Follow TV Tropes


Animation / War of the Worlds: Goliath

Go To
"We're not just French, or German, or Japanese. We are A.R.E.S. We are human."

"Mars's orbit is once again approaching a time of close proximity to Earth. I have detected large scale fluctuations of magnetic energy from the Martian surface, along with a series of low-frequency radio signals. It is my belief that the signals are a Martian military code hidden within sunspot activity. That they and the magnetic energy coming from the planet's surface serve as a prelude to an invasion."
Prof. Nikola Tesla

War of the Worlds: Goliath is a 2012 English-language Malaysian animated film serving as a sequel to H. G. Wells's The War of the Worlds.

It is 1914, fifteen years after the invaders from Mars succumbed to Earth bacteria and humanity emerged victorious. The world has embraced a Dieselpunk aesthetic, with the Allied Resistance Earth Squadrons (A.R.E.S.) under Secretary of War Theodore Roosevelt, General Sergei Kushnirov, and Professor Nikola Tesla fielding an army of Walking Tanks and Cool Airships with soldiers from all over the world in defense of the planet. Unfortunately tensions in Europe mean a Great War is on the horizon, and even worse, there are signs that the Martians are preparing another invasion force. Sure enough they invade, and A.R.E.S. must fight a desperate war to protect mankind in a desperate struggle against a technologically superior foe no longer vulnerable to mere diseases.

War of the Worlds: Goliath provides examples of:

