Akira insisting there is ''no way'' they are calling their planet Bob...followed by the cut: "New Earth (a.k.a. Planet Bob)."]]
* GoingCommando: Akima and Cale both skip the underwear when putting clothes on.
* TheGreatRepair: How Cale and Akima got off the derelict settlement.
* TheGuardsMustBeCrazy: Averted in a line written by Creator/JossWhedon to foil the TrojanPrisoner ploy, left in uncut.
-->'''Guard:''' You're lying! He's not a slave and you're not traders. He doesn't carry himself like a slave! Look at the way he stands... probably ex-military. Akrennian traders always threaten before they ask a favor, it's tradition. ''(to Stith)'' And ''your'' robes are made out of bedspreads.\\
'''Preed:''' Just out of curiosity, did we have a [[TimeForPlanB plan "B"?]] ''[Stith charges at the guard and knocks him out with a powerful kick]'' An intelligent guard. Didn't see ''[[{{Lampshading}} that]]'' one coming. ''[tasers the guard]''
* HallOfMirrors: The ice-field surrounding the Titan.
* HappilyEverAfter
* HardWorkMontage: Of Akima, Cale and the citizens of drifter colony ''New UsefulNotes/{{Bangkok}}'' making ''Phoenix'' spaceworthy.
* HeelFaceRevolvingDoor: [[spoiler:Korso]] worked for humanity, than the Drej, then came back to the side of humanity, and [[RedemptionEqualsDeath was killed]] in a HeroicSacrifice.
* {{Herald}}: Korso brings the CallToAdventure.
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler:Korso]]. Maybe Cale's father too.
* TheHerosJourney: The marks of Joseph Campbell's cookie-cutter are ''all over'' this film.
* HighVoltageDeath: [[spoiler:Captain Korso]] repays Cale Tucker for saving his life by [[spoiler:using his weapon as a shunt in a huge circuit breaker so that Cale can power up the ''Titan'' spacecraft. Unfortunately, he has to hold the thing in place while the system is turned on]].
* HitSoHardTheCalendarFeltIt: The movie begins in the year 3028 A.D. and ends fifteen years later, in the year 15 A.E. (After Earth).
* HomeworldEvacuation: The alien Drej vaporize Earth in the opening sequence while refugee ships try to escape.
* HumansAreBastards: Downplayed, but one early conversation indicates that humans weren't exactly the friendliest species before their planet blew up, leading most aliens to view their plight with less pity and more WhosLaughingNow
* HumansAreMorons: After losing their homeworld, humans are viewed as sort of sentient, endangered vermin unleashed on the galaxy.
* HumansAreSpecial: [[DeconstructedTrope So special]], that the Drej blow up the Earth because they feel threatened by humanity. [[{{Reconstruction}} And then]], Cale uses the Titan to [[spoiler:destroy the Drej and create a new planet.]]
* HumansAreSurvivors: Humanity. Aliens try to kill them off by blowing up Earth, years later those who were evacuated before said EarthShatteringKaboom are still hanging in there despite the loss of their planet, being on the bottom of the galactic totem pole and the fact that the nearest thing they have to a home is a bodged together drifter colony made out of old ships, not to mention that the aforementioned aliens are still out to get them.
* HypocriticalHumour: The Alien Cook refers to humans as being highly unsanitary and considers their preferred food to be disgusting. He's an alien ''cockroach'' who apparently serves alien [[IAteWhat feces]] and living creatures in [[AlienLunch the food]] he serves.
* ImADoctorNotAPlaceholder: Stith's annoyance that Korso has her doing repair work on the ''Valkyrie''. Despite being intelligent and skilled enough to perform them, she's rants how she's definitely ''not'' a [[WrenchWench mechanic]], but a ''[[ProudWarriorRaceGuy soldier]]''.
