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Published on December 1st, 2009 | by simeon

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Planet 51

By Amara

On a planet far from our own, green creatures are experiencing their own version of the 1950’s. Among them is Lem (Justin Long) who has just gotten his first job as an assistant at the local planetarium. When a space ship appears harboring an alien, human astronaut Captain Charles T. Baker (Dwayne Johnson), the fearful locals are not so friendly. It is up to Lem to save the astronaut and help his people learn not to fear the world beyond what they know.

The film is written for both children and adults, like a toned down version of “Shrek” with a more relevant moral feel. Putting the characters in the 1950s adds to the film’s charm, allowing kids access to the blatant characterizations of the time period, such as the bumbling science professor and the hippy protestor who maintains from the start that the alien is friendly.

Other characters of note are Lem’s comic book and movie fanatic best friend, Skiff (Seann William Scott) and the military commander General Grawl (Gary Oldman) who is hell-bent on capturing the alien. Children will also enjoy the two pet creatures from a local alien dog that excretes acid to a rock-obsessed robot sent to pick up local specimens for Baker.

“Planet 51” is wholly entertaining. It provides some mature insight by displaying how we would appear to another culture if we ever did encounter aliens. This switch of perspective is sure to make children think and laugh over the simple cross-cultural mishaps that occur while Lem and Baker are attempting to find common ground.

A delightful, animated romp, “Planet 51” will make you hope for a groovy 1960’s sequel.

4/5


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