Spanish/UK/American animated film (2009). Ilion Animation Studios (Madrid) and HandMade Films. Directed by Jorge Blanco, Javier Abad and Marcos Martinez. Written by Joe Stillman, based on an original idea by Abad, Blanco, Martinez and Ignacio Perez Dolset. Cast includes Dwayne Johnson, Justin Long and Seann William Scott. 86 minutes. Colour.
A Spanish homage to Fifties America with an inverted Invasion in which humans are the Aliens: the Bug-Eyed Monsters of Planet 51 live idyllic lives behind their picket fences until the arrival of a US astronaut plunges them into fear and Paranoia. It is hard to know what the film's target audience of children will have made of this B-movie nostalgia. Similarly, the welter of references is likely to baffle them: a protagonist named after Stanisław Lem; jokes about base nine; a naughty alien "puppy" that is a dead ringer for the eponymous xenomorph from Alien (1979); and, of course, Area 51. For adults who will appreciate these nods and winks, there is no corresponding sophistication to the story itself. [ML]
see also: Cinema; Children's SF.
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