* ImprobablePilotingSkills:
** Akima "If you can fix it, I can fly it!". Could be {{justified|Trope}}: in her own novel, ''Akima's Story'', she trains as an AcePilot in ships designed for BizarreAlienBiology. It was probably a relief to fly one purpose-built for ''her'' anatomy for a change. The basics would have been the same in the ''Phoenix'' (roll, pitch, yaw), with computer systems and controls in a language she could understand. Furthermore, the film makes it clear that the rebuilding of the ''Phoenix'' took some time (despite their rush), which could have given her enough time to get familiar with it's controls.
** Cale too, when [[spoiler:he steals an energy-construct Drej fighter to escape from the mothership]]. There is a shakier {{justifi|ed trope}}cation in ''Cale's Story''. He is depicted as having an [[TechnoWizard almost magical touch with any technology]]. Also note, while he's flying it, [[spoiler:the ship is bobbing around sloppily, and he hits the walls several times just getting out of the Drej ship. He's managing to fly it, sure, but just barely.]]
* ImprovisedMicrogravityManeuvering: While floating in space, Captain Korso used a fire extinguisher to maneuver.
* IndyHatRoll: Cale quickly props the Valkyrie's airlock door open with a floor grate during his and Akima's escape from the ship.
* InkSuitActor: It's remarkably easy to see Matt Damon, Drew Barrymore and Bill Pullman within Cale, Akima and Korso. However, the trope is less blatant on Preed, Stith and Gune, but you can still definitely see Nathan Lane, Janeane Garofalo and John Leguizamo within those alien characters.
* InsignificantLittleBluePlanet: The aliens don't particularly care that Earth got destroyed. Those that do treat the surviving humanity as scum, teetering at the edge of extinction. The aliens didn't care, but the humans sure did. In fact, the entire movie is based around finding a device that can rebuild Earth. [[spoiler:This proves to be a DespairEventHorizon for Korso, but he gets better.]]
* InvisibleWriting: Cale Tucker, TheHero, receives a ring from Captain Korso. The ring has been coded to Cale's genetics so that it reveals a star map on Cale's hand. As a further safeguard, the map's pointer shifts direction while Cale is standing on a platform on Sessarim.
* KarmicDeath: After the Drej destroy Earth, how does humanity end up building a new homeworld? [[spoiler:Why, harvesting the energy Drej are made of in an inversion of HumanResources to power the device to make a new, viable replacement world!]]
* KeepAway: There's a scene where some bat-like aliens do this with the protagonist as the "ball" to keep him safe. They're running away from the villains, and they're passing Cale to each other [[{{Heroic Sacrifice}} as they're shot down by the bad guys]].
* KidAppealCharacter: The use of this trope in feature animation is mocked with the cockroach chef Cale meets early in the film. He's deliberately written to be shrill and annoying, and he is [[AssholeVictim unceremoniously (and gorily)]] killed off by the Drej not long after his introduction after he tries selling out Cale to them for his own safety.
* KickChick: Stith, the ship's kangaroo-like alien weapons expert, uses her strong legs as a weapon.
* KickTheSonOfABitch: Shown when the alien cook at the salvage yard is reduced to goo [[spoiler:despite offering to help the Drej]], showing that the Drej don't exclusively kill Humans, but pretty much anyone they find even mildly annoying.
-->'''[[spoiler:Cook]]:''' [[spoiler:No no! Down there! He went down there! Down-- [BAM!] Ohh... Bulls-eye...]]
* LaserCutter: Cale uses something like a laser ''chainsaw'' on the job in the beginning, to cut up space junk for salvage. How does the blade stop? It doesn't, that thing was huge.
* LanternJawOfJustice: Cale.
* MagicBullets: Averted when the Drej come for Cale; despite Korso's efforts, an overturned cafeteria table doesn't offer much protection at all from Drej weapons.
* MagicCompass: The star chart embedded in Cale Tucker's hand reorients its pointer while Cale stands on the precise spot where his father once stood on the planet Sessharrim.
