“Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within” wanted to change the way movies were made, challenge our ideas of what a movie star could be and radically push forward the possibilities of animation.
Hironobu Sakaguchi and Motonori Sakakibara’s sci animated epic did none of those things, but it damn sure tried. This was the first CGI animated film in which the leads are photo-realistic humans.
The film’s outsized ambitions aren’t just admirable but rather astonishing; had this been the hit many expected, it could have resulted in the biggest reshaping of the movie business model and approach to popular filmmaking since “Star Wars.”
As is, “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within” is a noteworthy flop, an under-looked video game adaptation and a curiosity item worthy of our respect, because it dreamed so big.
When we meet Dr. Aki Ross (Ming-Na Wen), she’s dreaming of…