Movie Review: Planet 51

Movie Review: Planet 51

Planet 51

International 1-Sheet

PG for mild sci-fi action and some suggestive humor.
Running Time: 1 hour 31 minutes

American astronaut Captain Charles “Chuck” Baker, lands on Planet 51 thinking he’s the first person to step foot on it. But, to his surprise, he finds the planet is inhabited by little green people who are happily living in a white picket fence world reminiscent of a cheerfully innocent 1950’s America. Adding to the twist of events, the only thing these little green men fear is that their world will be overrun by alien invaders…like Chuck!

With the help of his robot companion Rover and his new friend Lem, Chuck must navigate his way through the dazzling, but bewildering, landscape of Planet 51 in order to escape becoming a permanent part of the Planet 51 Alien Invaders Space Museum.

A Creatively Funny Movie

You just never know what PG animated movies aimed at kids will contain in the area of humor. I’ve written about it many times. All too often scriptwriters put out an animated movie with a PG rating full of potty humor. The intent is to pull in the young audience, while maintaining the attention of their adult parents at the same time.

The problem with such antics – They never works!

I’m happy to report such is not the case with Planet 51. While the PG rating is appropriate, I applaud the scriptwriters for not stooping to potty humor. The humor found in this movie is creative, original and funny! Not only is this a funny movie for kids, but it’s a funny movie for adults too. Kids will love the animation and the little green men. While adults will love the many connections to the 1950’s, War of the Worlds, Martin Invasion and yes, even Witch Mountain. Of course with Dwayne Johnson playing the part of Chuck, the whole Witch Mountain connection is even more humorous.

Planet 51 has all the right components, or maybe I should say the “Right Stuff,” to make for a great family-friendly entertaining movie.

Good humor is hard to pull off because you have to work at it. Joe Stillman, the writer of this movie, does indeed work hard at the humor contained in this movie. He’s creative and the end result is a movie full of some great laugh moments. I have to admit, I did “laugh out loud” at times throughout this movie. After seeing so many movies, something has to be really funny to make me laugh out loud. So to have Planet 51 make me do just that, it’s saying a lot for the scriptwriting.

Secondly, the cast of Planet 51 is wonderful and well balanced. Sometimes animated movies with big name actors and actresses lending their voice talent turn into nothing more than a one-up-man-ship fiasco. But, no one seems to be jockeying for position in this flick. They all work together well. Dwayne Johnson plays a great astronaut, while Jessica Biel, John Cleese and Gary Oldman add a flare to their characters as well.

framebyframe_planet_51_characters

Then there’s Rover! He’s just great.

The Genius of Planet 51

The genius of this movie comes in the form of the planet-plot-twist. We’re used to seeing movies about aliens invading earth. What would it be like if little green men showed up on earth? Are they really here to eat our brains? Are they really here to take over the planet? Should we be afraid of aliens?

The opening scene of Planet 51 sets the stage for a complete flip of that whole scenario.

Instead of seeing aliens invading earth, we have a collection of green people watching a movie about “Humaniacs” invading their world! Some in the audience are even dressed as their favorite “alien”! This really sets the stage for the upside down look of life on another planet. As a result, it turns into a movie about aliens, with a different twist.

All in all, Planet 51 is simply a fun family-friendly movie. It’s also the perfect length for such a movie clocking in at approximately an hour and a half. Keep in mind it is rated PG. This is not a G movie, so it might not be appropriate for the really young. But, Planet 51 is certainly a fun outing for parents and kids over the age of 8. As an added bonus, there are also some great lessons tossed in along the way about standing up for what’s right, and not jumping to conclusions.

Enjoy the show!
Dr. Rus

About the Author

Dr. Rus has 30+ years experience in the field of communication. He takes this experience, and his passion to encourage others to positively effect their environment, when providing insight and movie reviews.