* MeaningfulName: The ''Phoenix'', the ship Cale and Akima chase down Korso with, was just a derelict attached to the New Bangkok drifter colony until they refurbished it. Also refers to the new life they give to the human race, who have definitely been living in the ashes for years.
* UsefulNotes/TheMillenniumAgeOfAnimation: Notably one of only two works Bluth produced in this era, the other being a music video for Music/ScissorSisters.
* MillionToOneChance: Invoked almost to the letter by Cale when he takes the express route to [[AlienLunch lunch]].
-->'''Human Salvage Worker:''' Go through the docks and you'll get yourself killed!\\
'''Cale:''' Coward! You know the odds of a ship docking are a thousand to one!\\
(Cue the ''[[CoolStarship Valkyrie]]'')\\
'''Cale:''' And that would be the one...
* AMinorKidroduction: The movie begins with Cale being escorted to an evac ship by his father [[spoiler:who later says goodbye for the last time]] before boarding the Titan as the entire population of Earth abandons the planet before the Drej obliterate it.
* MissingMom: Cale's mom is never mentioned. Not once.
* MixAndMatchCritters: And they get pretty bizarre with this too. Stith, for example, is a four-kneed critter that looks to be part kangaroo, part Utahraptor, part MoreTeethThanTheOsmondFamily, and all Impossible To Stage Scenes Around.
* TheMole: [[spoiler:Korso (who [[RedemptionEqualsDeath gets better]]) and Preed (who [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder gets worse]]).]]
* ModestyTowel: Both Cale and Akima have their scenes.
* TheMothership: The Drej's.
* NamingYourColonyWorld: There's both a "New UsefulNotes/{{Bangkok}}" and "[[spoiler:Earth]]" (which people insist on calling "New [[spoiler:Earth]]", despite the fact that the original has been destroyed, so there's not much chance of confusion).
* NeckSnap: [[spoiler:Korso]] does this to [[spoiler:Preed]], proving that betraying someone and then letting them get behind you is a massively stupid idea.
* NewEden: New [[spoiler:Earth]], a.k.a. Planet Bob.
* NoodleIncident: Gune built a device out of a highly unstable material ''while he was asleep''. He knows he gave it a button, but he doesn't want to push it because he has no idea what it actually does.
* {{Novelization}}: There is a book of the film, which attempts to patch some of the film's plot holes. There are also two prequel novels, covering the early years of Akima and Cale, titled [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin ''Akima's Story'' and ''Cale's Story'' respectively]]. Little attention seems to have been given to continuity between the novelization and the prequels.
** To further complicate the matter, there are ''two'' novelizations, one trying to appeal to an "older" audience, which resulted in many of the characters being portrayed differently (and contradicting their personalities in the movie and the prequels). A possible explanation would be everyone being too busy ''making the film'' to check on consistency.
* NoOSHACompliance: The salvage yard and most Drifter Colonies apparently, being made up of derelict ships welded together.
* NoPlansNoPrototypeNoBackup: Play for laughs with Gune's device. Played straight with the Titan to drive the plot.
** Justified with the Titan. There might have been plans to make a backup Titan, but then the Earth kinda got blown up. [[ComicallyMissingThePoint After that, where exactly were they going to get dolphin DNA?]]
* NotSoDifferent: The novelization reveals this of the Drej compared to post-Earth humanity; much like the surviving humans fighting to survive without a home, the Drej are on the brink due to their technology breaking down in ways they don't know how to fix.
** Not to mention that both species [[spoiler:attempted genocide in hopes of getting rid of a virulent enemy. Only difference was that the humans succeeded in their attempt and it was done out of self-defense and not malice]].
* OctopoidAliens: Cale Tucker gets a serving of alien spaghetti and meatballs in the scrapyard's commissary: the spaghetti resembles boiled kelp, and the meatballs are small creatures that once had tentacles, but these were obviously chopped off. Despite this handicap, they hop around madly on Cale's plate, perhaps sensing their impending doom.
