Planet 51

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(2009) ★★★

E4: Saturday 10 October, 1pm

When astronaut Chuck Baker (voiced by Dwayne Johnson) lands on Planet 51 – 20 billion miles from Earth – the last thing he expects to find is little green aliens living in a time-warp picket-fence town right out of 50s America. Which lives in fear of an invasion by humaniacs like Chuck. Schoolboy Lem (Justin Long) reluctantly helps the knucklehead Chuck get back to his heavily guarded spaceship.

Whileit’s not as consistently funny as Monsters vs Aliens, the cleverly designed Anglo-Spanish animation Planet 51 has plenty of incidental pleasures in a sci-fi friendly script that’s lightly mocking of comic book lore and Cold War paranoia. The duck-and-cover instruction in the school classroom is terrific, the teacher calmly telling the terrified children to try it one more time before screeching hysterically: “The aliens are coming!” With a script by Joe Stillman (who wrote the first two Shreks) this is not just more fun than Dwayne Johnson’s Faster. It’s smarter, too.

Certificate: U

Duration: 91min

IMDB – Planet 51

TMDB – Planet 51

Rotten Tomatoes – Planet 51