PLANET 51  [Blu-ray] [UK Release] From the Writer of Shrek and Shrek 2! Right Stuff . . . Wrong Planet! Something Strange is coming to their Planet . . . US!
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. Rodríguez Díaz, Juan Antonio Pérez Ramírez, Mercedes Gamero, Mercedes Rey, Michael Ryan, Patrick Meehan, Peter D. Graves, Ricardo García Arrojo, Stephen Margolis, Thomas D. Adelman
Screenplay: Ignacio Pérez Dolset, Javier Abad, Jorge Blanco and Marcos Martínez
Composer: James Seymour Brett
Video Resolution: 1080p
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH
Running Time: 105 minutes
Region: Region B/2
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Entertainment in Video
Andrew's Blu-ray Review: Awash in sci-fi films genre and 1950's pop-culture references, 'PLANET 51' is an animation film that I would have to say was grossly under-appreciated during its cinema run. Once I popped the Blu-ray Disc in my player, I found myself under the spell of 'PLANET 51,' which I turned out to be beautifully animated and really quite funny. The plot of 'PLANET 51' is a pastiche of paranoid 1950's science fiction movie clichés, all of which are given a wide-eyed, but knowing spin, that have been designed to tickle fans of this particular genre. The said premise places the story of 'PLANET 51' on a planet that populated by little green men and little green women, whose society resembles that of 1950's America.
In the midst of this alien suburbia is Lem (voiced by Justin Long), a teenaged alien who has gotten a job at the local planetarium museum and has a crush on Neera (voiced by Jessica Biel), the girl next door. Lem finds his typical teen existence complicated by an alien spacecraft touching down in his backyard during a barbecue. From out of the alien spacecraft emerges NASA Astronaut Charles 'Chuck' Baker (voiced by Dwayne Johnson), who is shocked to discover this supposedly uninhabited world to be much inhabited. Of course, paranoia about an alien invasion immediately besets the community, with our NASA astronaut on the run from a typically gung hoe military. While dodging the army and trying to get back to his spacecraft, Chuck manages to convince Lem that he means the people of his planet no harm. However, General Grawl (voiced by Gary Oldman) is convinced the alien intends to transform the local populace into "zombies" under extra-terrestrial control, so swaying him to Chucks cause is going to be impossible. Making matters even worse for Chuck is Professor Kipple (voiced by John Cleese), the supposed "expert" on all things alien, who is determined to separate the mind-controlling alien from its brain.
There is non-stop action along with some fantasy violence along the way. In one scene, a robot which resembles Wall-E crushes a bug. One character is hit in the head by a spinning telescope which is accidentally bumped. There are a few innuendos but overall this is an entertaining and funny animated film. There is also the theme of helping others out and not judging someone too quickly. The kids at the preview I attended laughed heartily several times and none of them seemed frightened. I recommend this animation film for all ages, but some parents will be more comfortable in allowing more mature children viewing this animation film. Visit 'PLANET 51' today! You will have a great enjoyable time for 105 minutes and you will definitely not be disappointed.
Blu-ray Video Quality ' Entertainment in Video for the UK has made 'PLANET 51' available on Blu-ray Disc with a very pleasing 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation. The 1080p presentation is nothing short of superb, which is exactly how it should be. This CGI animated film has been transferred directly from the digital files, the image on this Blu-ray release is computer-generated perfection. 'Planet 51' has been beautifully textured and every bit of fine detail is readily apparent, in addition to the image delivering marvellous levels of sharpness, clarity and dimensionality. Colours are fully saturated, yet completely stable. Blacks are pitch perfect, while the whites demonstrate the same kind of straight from the computer realm perfection. Additionally, contrast demonstrates the kind of smoothness that can only be created in the digital realm. As I stated above, the presentation comes directly from the digital files, so there is no grain, nor will one find any visual imperfections in the image. Please Note: Playback Region B/2: This will not play on most Blu-ray players sold in North America, Central America, South America, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. Learn more about Blu-ray region specifications.