* OffscreenMomentOfAwesome: There's a scene with resident WrenchWench Akima waking up in a Drej escape pod, in the middle of a cell full of soon-to-be-auctioned slaves - most of whom are much larger than her and ''all'' of whom are looking down at her with obviously predatory intent. One short scene later, the rest of the crew arrives to rescue her, and finds her sitting on top of a pile of unconscious prisoners, grinning and greeting them with "What took you?"
* OminousCrack:
** Occurs after Cale and Korso narrowly escape the Drej on a space station ''by ramming their ship through the dock wall into space''.
-->'''Korso:''' And you were worried.\\
'''Cale:''' ''(pointing to Ominous Crack on the windshield)'' What do you mean "were"?
** The {{Novelization}} plays with the trope, as Cale mentally recites old spacer's wisdom regarding cracks in glass surfaces. He notes that a single crack is definitely cause for concern, but it does not necessarily mean the surface will shatter; it may still hold. A ''web'' of cracks on the other hand (like what is rapidly forming on the canopy), means decompression is very quickly going to follow.
* ParentalAbandonment: Par for the course, being a Don Bluth film. The surviving Earthlings have even lost their mother ''planet'', so some critics have [[FanNickname dubbed it]] "The Ultimate Don Bluth Film".
* PercussiveMaintenance: This is how the Cook "repairs" the gravity generator in the mess hall.
-->'''Cook:''' ''(as the generator sparks back to life)'' Ah! Just needed some love!
* PettingZooPeople: Most of the alien designs are like this, so they rather come off as typical children's cartoon {{talking animal}}s, until they start shooting people, getting their necks broken, and so on. It's all part of the film's UncertainAudience problem.
* PreExplosionBuildup: The Drej PlanetKiller first turns on a targeting/focusing beam, then hits the planet with an energy burst, causing shockwaves to ripple around the planet surface while the seas boil and the continents burn, and finally [[EarthShatteringKaboom the entire planet erupts]] like a volcano, shattering it to tectonic-plate-sized pieces.
* ThePromise: During the evacuation of Earth, Cale's father puts him into the care of an alien friend, and promises his son that he'll see him again. [[spoiler: He doesn't, but leaves a message for Cale begging his forgiveness for breaking his promise.]]
* ProudWarriorRace: Stith's species, the Mantrin, are rather Klingon-like in their habits (and diet!).
* {{Pun}}: The Cook trivializing the effects of the gravity generator failing.
-->'''The Cook:''' Just think of it as floating time!
%% * PunyEarthlings: Earthlings.
* PureEnergy: The Drej, according to Korso, but the truth is a little more complex. See EnergyBeings above.
* RacialRemnant: Humans are this after the {{Scary Dogmatic Alien|s}} EnergyBeings decide to [[EarthShatteringKaboom blow up Earth]] in order to prevent humanity [[HumansAreSpecial becoming a threat]] to them.
* RealIsBrown: Earth before the Drej blow it up is shades of brown.
* RecoverySequence: There's a repair sequence of an old spaceship previously used as a house. Shots of welding, rewiring, and reprogramming all set to Over My Head by Music/{{Lit}}.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler:Korso.]]
* RedHerring: [[spoiler:Gune's mysterious device, which serves no useful purpose except for distracting him from the approaching Drej fighters.]]
* RedundantRescue: By the time the crew comes to rescue Akima from the slave market, she's already beaten up everyone there.
-->'''Akima''': Well, if it isn't the Captain. What kept you?
* RefusalOfTheCall: Initally Cale blows Korso off, but then [[TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive the Drej turn up and try to kill him.]]
* ReusedCharacterDesign: The blonde boy playing football on the New Bangkok Drifter Colony looks ''a lot'' like Cale as a young boy.
%% * ScaryDogmaticAliens: The Drej.
