When astronaut Chuck Baker lands on Planet 51, he’s shocked to discover it’s inhabited by green locust-like people who live in futuristic homes as envisaged by sci-fi writers of the 1950s. Fearing an invasion of post-Columbus proportions, the locals call on arrogant General Crawl to amass his anti-alien brigade. Only one character, a kid called Lom , is prepared to help Chuck evade capture. ‘Planet 51’ posits notions of colonialism, cultural division and xenophobia to unremarkable effect. It’s also one hell of a magpie movie – that’s to say it comes over as a mix of ideas, characters, designs and scenes that recall ‘Shrek’ (hardly surprising given that the film is penned by ‘Shrek’ writer Joe Stillman), ‘The Cat in the Hat’, ‘Toy Story’, ‘Alien’, ‘Star Wars’ and ‘ET’. This below-par sci-fi animation is no threat to the similarly themed and infinitely superior ‘Battle for Terra’ (released February 12), but there’s enough of a storyline here to keep younger space cadets moderately settled.
Friday December 4 2009
Jorge Blanco, Javier Abad