  • Ace Custom: The Red Baron has his iconic red triplane, except updated to the Dieselpunk technology level of the setting.
  • Ace Pilot: Manfred von Richthofen, much like in real life (except with more powerful guns).
  • Action Girl: A.R.E.S. has many women serving as soldiers, most notably Jennifer Carter.
  • Alien Blood: The Martians bleed bright green blood.
  • Alien Sky: The film's intro depicts Mars's two moons, Phobos and Deimos, as being large and spherical, quite unlike their tiny potato-shaped real-life counterparts.
  • Alien Invasion: As a sequel to the Trope Maker, naturally. The initial invasion is featured in the opening (which is the original novel), and the bulk of the plot is about fighting the second wave.
  • Anachronism Stew: A plot-point given that the reverse engineering of Martian technology has stimulated human technological development as well.
    • A.R.E.S. uses biplanes and triplanes boosted by jet engines. How a wood-and-fabric airframe stands up to the sudden acceleration isn't mentioned.
    • The Goliath is armed with an 88mm high-velocity cannon—the rapid-firing French 75 would be more appropriate for the era. O'Brien is shown firing a power-assisted machine gun turret during the New York battle. Infantry use bulky but still handheld air-cooled machine guns.
    • The film takes place in 1914 but shows the Chrysler Building in New York City. The Chrysler Building was completed in 1931.
  • And the Adventure Continues: Despite America having been saved from the Martians, the war is still going on elsewhere on Earth.
  • Attack Its Weak Point:
    • The Goliath is taken down when a heat ray severs the hydraulics of a leg.
    • The heat rays of the Leviathan and the Agamemnon can barely scratch the armor of the Martian flying wing. So Kushnirov decides to Go for the Eye.
  • Auto Erotica: Or mecha erotica in this case. After surviving several battles, Jennifer Carter decides not to wait on expressing her passion for Eric, and throws herself on him while he's in the cockpit of the Goliath.
    Abe: (stops repairing the Goliath) You hear something?
    Patrick: (smirk) Nope. Not a thing...
  • The Cavalry: Lampshaded as such when the A.R.E.S. forces have to race back to New York when their headquarters is attacked. They do a Big Damn Heroes just when Teddy Roosevelt is about to be blasted by a Martian flying machine.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Martian heat ray beams are green, while human ones are red. Incidentally, green light carries more energy than red.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: Many members of A.R.E.S. have this problem due to their home countries trying to call them back to begin World War I against each other and many have been disowned and disgraced by their families and friends due to joining A.R.E.S. All of the members give a collective Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right! and ban together beyond petty country grievances to fight the alien threat that threatens all of humanity.
  • Cool Airship: Fully armed 1,500-foot airships like General Kushnirov's flagship the Leviathan and the Agamemnon are A.R.E.S.'s most powerful weapons. They can launch aircraft from the top, land mecha troops, and deploy heavy weaponry.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: Despite humanity having advanced far beyond what they should have at this point in history, with airships, jet planes, and heat rays and tripods of their own, the battle is still very much in the favor of the aliens, especially since in the years since the first invasion the Martians have also advanced. A.R.E.S forces normally suffer pretty good-sized casualties taking on groups of Martians, and just killing three takes two separate forces of A.R.E.S tripods.
  • Death Ray: Both the Martians and A.R.E.S. have heat rays, which near instantly disintegrate organic matter and make short work of everything else.
  • Deer in the Headlights: As a child Eric froze at the sight of a tripod during the first invasion, and his parents were killed rushing from cover to save him. He freezes up momentarily on seeing them again as an adult, but fortunately is able to pull himself together.
  • Dieselpunk: The film hits the early end of the Dieselpunk era, being set on the cusp of World War I in a world enhanced by retroengineered Martian technology.
  • Energy Weapon: Instant travel/visible ray subtype. Red for humans, green for martians.
  • E.T. Gave Us Wi-Fi: The setting's technological advances are the result of humanity managing to retroengineer Martian technology. This proves to not be entirely advantageous when the invaders can easily adapt human power plants for their own ends.
  • Evil Overlooker: One of the posters has the Martian tripods looming above out heroes with glowing red eyes.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: The effects of the Martian heat rays are on full display. Expect to see a lot of close ups of people being burned away.
  • Frontline General: Teddy Roosevelt refuses to be evacuated during the New York battle, wielding a machine gun and shooting down Martian fighters. General Kushnirov also takes a personal hand in the battle.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Seems like the founders of A.R.E.S. really wanted their organization's initials to spell out the name of a Greek war god.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: At the end of the film, Sergei rams his airship into Martians' gigantic flying wing in order to destroy it, which causes it to both of them explode. Shortly before that, Sergei's son chose to fall into the flames so his father would be free to take the helm of the airship to stop it crashing.
  • Hollywood Tactics:
    • Averted with the Martians, who in addition to landing their forces in Europe deploy diversionary forces in three separate parts of North America before using the absence of A.R.E.S forces there to launch an all-out assault on New York City.