* ScavengerWorld: The human colonies.
* SceneryPorn: The highlight of the film. Pick a scene, any scene...
** SceneryGorn: So lovingly rendered you can watch the lights of the cities of Earth die and count tectonic plates as the planet is ripped apart.
* SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale: Many examples.
** In general, stellar objects are insanely miniaturized. Nebulas appear to be a few ship lengths tall, and distances between stars and moons are covered in a matter of days or hours with sub-light speed propulsion systems.
** Akima [[spoiler:is jettisoned from the Drej ship in the middle of a nebula but is found and picked up by slavers in a matter of hours.]]
* ScottyTime: While the eponymous ship is under attack, Cale tells his gunners he needs time to adjust its reactors. He asks for them to buy him a few hours. Stith replies with "What can you do with a few minutes?" Eventually rendered moot: rather than fix it his way, they wind up [[TakeAThirdOption taking a third option]].
* SelfFulfillingProphecy: From the novelization; the Drej believe that if humans are allowed to replicate their technology, they'll eventually destroy the Drej with it, which leads the Drej to destroy Earth first. This fear is so deep-seated that when the Drej have the chance to later salvage the Titan and use it to repair their nearly dead mothership, they decide to destroy it anyway and hope they can solve their problems without it. [[spoiler:The Drej firing on the Titan to destroy it is exactly what lets Cale steal their energy to power it.]] NiceJobFixingItVillain.
* ShesGotLegs: Stith, the ship's kangaroo-like alien weapons expert.
* ShirtlessScene: Cale gives us two nice ones.
* ShoutOut: The unnamed spaceliner that Cale and Tek escape on bears a striking similarity to the Martian Queen in ''Spacecraft: 2000 to 2100 AD''.
* ShownTheirWork: When Korso is about to escape a ship to reach his ship with Cale in the first half, he tells the latter to exhale and uses a fire extinguisher to propel them to his ship. The filmmakers in a documentary said they were originally going to have them inhale, as if diving into water, but were told that in space, the lack of an atmosphere and with no pressurized suit would actually make the air inside their lungs expand, probably killing them in the process. And Cale does suffer some side effects from the decompression immediately after they're rescued. Korso seems okay, although he's probably done this a few times before.
* ShutUpKirk:
-->'''Akima:''' [[spoiler:Preed,]] you can't trust the Drej.\\
[[spoiler:'''Preed:''']] Oh, stop! There's nothing more tiresome than last-minute heroics!
* SightGag: When they first enter the ''Phoenix'', the warning sign over the door appropriately depicts "No Drej".
* SlidingScaleOfUnavoidableVersusUnforgivable: The movie gets a cheerful ending, with the wonderful happy-for-everyone genocide and [[PoweredByAForsakenChild recycling]] of the antagonist civilization... It's unclear whether the dissonance felt by parts of the audience is meant to be intentional, though the film goes to great lengths to frame the destruction of the Drej as brought upon themselves (had they not destroyed Earth, there would be no need for a Titan or a new Earth; had they not pursued Cale so relentlessly, he would have remained a junker; even as they fire on the Titan, their weapon's path of destruction is ''literally depicted'' becoming the means by which they're absorbed and destroyed over multiple shots.) In the novelization, the Drej annihilated Earth simply because humanity was reaching a [[TechnologyLevels level of technology]] where they could potentially challenge the Drej's supremacy. Emphasis on ''reaching'' and ''potentially'', which, of course, makes the destruction of the Drej more of a KarmicDeath.
* SmallAnnoyingCreature: Not the first to be featured in a Bluth film, but certainly the first to be (mercifully) ''killed''!
* SmugSnake: [[spoiler:Preed.]]
* SomethingCompletelyDifferent: Mainly applies if you're familiar with Don Bluth's other films. Apart from the GenreShift into Science Fiction (''really'' not part of any of his other films), this one's dark even for him and lacks much of his signature whimsy.