Blu-ray Audio Quality ' 'PLANET 51' is presented on this Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. Much of 'Planet 51' is dialogue driven, but the dialogue moments are interspersed between mild comic actions and chase sequences. The sound design is effective and fun, with the outlying channels keeping up with the onscreen action very well, even if the track falls just a tad shy of demo quality. Additionally, the track is nicely atmospheric and filled with plenty of little sounds that help complete the film's sonic environments. Thanks to the lossless encode, fidelity is terrific for the musical component, as well as the sound effects. The bass channel packs the entire necessary rumble that the sound effects require. Voices have a warm, natural quality, plus the film's dialogue is always completely understandable.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Special Feature TV Special: Life On Planet 51: Behind-the-Scenes Feature [1080p] [12:00] Covering everything from the voice acting, to the storyboards, to the final animation, this feature is your basic making-of piece that comes standard nowadays. A lot of promotional stuff is thrown in here too.
Special Feature: Planetarium Sizzles: The Voice Stars of Planet 51 [1080p] [3:00] A short piece that features several cast members describing their characters and their place in the plot, with little emphasis on the actual voice work, aside from some behind-the-scenes footage of the actors behind the microphone.
Special Feature: 'PLANET 51' Music Video Montage [1080p] [2:00] Contains clips from the animation film playing against rock tunes from the soundtrack. What I don't understand is the choice to feature music from The Killers and Blink 182.
Special Feature: Extended Scenes [1080p] [3:00] This feature takes us on an un-narrated tour of ' PLANET 51's numerous CGI sets.
Special Feature: Animation Progression Reels [1080p] [16:00] This is the only feature even remotely worth watching in this whole lot. It showcases six scenes from the film in four stages of progression, each placed in a box across all four corners of the screen. Highlighted scenes include 'Chuck's Landing' [2:23]; 'Chuck on the Run' [1:12]; 'The Chase' [3:05]; 'Gas Station' [2:49]; 'General's Orders' [2:20]; and 'Showdown With the General' [4:35].
Special Feature: Short Cut: Origins of Planet 51 [1080p] [12:04] This is a fairly basic making-of piece that features cast and crew speaking on the story and moving on to look at the process of lending voiceover work to the film, the quality of the voice actors, the design of the alien world, and the computer effects used in the process.
Special Feature: The World of Planet 51 [1080p] [2:54] This simply is a compilation piece that showcases some of the locales found throughout the film.
Special Feature: Exclusive to Blu-ray "Target 51" Game with optional iPhone controller App download from iTunes! [1080p] This is for users to play a game through two different modes: Galaxy and Survival. Galaxy mode challenges players to shoot incoming spacecraft from a first-person perspective in level one, dodge objects in a third-person mode in level two, and blast asteroids in level three, the final level a nothing more than a rip-off of Asteroids. Survival Mode is simply level three of Galaxy Mode.
Sneak Previews: 'Space Chips' and 'Valiant'
Finally, 'PLANET 51' offers a funny spin on the fifties sci-fi films genre, as well as being a beautifully animated CGI film. The animation film looks as good as anything put out by PIXAR, even with the filmmakers' ability to get away with practically texture less alien creatures. Most of the best material will find favour only with adults, but children should still get a kick out of the animation film's generic but whacky characters, bright visuals, and innocently fun tone. Entertainment in Video UK Blu-ray release of 'Planet 51' is solid. Science Fiction fans owe it to themselves to check the animation film out, and no doubt the children will beg their parents to add it to the Blu-ray library. But what I cannot understand is that why people haven't pointed out that this animation film is very similar to the 3D Blu-ray of 'Escape From Planet Earth' animation film. To sum up the Blu-ray is totally gorgeous, and the best way to view 'PLANET 51' at home via your Home Cinema set-up. Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller ' Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom