20 September 1999 | Alcaminhante
An incredible surprise and a brilliant Space-Opera! A must see.
One of my favorite STAR WARS rip-offs ever is an italian movie called STARCRASH, (see my review), but sometimes i can never choose between it and this amazing animated movie STARCHASER.
Don´t let the animation aspect of the whole thing put you away, because this is a magnificent Space-Opera. Twenty minutes after the beginning of STARCHASER, i already had forgotten that i was watching an animated feature.
True, the initial images are very disappointing, i swear i thought this was going to be one of those saturday morning cartoon shows for kids. But then something in this story started to grab me. First i noticed that the way that the story was being developed, didn´t exactly followed that cartoon for kids formula. Then a few minutes later an unexpected death of one of the characters ocurred and in a very crude way. From then on, i knew that this was watching something very different.
Then the battle sequences with the spaceship fighters appeared and i was totaly blowned away, by the animation, and by the direction. There are some fantastic flying action sequences in this movie, and they are planned and "filmed" in a incredible way. Every time i watch this even know i feel like i want to cheer for the characters who are flying the ships.
The animation of the spaceships is amazingly smooth, in fact they were done using computer graphics, but we only notice it because of the quality of the sequences, because there is trditional drawing covering the wireframes. In fact, although this is a very old movie, it still is one of the best integrations between traditional and computer animation i ever saw.
Then there is another good thing in the animation. Although technically very rough, we can see there was an effort to capture very human and elaborated gestures and motion, and the best thing is that it works very well indeed.
In the story aspect, obviously we find in STARCHASER a young hero, a rogue mercenary, a space princess, a cyborg villain, a pair of robots and all the Star Wars clichés you can think off. This might have been a terrible thing, but in this case all the stolen bits and pieces are perfectly blended resulting in a very good and interesting story, and in many ways much more imaginative than the classical formula followed by George Lucas. Anyway George got everything from the E.E.DOC.SMITH books from the 30´s, to "create" his saga, so it would be unffair now to call STARCHASER a STAR WARS rip-off for doing exactly the same. The characters are great specialy the two robots who have great dialogue, the action sequences are perfect and are a thrill to watch, specialy the flying scenes with the spaceships, the story is very,very good and imaginative altough it steals from everywhere, even from BLADE RUNNER, the animation is good and the soundtrack is perfect and stays in our mind forever. Maybe the only downside in this movie are the backgrounds wich altough very detailed, are always a bit blurred. But who cares !
This is a magnificent movie. And one of the best sci-fi of the 80´s. Don´t be discouraged by the animation aspect, because this is not a kids movie. Any person who likes si-fi has to like this for sure. Brilliant, brilliant and forgotten movie.
If you can find it. Don´t miss it!