First Look At Quantum Quest – a 3D Animated Aventure Featuring Pine, Shatner & more Trek stars

Did you know there is a movie coming out that features both Kirks, Chris Pine and William Shatner…plus Brent Spiner, Robert Picardo, Mark Hamill and other vets of Star Trek and sci-fi? It is the 3-D animated film Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey which is has a panel at Comic-Con Thursday. Writer-producer Harry Kloor gave TrekMovie a preview, including exclusive first look at images.  

Take a trip through the solar system w/ the voices of Trek & Sci-Fi
Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey is a 3-D sci-fi animated film that will be shown in IMAX theaters in 2010, primarily in museums and science centers. The film is written and directed by Dr. Harry Kloor, scientist with PhD’s in both Physics and Chemistry, who when he is not teaching at NASA Ames has been also worked in Hollywood for the last couple of decades, including selling some stories to Star Trek Voyager.  The project started at NASA and JPL as an idea for a video to educate the public about the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and Titan, but Kloor tells TrekMovie it "quickly expanded way beyond that." The project moved out of NASA to become a privately funded feature film, but NASA is still involved providing expertise. Kloor says that this makes
Quantum Quest a "science-fiction action-adventure film that also integrates real science discoveries and real science thoughts and ideas." The goal of the film is to create a film with real science education, but works as a form of entertainment that appeals to a wide audience, especially kids, teenagers and young adults. "I am trying to make photons and neutrinos as exciting as dinosaurs" says Kloor.

The film is made entirely using CGI, but all the space imagery is based on real imagery from NASA, especially from the Cassini mission. In fact the Cassini spacecraft is a character in the film. Although the project has been in development for a decade, production on the art started in earnest in the last couple of years, to make use of the latest real imagery from NASA.

Cassini in "Quantum Quest"

Although there is real science, the story of Quantum Quest is told through a number of fantastical characters. The hero of the film is a photon named Dave (voiced by Chris Pine). He is on a quest that takes you through solar system, from the Sun, to Mercury, to Venus, to Mars, to Saturn and its moons, finishing at Titan.

Dave the photon in "Quantum Quest"

The backdrop of the story of Quantum Quest is a conflict between "The Core" (William Shatner), who represents all the stars, and life and knowledge, against a being called "The Void" (Mark Hamill), who existed before the big bang and wants to annihilate all matter and space. The Void sees mankind as its greatest threat since it feels that if man weren’t observing the universe (with all its probes and spacecraft), then the universe wouldn’t exist.

The Core in "Quantum Quest"

The Void (R) with his minions Zero and Fear in "Quantum Quest"

The Void also has a number of concepts to help it in its battle, manifested as characters, including Fear (Sam Jackson), Ignorance (Tom Kenny), Zero (Doug Jones) and Moronic (Jason Alexander). Dave will encounter some of these creatures as he travels the solar system.

Moronic and Ignorance in "Quantum Quest"

The Core has all forms of matter to help it, such as photons, protons, neutrinos, etc, . In addition to Dave the photon (Pine), other characters include Reina the neutrino (Amanda Peet), Jammer the solar-surfing proton (Hayden Christensen), Milton the free quark miner (Robert Picardo) and others. Dave originally wants to just stay in the sun, and play ‘nova ball’ (for ‘Coach Mackey’ voiced by Brent Spiner). But eventually Dave is recruited into the Core’s forces, lead by the Admiral (James Earl Jones). He and Reina leave to travel across the solar system to face the forces of The Void, with the goal of keeping the Void from destroying the Cassini spacecraft (with a computer voiced by Sandra Oh).

Milton in "Quantum Quest"

The Admiral in "Quantum Quest"

Kloor says that he chose sci-fi stars to do the voices because it fits better with the science and science fiction adventure of the movie. He also tells TrekMovie that there are many hidden Easter eggs for Star Trek, Star Wars and sci-fi fans, including what Kloor calls a "passing of the baton" between Shatner’s and Pine’s characters. 

The planned release for Quantum Quest is for February of 2010, playing at large-format theaters (including IMAX), primarily science museums and science centers. It will be shown in both 3-D and 2-D. As the film is part entertainment and part education, there will be class-room materials made available on the official site.

More info and clips will become available on the official site, which will be launching after Comic Con at


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Geek explosion with this movie. 3-D! Trek and Star Wars actors! Shatner as good, Hamill as Evil! This will be fun!

Looks like PS2 graphics.

A “Passing of the baton” huh. What does the Core(Shatner) do, smack Dave the Proton(Pine) upside the head and say “She’s all yours”.

I want to see this! I like that it is based more on science and is educational. I think my 4 year old son will think this is cool too.

Shatner being cast as “The Universe”. That is perfect for a man with his talent and gigantic ego! The Big Giant Head lives!

this looks awfull !

I can’t wait. This looks terrific!

I’m looking for a word that sort of means corny, only a thousand times stronger….

@8: So Bad, It’s Good?

It is an edutainment film for kids, keep that in mind. You were expecting maybe Othello?

We’re the peripheral fanbase at best, due to the geekalicious cast. :D

This film/movie looks promising, if it does a good job at education kids on Quantum Mechanics (I do not mean at the Physics level but at least name level) it may be able to have our 5 to 10 year old’s know more than the high school students.

We need to start moving child’s minds from the Medical Gentics frame of view to the sub-atomic level if humanity is ever going to get out of this solar system at a pace faster than a snail.

I predicted that the next step in technology after we get over our fixation on Human Genetics will be sub-atomics and it’s by-product Nano-technology.

If they make a second movie call it Nano and feature it around nano-atomics and sub-atomics. This could one day lead into inspiring a young Zeffrem Cockren like mind into inventing Warp Drive.

And for #8 how about pre-geekish.

I’m a 3D geek so I’ll definitely be checking this out. Yes it has the potential to be somewhat corny but that’s part and parcel for these edutainment features for the museum Imax circuit. It looks no worse in that regard than other Imax exclusive features I’ve seen. Some of the CG does look a little suspect, but I’d hardly call it PS2 quality – hopefully those are placeholders and there will be several more rendering passes for the finished product.

sounds totally awesome got to see it

Looks like true TREK v WARS at last.
I am truly geeked out by this meeting of the casts of both of favorite things in the universe..and Pine and Shat work together at last , at least verbally … Shat as the the prime core ..will Pine play the new core in the Cassini reboot down the road?

@9: It’s not just for kids. They are aiming for a wide audience including young adults. So it sounds like an oblivious attempt to reach kids and young adults with a scientific message, but who are more sophisticated than the cornball characters who will be speaking to them. Kids who are growing up on entertainment which has top notch animation and adult humor, like Pixar movies and Invader Zim, which has terrific niche animation and is quite funny.

You don’t make new fans by appealing to people in a ham fisted way that only geeks will appreciate. That’s the problem with purveying “geek” ideas in a geeky way.

Totally Excited about this!