Planet 51 (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
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•MPAA Rating: PG
•Runtime: 91 minutes
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Top Customer Reviews
When Chuck the astronaut [Dwayne Johnson] lands on a distant planet filled with little green people, he is surprised to discover that we are not alone in the galaxy. But he gets the shock of his life when the residents of Planet 51 mistakenly believe that his presence is the start of an alien invasion of the human kind! Luckily, Lem [Justin Long] quickly realizes that Chuck is friendly and makes it his personal mission to help him return safely to his ship ' with the help of Chuck's trusty pal, Rover!
FILM FACT: Awards and Nominations: Artios Award: Nominated: Outstanding Achievement in Casting for an Animation Feature for Ruth Lambert and Robert McGee. Cinema Writers Circle Awards: Won: Best New Artist for Jorge Blanco. European Film Awards: Nominated: Best Animated Feature Film for Jorge Blanco, Javier Abad and Marcos Martínez. Goya Awards: Won: Best Animated Film. Nominated: Best Original Song for Tom Cawte for the song "Stick It to the Man."
Voice Cast: Jessica Biel, John Cleese, Gary Oldman, Dwayne Johnson, Justin Long, Seann William Scott, Freddie Benedict, Alan Marriott, Mathew Horne, James Corden, Lewis Macleod, Rupert Degas, Rebecca Front, Vincent Marzello, Emma Tate , Pete Atkin, Laurence Bouvard and Brian Bowles
Directors: Javier Abad, Jorge Blanco (co-director) and Marcos Martinez (co-director)
Producers: Albert Martinez Martin, Albie Hecht, Guy Collins, Ignacio Pérez Dolset, Javier Pérez Dolset, José A.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The obvious send-up of 1950s American culture is fun, and so is the shoe-on-the-other-foot twist of the human being viewed as the fearful alien menace, but if that's all a viewer takes away, he or she is missing a lot. There was plenty of unexpected satire that had me laughing out loud through much of the film. There is also a profound message that centering one's society around perpetual fear can cause more harm to a culture's core values than the thing being feared; however, the message very carefully doesn't get in the way of the humanity (alienity?) of the story.
The music was well done and really enhanced the fun. Visually, I loved the film. Character design wasn't anything particularly special, but the look of the planet itself was gorgeous. This is a cartoon, after all, not an overblown CGI extravanganza like Avatar, so you shouldn't expect photorealistic rendering of every tiny detail. The beauty of this kind of artwork is in the imaginative forms and colors, the simplicity of shapes and lines that enhance the story, not overwhelm it.
Actually, having brought the subject up, I suppose many comparisons and contrasts could be drawn that make Planet 51 a kind of Anti-Avatar. Here, the humans are neither conquering villains, nor paternalistic hero figures. People--er, beings--from both sides have to do their part on Planet 51 to bridge the misunderstanding of cultures and enable goodwill to prevail. That may not be the kind of dramatic plot it takes to engage some viewers' attention these days, yet it's exactly the sort of solid but gentle storytelling one should expect from the offspring of George Harrison's Handmade Films.
Plus, so far as I can tell, no one has yet suffered depression after viewing Planet 51. :)
I saw some complaints about the 'simplicity' of the graphics, it's true they are not in the league of 'Shrek' or 'Bolt' but they do just fine in the context of the movie. Overall I will not claim this is a ground breaking movie in any way, but I enjoyed it more than 'Monsters vs. Aliens' which covers a somewhat similar teritorry and which we saw earlier this year.
I think this movie is really underappreciated. It didn't have the most spectacular graphics ever, and the love story was admittedly predictable, but the altered perspective - humans as aliens! - was compelling, and the cultural references made for non-stop amusement. The adorable Rover alone would be enough reason to watch it again.
The story itself is a kind of twist - instead of human being invaded by aliens (as was so typical of 50s sci-fi flicks), here we have an alien culture who are terrified of a human astronaut who inadvertently lands on their planet. The entire planet is populated by a race of green creatures with antennaes, and they all embrace the music of the 50s, read 50s comics, and generally live out the era. Chuck the astronaut's (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) arrival is greeted with horror as these green guys have come to perceive those not of their planet as humanoids, and it falls upon hapless teenager Lem (Justin Long), his best friend Skiff (Seann William Scott) and the girl of Lem's dreams, Neera (Jessica Biel) to 'rescue' Chuck. The baddies here are played by General Grawl (Gary Oldman) and mad scientist Kipple (a hammy John Cleese). When the story lags, it uses Chuck's cute robot dog Rover for gags. The movie references lots of classic movies such as Star Wars, Singing in the Rain, E.T., etc. which though hardly original makes it fun and entertaining.