* SpaceCossacks: After the destruction of Earth, humans have just taken to living in scattered bands across the galaxy, doing what they can to survive.
%% * SpaceFriction
* SpaceIsCold: A very rare aversion. According to the commentary, a line that got deleted from the final cut mentioned Cale's blood being frozen due to exposure. If that one simple line hadn't been cut, this trope wouldn't have been averted.
* SpaceIsNoisy: Zoom! Wizz! Crunch! Ka-boom! Zap! Crunch!
* SpaceMarine: Korso is a former Earth Space Marine.
* SpaceWhale: The Wake Angels. They look like stingrays, but still sound like whales. Also, Korso's description of their behavior and the legends about them make them sound more like space dolphins.
* SparedByTheAdaptation:
** In the movie, [[spoiler:the cook]] is killed very early on by the Drej. In the novelization, he merely disappears and his fate is unknown.
** Another, albeit-more-subtle example, in the film, [[spoiler:Cale's father]] is clearly mentioned as having died and the characters never question this. In the novel, they merely say that the character is "probably" dead.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS:
** Some people out-of universe spell Cale's name as Kale.
** Preed's species is spelled "Akranian" in his profile during the credits, but "Akrennian" just about everywhere else.
* StabTheScorpion:
--> '''Cale''': You're never gonna have a better shot, Korso.\\
'''Korso''': No. I won't.
* StealthPun: After Cale gets back, Korso tells him that Gune needs a hand. Literally, Gune needs Cale's hand.
* StoryboardBody: There ''is'' a story behind the tattoo on Cale's right arm, but the only place it is explained is [[AllThereInTheManual in the]] ''[[AllThereInTheManual Cale's Story]]'' [[AllThereInTheManual novel.]] Unless he developed a case of AesopAmnesia, the story behind the tattoo was probably invented after the fact for the novel, since the experience that earned Cale that mark should have made him far less cynical.
* SundialWaypoint: Used around 1/3 through the film.
* SwissCheeseSecurity: The Drej mothership. Cale is able to escape his cell by pressing two fingers to a point on the wall and slip out. None of the Drej seem to notice, and then he is even able to commandeer one of their stingers using the same trick to get in.
%% * TechnoWizard: Cale.
* TemptingFate: Cale taking the "express route" to the chow hall; see MillionToOneChance.
* {{Terraform}}: The Titan, which could completely and quickly remake a planet, just like the [[Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan Genesis Device]]. Unlike the Genesis Device, though, the planet didn't collapse back on itself after a year [[note]]...as far as we know; It would be a good idea for the humans to wait a while before settling[[/note]]. The Titan didn't so much remake a planet, as make a whole new planet using a local nebula for raw materials. They just happened to call it "New Earth". Besides, we all know it's really called Planet Bob.
* TimeForPlanB: "Out of curiosity, was there a Plan B?" It turns out to be "Beat the ever-loving crap out of the guard" plan. Subverted in that beating the crap out of the guard was Plan A, which Preed interrupted by declaring that they needed "cunning and deception".
* ToiletHumor: The poop-eating scene, covered under IAteWhat? Definitely contributed to the film's UncertainAudience problem, due to being so out of place in a serious sci-fi movie.
* TokenHuman: Cale, Akima and Korso, which seems like a bit much to count if it weren't for the fact that humans are almost extinct thanks to Earth getting [[EarthShatteringKaboom literally blown up.]]
* TooDumbToLive: Poor, poor [[spoiler:Korso]]. What made you think that the Drej would hold up their end of the bargain of making you rich for helping them wipe out all humans?
** [[spoiler: Preed]] has the same problem. He [[spoiler: betrays Korso and holds him, Cale and Akima at gunpoint]], stating that if he [[spoiler: kills the three]], the Drej will spare his own life. Akima tries to reason with him, stating that the Drej are highly unlikely to hold up their end of the bargain, but [[spoiler: Preed]] has already gone into too much of a murderous frenzy to listen.
