War of the Worlds: Goliath, a Feature-Length Saturday Morning Cartoon


Teddy Roosevelt is a barroom brawler, and the aliens have developed immunities to germs in War of the Worlds: Goliath, an animated sequel to the H.G. Wells story set in an alternate-history 1914.

It’s the brink of World War I in co-writer and director Joe Pearson’s steampunk-inspired timeline but, as hilariously put by a Russian general, the continent’s would-be belligerents have bigger problems to worry about than what just happened in Sarajevo: “Those fools in Europe would rather prepare to fight each other than the Martians.”

As with many sci-fi tales before it, Goliath posits that the only way to get the world’s armies to stop fighting one another is by giving them a common enemy of the third kind, all the better when Earth has massive, human-piloted robots at its disposal.

This international team is led by an English pilot whose Batman-esque backstory (seeing his parents evaporated by the bad guys as a child) has both traumatized and launched him into righteous, world-saving action.

What follows is like a feature-length Saturday morning cartoon with dashes of violence so graphic you’d swear you’d just stepped into Ralph Bakshi’s Wizards.

Which isn’t to say that Goliath is good so much as compellingly weird on occasion, and certainly not the kind of movie Pixar and its ilk would ever tell — probably for a reason.