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Planet 51

A 2009 animated film directed by Jorge Blanco.

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No Life on This Planet

  • Dec 7, 2009
  • by
I was reading a book about and by Japanese animation director, Hayao Miyazaki. One of his many quips that I underlined expressed his sentiment that within the first few minutes of watching most animations you get the feeling that you know everything about it. I've had this feeling when I've encountered most movie trailers, and is usually why most trailers succeed in keeping me away from the movie. This is not what happened with Planet 51.

The trailer and very concept for the film sucked me right in, albeit the movie itself spit me right back out. The idea of humans being the aliens who land on a planet populated by indigenous, uh, aliens, seemed completely novel to me. Since this was not a Disney movie, I naively entertained the idea that the animation might have a bit of subtext on political imperialism. I know, I know. Foolish of me. Needless to say, there's no such politics to be found on Planet 51, with the exception of a hippie rebel alien without a cause, but he's there mostly as a gag piece for parents over the age of 51.

The movie takes off with playful clumsiness where humans and aliens are mutually scared of each other and then within a few seconds, strangely, very trusting. Even more strange is that the aliens speak English. Who knows maybe at one time in their history they also spoke Latin. Weird. Anyway, just as soon as our astronaut lands he has to leave. He will, of course, need the reluctant assistance of one of the aliens to help him get home – before time runs out, and all of that jazz.

The creators of Planet 51 obviously had nostalgic fun doing their research, but one alien-encounter animation that they missed, but shouldn't have, was Iron Giant. This movie would have shown them that an animation can still be fun and playful without completely side-stepping a glaring opportunity at being relevant.

On the bright side, Planet 51 succeeds with a few clever pokes at alien plots and characters from the past. There's even an alien dog from James Cameron's Aliens that urinates acid. Those moments had me smiling our laughing out loud. Unfortunately, the parts of the movie that are supposed to be original, are, as Myazaki mused, tiresome and familiar territory. The playful parodies just weren't enough to keep me in my seat long enough to catch the inevitable happy ending.
No Life on This Planet No Life on This Planet No Life on This Planet

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More Planet 51 reviews
review by . September 08, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Unbelievable Potential but Misses the Mark
   As far as premises go, it’s tough to beat Planet 51’s: Take the cliché alien movies of the 1950s and reverse the formula- instead of a good-hearted alien coming to Earth, send a good-hearted human to an alien world (that just so happens to look just like earth in the 1950s) hence making mankind the alien.      There are many layers of brilliance in this structure and after taking in multiple previews that showed a film that seemed to capitalize …
review by . May 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Planet 51 is probably the the funniest sci-fi animated film I've seen. The animation is great - better in my opinion than the much-vaunted Pixar. The best part of the movie was its sly references and characters of other sci-fi classics. The two "dogs" - the alien dog (based on H.R. Giger's Alien) and the human astronaut's rover - steal the show. However, the rest of the cast works well (and Jessica Biel manages to stay hot even with green skin). Kids will probably enjoy it as an action flick, but …
review by . March 25, 2010
Again Hollywood shows a knack for copying itself in too many ways. In this case, 2009 saw 3 different CGI-animated movies released about humans landing on another planet, and showing how the residents of the other planet react. These were Avatar, Battle for Terra, and Planet 51. This last one was the comedy, and stars a cast of multiple big name actors and actresses such as Jessica Biel and the Rock. The premise is simple enough, a US astronaut lands on a planet inhabited by green, humanoid life …
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Planet 51
is a 2009 animated film directed by Jorge Blanco, written by Joe Stillman and starring Dwayne Johnson, Jessica Biel, Justin Long, Seann William Scott, Gary Oldman, and John Cleese. Produced by Madrid-based Ilion Animation Studios and HandMade Films for $70 million, it was acquired for US distribution by New Line Cinema in November 2007. Planet 51 was released on November 20, 2009, by Sony Pictures Worldwide via TriStar Pictures. It was originally titled Planet One,[1] but re-named Planet 51. With a budget of about $70 million (€49 million), Planet 51 is the most expensive movie produced in Spain.

American astronaut Captain Charles "Chuck" Baker, lands on Planet 51 thinking he's the first person to step foot on it. To his surprise, he finds that this planet is inhabited by little green people who are happily living in a white picket fence world reminiscent of a cheerfully innocent 1950s America, and whose only fear is that it will be overrun by alien invaders--like Chuck! With...&#160;See Full DescriptionGenres:Action/Adventure, Art/Foreign, Comedy, Kids/Family, Science Fiction/Fantasy and Animation Release Date:November 20th, 2009 (wide) MPAA Rating:PG for mild sci-fi action and some suggestive humor. Distributors:Sony Pictures Releasing See Full Details
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Genre: Family
Runtime: 1 hr, 31 min
Studio: Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group
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