Steven Spielberg is an executive producer of the new DreamWorks animated six-part miniseries Invasion America (WB, Tuesdays, 9-10 p.m.), and the show has a certain Close Encounters of the Third Kind millenarianism to it. The cartoon centers on David Carter, a 17-year-old who has just learned that his long-absent father is from the planet Tyrus, which has planned nothing less than ”the subjugation of Earth.” But David’s father has been a leader of the rebellion against this plan, and David soon finds himself drawn into a battle to prevent the invasion from taking place.
Like boy heroes harking back to Huck Finn, David wrestles with questions of responsibility, doubt, loneliness, and impatience. Filching additional bits of plot and atmosphere from the Star Wars movies, Superman comics, and The X-Files, as well as deploying villainous creatures called the Manglers whose long thin teeth make them look like Alien spawn, Invasion is derivative but lively — a conspiracy cartoon for young and old alike — with vivid, fluid animation courtesy of art director Kuni Tomita. With voices provided by the recognizable vocal cords of actors such as Leonard Nimoy, Robert Urich, Kristy McNichol, James B. Sikking, and Nora Dunn, Invasion is at least as involving as any of the current variations on Star Trek, and handsomer to look at than all of them. B+