* TreacherousAdvisor: [[spoiler:Captain Korso]], who is being paid by the Drej to find the Titan, so they can blow it up. He is betrayed in turn by [[spoiler:''his'' right hand man, Preed.]]
* TreacheryIsASpecialKindOfEvil: There's the PlotTwist that [[spoiler:TheHero's mentor, Captain Korso, sold him out to the Drej, convinced that humanity is "circling the drain." While Cale tries to appeal to any last shred of decency in Korso's heart, TheDragon informs them both that the Drej are rewarding him to eliminate both Cale and Korso, leaving zero surviving humans capable of activating the Titan. TheStarscream gets his head unscrewed for his effort.]]
* TreasureMap: The ring keyed to Cale's father's DNA projects a visible map onto Cale's hand, showing the location of the Titan.
* TrojanPrisoner: Doesn't exactly work. {{S|ubvertedTrope}}ee [[TheGuardsMustBeCrazy above.]]
* UsedFuture: The human refugees have to make do with what they have.
* WarWasBeginning: It [[JustForFun/WhyYouShouldDestroyThePlanetEarth didn't last long]].
* WaveMotionGun: The Drej mothership has a PlanetKiller version, which they use on Earth right at the start of the movie and on the Titan at the end.
* WeirdMoon: The protagonists visit a planet whose moon is split in half. ''Almost completely'' in half. And it has neither crumbled nor been pulled back together by gravity. Oh, and it's a plot point. It looks really [[RuleOfCool cool]], though.
* WhamLine: When Korso and Preed have our heroes cornered, we get this:
-->'''Korso:''' Face it, kid! You've lost!\\
'''Preed:''' Actually...you ''[[BastardUnderstudy all have!]]'' Captain, if you would be so kind as to dispose of your firearm?
* WhatDoesThisButtonDo: Played with, in a way that suggests that the crew's GeniusDitz navigator/scientist is more savvy than he might at first appear. [[spoiler: We never do find out what it does.]]
-->'''Gune:''' Does this look familiar? Do you know what it is? Neither do I. I made it last night in my sleep. Apparently I used Gindrogac. Highly unstable. I put a button on it. Yes, I wish to press it, but I'm not sure what will happen if I do.
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: Used weirdly throughout. In the world of the film, the phrase would more accurately be "What Measure is a Human?", because Earthlings are the ButtMonkey minorities after the destruction of Earth. That said, the human characters get away more or less unscathed when the action gets hot -- but it's okay to have the alien characters get fried, get their necks snapped, and get turned into chunky salsa.
** Of course, nearly the entire human race was eradicated... and we do see one human [[spoiler:get pretty graphically electrocuted]].
** Even then, the one who got his neck snapped was a treacherous bastard; and the alien that is blown apart counts as a KickTheDog moment for the Drej.
* AWorldHalfFull: While Creator/JossWhedon likes to use TrueArtIsAngsty, one can say one can view the world as either [[WorldHalfEmpty half empty]] or half full in his works. Earth is gone and we have only begun to rebuild our lives after spending so many years in an inhospitable system mocked and slowly dwindling. Earth was eventually recreated and a new life begins. It will be a while before humanity becomes a superpower, but it is a start.
* TheWorldIsJustAwesome: [[spoiler:From a cliff overlooking Planet Bob. Gosh, is it pretty. There's even a rainbow!]]
* WrenchWench:
** Akima.
** [[invoked]] Stith thoroughly averts this in that she is ''not'' the typical human (or alien) cutie and she ''hates'' doing repairs, though she is rather handy with weapons, as befitting her intelligent and aggressive but not at all mechanical character.
--->'''Stith:''' [[PlayingAgainstType I am educated and well-read]], I am ''not'' a mechanic! [[ProudWarriorRace I have my pride!]]