Planetary Traveler [1997]

Genre: Animation, Short
The makers of Planetary Traveler return with another wordless voyage through computer-generated worlds. Infinity's Child, however, leaves behind the recognizable if digitally realized landscapes from that first effort; this time, the images border upon the abstract. A brief voice-over at the opening informs us that the Phleig explorers from Planetary Traveler have tracked down one of their spacecraft circling abandoned above a mysterious planet. For the next 40 minutes we hear nothing but an electronic score alternatively droning and bouncing along as images drift by, undergo some transformation, then fade away again. Translucent rocks lazily roll upon a crimson sea; a watery substance ripples with golden light; crystal spires rise up from oceans.These visions can be quite lovely (though some are uselessly busy and crammed with mathematically derived detail--a common problem with this sort of thing), and the film's plotless nature makes it easy to follow the drift of the animator's fancies. Infinity's Child can't match the fresh-eyed wonder of the "Stargate" sequence in 2001, but on its own terms it makes for pleasant viewing. DVD features include access to a demo version of the software used to make the film, for those interested in CGI technologies and techniques. --Bruce Reid

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