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Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001)

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Coming Out at 11 July 2001 in theaters

Animation, Action, Adventure

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within is computer-animated science fiction film directed by Hironobu Sakaguchi, creator of the Final Fantasy franchise. It was the first photorealistic computer-animated feature film and was the most expensive video game-inspired film until the release of Prince of Persia in 2010. It features the voices of Ming-Na Wen, Alec Baldwin, Donald Sutherland, James Woods, Ving Rhames, Peri Gilpin and Steve Buscemi.

The Spirits Within follows scientists Aki Ross and Doctor Sid in their efforts to free a post-apocalyptic Earth from a mysterious and deadly alien race known as the Phantoms, which has driven the remnants of humanity into “barrier cities”. Aki and Sid must fight against General Hein, who wishes to use more violent means to end the conflict.

Square Pictures rendered the film using some of the most advanced processing capabilities available for film animation at the time. A render farm consisting of 960 workstations was tasked with rendering each of the film’s 141,964 frames. It took a staff of 200 about four years to complete The Spirits Within. Square intended to make the character of Aki Ross into the world’s first photorealistic computer-animated actress, with plans for appearances in multiple films in different roles.

The Spirits Within debuted to mixed critical reception, but was widely praised for the realism of the computer-animated characters. Due to rising costs, the film greatly exceeded its original budget towards the end of production, reaching a final cost of $137 million; it grossed only $85 million at the box office. The film has been called a box office bomb and is blamed for the demise of Square Pictures.

Directors: Hironobu Sakaguchi, Motonori Sakakibara

Writers: Hironobu Sakaguchi, Al Reinert, Jeff Vintar, Jack Fletcher, Bruce B.L. Jurgens, Ramin Mebdy

Stars: Ming-Na Wen, Alec Baldwin, Ving Rhames, Steve Buscemi, Peri Gilpin, Donald Sutherland, James Woods

Cast:

Ming-Na WenDoctor Aki Ross (voice)
Alec BaldwinCaptain Gray Edwards (voice)
Ving RhamesRyan (voice)
Steve BuscemiNeil (voice)
Peri GilpinJane (voice)
Donald SutherlandDr. Sid (voice)
James WoodsGeneral Hein (voice)
Keith DavidCouncil Member #1 (voice)
Jean SimmonsCouncil Member #2 (voice)
Matt McKenzieMajor Elliot (voice)
John DeMitaBCR Soldier #1 / Space Station Technician #2 / Additional Voices (voice)
Matt AdlerAdditional Voices (voice)
Steve AltermanAdditional Voices (voice)
David ArnottAdditional Voices (voice)
Cathy CavadiniAdditional Voices (voice)
Lanei ChapmanAdditional Voices (voice)
Vicki DavisAdditional Voices (voice)
Judi M. DurandAdditional Voices (voice)
Greg FinleyAdditional Voices (voice)
Jack FletcherAdditional Voices (voice)
Julia FletcherAdditional Voices (voice)
Barbara HarrisAdditional Voices (voice)
David McCharenAdditional Voices (voice)
Tracy MetroAdditional Voices (voice)
David MichieAdditional Voices (voice)
Richard PennAdditional Voices (voice)
David RandolphAdditional Voices (voice)
Andrea BakerAdditional Voices (voice)
Atsushi GotoNeil Fleming (voice)
Tsutomu IsobeGeneral Douglas Hein (voice)
Jun KarasawaJane Proudfoot (voice)
Kiyoshi KobayashiDr. Sid (voice)
Rikiya KoyamaGray Edwards (voice)
Keiko TodaAki Ross (voice)
Akio ÔtsukaRyan Whittaker (voice)
Eric AtenDeep Eyes (uncredited)
John DiMaggioBFW Soldier #1 (voice)
Alex FernandezSpace Station Technician #3 (voice)
David RasnerSpace Station Technician #1 & 4 (voice)
Dwight SchultzScan Technician (voice)
Annie WuThe Little Girl / The Fifth Spirit (voice)

Sources: imdb & wikipedia

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