    • However in the first battle the human mecha stands exposed on top of a ridge and don't adopt hull-down positions. The Martian heat ray is located on the bottom of their tripod's hull, whereas the human weapons are positioned higher up, enabling them to use this tactic. By pulling back behind the ridge they could have shielded their vulnerable legs.
    • The Martians make no use of the black smoke Deadly Gas from the original novel (surprising given the World War One theme).
  • In Spite of a Nail: Despite the Martian invasion fifteen years prior there are still tensions in the Balkans that culminate in Archduke Franz Ferdinand meeting his end in Sarajevo by Gavrilo Princip, sparking a war between the European powers (that is quickly put on hold once the world realizes it has bigger problems, but still).
  • Mile-Long Ship: A.R.E.S.' zeppelin-based mobile command centers are 1.5 kilometers long.
  • Mini-Mecha: Both A.R.E.S. and the Martians have smaller (but still deadly) single-person mechs in addition to the larger tripods. The humans use them as scouts, while the Martians use theirs during the fight inside the power plant.
  • Monumental Damage: During the battle of New York many landmarks end up damaged or outright destroyed by the Martians, including the always unfortunate Statue of Liberty (here armed with a sword instead of a torch), which falls into the bay when the Martian warship rises from the water.
  • More Dakka: A.R.E.S. tripods have machine guns and cannons (plus a coaxial missile launcher on the big ones) in addition to a heat-ray gun, as opposed to the martians, whose heat-ray blasters are sufficient to destroy most opposition.
  • Multinational Team: A.R.E.S. has soldiers from practically everywhere. Our Goliath crew protagonists are English, American, Irish, (African-)Canadian, and Malayan, serving under a Russian general. Other members of A.R.E.S. include historical figures Nikola Tesla (Serbian-American) and Manfred von Richtofen (German).
  • Orifice Invasion: Martian feeding is on full display, unlike the novel, and involves a hollow tentacle being shoved down some poor bastard's throat. His bodily fluids (not just blood) are rapidly drained, leaving him a dessicated husk.
  • Plot Armor: The crew of the Goliath are never killed, even when the commander runs out of a exploding factory.
  • Politically Correct History: Even with the massive social changes underway, it's difficult to believe that A.R.E.S. would include women as front line mecha soldiers. You'll just have to put Carter's presence down to our natural desire to see hot female mecha pilots kick ass.
  • Public Domain Character: Teddy Roosevelt and Nikola Tesla are both in the A.R.E.S. leadership, and Manfred "The Red Baron" von Richthofen is their Ace Pilot.
  • Ramming Always Works: General Kushnirov sacrifices himself by ramming the burning Leviathan straight into the Martian mothership, destroying both.
  • Real Robot Genre: The mechas are Walking Tanks that need full crews to work, and are just the land part of an army that also includes airships and planes.
  • Red-plica Baron: One of the Ace Pilots that got the call against the Martians is the Red Baron himself, now armed with his classic Fokker Dr. I triplane but with Diesel Punk technology.
  • Red Shirt Army: Despite having massive amount of armor plate, the Earth tripods are instantly blown to bits by heat rays. Infantry is armed with air-cooled machine guns that, surprise! Do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Plink, plink, plink. Though they do a good enough job of shooting down Martian fighter craft.
  • Revenge Before Reason: The IRA openly admit that their hatred for the British is so great that they don't even care if the martians destroy all of humanity. Patrick who was sent as an infiltrator for the IRA, decides that their survival outweighs their vendetta against the British.
  • Sequel Hook: The massive Martian warship is destroyed and (what's left of) New York is saved, but the war isn't over and Teddy Roosevelt promises his troops that the enemy will be defeated, even if humanity has to take the battle to Mars itself.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Tempting Fate: Everyone's cheering over having defeated the Martian forces attacking New York City, when a giant Martian flying wing rises from the harbour.
  • Walking Tank: A.R.E.S. relies on its three-legged tanks to fight its battles on the ground, from smaller scouts to the powerful 65-foot Achilles-class.
  • Tripod Terror: But of course! It wouldn't be War of the Worlds without 'em. The martians AND humans have their own versions this time, though.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: The massive heat ray of the Martian warship is powerful enough to cut skyscrapers in half and blow up A.R.E.S. airships with a single shot.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: Conflict between nations is a notable subplot in the movie with Roosevelt and his men bemoaning how much of Europe, notably the Balkans, is more keen on going to war with each other than with the Martians, barely can cooperate under Teeth-Clenched Teamwork due to an Enemy Mine in the Martians, and it's often stated how human conflict and politics prevents proper mobilization against another Martian invasion.
  • Weird Historical War: World War I is just about to begin when the Martians return and turn a world war into a, well, war of the worlds.
  • We Need a Distraction: A local militiaman provides this by standing out in the open and firing his machine gun at a tripod. He's implied to be a Death Seeker—or just plain nuts—given that he talks to the charred finger of his wife—all that he could find of her after the Martians shot her with a heat ray.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: A subplot involves an IRA cell in New York attempting to obtain A.R.E.S. weaponry to be used in the liberation of Ireland from the British. Even when they hear the Martians are invading they insist on going through with it, claiming that the invasion is the perfect opportunity to strike. Patrick O'Brien is an infiltrator sent to join A.R.E.S. for this purpose.