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by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 91 minutes, virtual interview with Kaena, Making of featurette, and previews

STUDIO: Columbia/Destination Films

KAENA- THE PROPHECY is a strangely fantastic film with a majestic film score (on the level of quality of LORD OF THE RINGS). KAENA took seven years to make. The movie exists in a highly imaginative world done in CGI.

KAENA- THE PROPHECY is the story of a teenage girl that believes that there is something beyond the world of the Axis. Kaena's village has been harvesting sap from the Axis to appease false gods that want to destroy a blue orb. Kaena's people blindly follow a priest that could be the death of everyone. Add to that, fragments of a starship from 600 years ago are spread out along the Axis. Kaena takes a journey to find out the secret of the Axis.

KAENA features the voices of Kirsten Dunst (as the voice of Kaena), the late Richard Harris (who gets a nod in the end credits), and Anjelica Huston. The voices help sell the characters in a story about one girl's quest as she just relies on faith (with nothing to prove that's she is right) as she ultimately may find her destiny.

VIDEO/AUDIO: The movie is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreeen. KAENA has been mastered in High Definition. The colors are nice and bright, the darks are good, and no artifacts. The movie is presented in English 5.1 Dolby Digital. There are no optional language tracks like a French track. You do have the option of English subtitles if you don't like the close captioning.

SPECIAL FEATURES: First up is a 3 1/2 minute Virtual Interview with Kaena that is presented in French with English subtitles. Next up is a 14 minute Making of Kaena Featurette (in French with English subtitles, but the movie clips are in English). The making of featurette has interviews with the director and animators of the movie. KAENA was done using Video Game software and you get to glimpse some of the various animation stages some of the scenes went through from simple animation to final CGI in the movie (and some of the storyboards whether someone is drawing them or looking at them). KAENA started in 1995 with a few animators with an idea of turning it into a video game and TV special that quickly morphed into a movie. The movie grew to use 50 animators (with 100 at peak times of the production).

Finally there are some previews for various anime releases like METROPOLIS, MEMORIES, CYBORG 009, TOKYO GODFATHERS, and STEAMBOY. Also included are previews for KAENA THE PROPHECY, the EVERQUEST II video game, and an interesting one minute trailer for the upcoming MIRRORMASK.

FINAL ANALYSIS: KAENA- THE PROPHECY is an amazing CGI movie that surprises me with it's detail and imagination. Rent it or buy it when it comes out on September 7, 2004 on DVD.

this review is (c)8-23-2004 David Blackwell. this review cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com

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