Mission: Galaxy is a mixed bag of good and mediocre things meshed into one long cinematic drawl. Directed by Leo Lee, it opens with enticing colors that serve as building blocks for the space-set film. It explores common tropes of human greed and what it means to be brave, it questions how much one can sacrifice nature for scientific progression and whether the existence of one species is more important than another.
Typical of the eco sci-fi subgenre, it describes itself as “WALL-E meets Avatar“. Although, in all honesty, it seems more like a general combination of odd film parts from the aforementioned, alongside other animated features such as Up, How to Train Your Dragon and Big Hero 6, to name a few. This conception draws specific inspirations and ideas from these but doesn’t ever reach the full capacity to truly make creative use of them.
Narration is a somewhat obvious choice, but that can easily be forgiven because it imitates the style of the storybook recount. However, less than fifteen minutes into the picture and there’s already a montage. This immediately sets off alarm bells, warning viewers that Mission: Galaxy is going to have quite the collection of lazy storytelling tropes. The scene itself is too short and too sudden to warrant any attachment to the main characters; it doesn’t even serve its own purpose. Unlike the beautiful visuals, the protagonists are very flat and one dimensional. There are even contradictory plot directions for some of them – especially when it comes to Axel and the doctor’s arc.
The graphics are breathtaking, specifically the landscape’s vibrant colours and atmospheric tones. As an eco-fiction, it does well to showcase the best that nature has to offer. The score also contributes to this majestic wonder. However, the animation itself – especially in the action sequences and when focusing on the characters rather than the backdrops – are sometimes a little choppy. The lip movements are a little off base, not helped by some awkward line delivery.
Similarly, the ending itself does not play out too smoothly either. There are many loose ends and plot threads that are forgotten about after just a few scenes. This is disappointing because, with more time and space to explore some of these storylines further, they may have had the potential to elevate the entire piece and give it more depth and substance.
Mission: Galaxy is released digitally on demand on 9th August 2021.
Watch the trailer for Mission: Galaxy here: