Oct 22, 2012

Planet 51, 2009

Planet 51, 2009
Director: Jorge Blanco, Javier Abad
Cast (voices): Jessica Biel, Sean William Scott, Dwayne Johnson

Stage: Home TV selection, nice Sunday afternoon

Planet in short: Lem is just an average teenager working on getting the girl and furthering his career at the local planetarium - except that he's an alien. At least to U.S. astronaut Captain Charles T. Baker who lands on Lem's planet hoping for a quick flag plant and a hasty return to earth and his millions of screaming fans. But on this alien planet the media has tagged spacemen as brain-eating, zombie-creating monsters, causing Baker to run for his life and into Lem's house. Now it's up to the green native to get the clumsy astronaut back to his spaceship before military dictator General Grawl and mad scientist Professor Kipple manage to exterminate the Earthly visitor. 

Preps: I have seen this piece as it was released. I am quite surprised to see it so soon on our screens. But it's a good story and I don't have anything more important to do. Hence..

Reality: The story is quite charming and could easily be taken from different movies we have already seen. Yet, this one is animated hence special. Lem is yet another scientist that wants to be famous and do something for the cause (remember dr. Levinsky in Honey I shrunk the kids or maybe Eddie Murphy in The nutty professor). This is a story about small person making a big shot into the stars. It is always amazing to review the traumas one has that prevent him the shot for the stars. In this case, Lem is uncertain of his actions, doesn't want to take a chance and risk anything. He is in love, yet, he is as slick as an elephant in a crystal store.

In some sense, Lem represents every single one of us. Each one has a trauma or two and doesn't dare to do this or that. You can relate to him and all his mistakes. The mischarming proposals he does for the girl he is attracted to. The clumsiness in everything he does in life.
The arrival of the "athlete" astronaut makes a complete change in his life. It is not a coincidence that a hero like this needs a push. He gets it in the shape of Charles Baker, who wants also to make a career. The only difference between the both guys here is that the astronaut already brought fame and career. The issue he has that noone is aware he is supposed to be treated as hero. In some sense he is grounded to Lem's level.
Though he doesn't want to, in the end he commits the friendship to Lem and helps him rise and fight. To get to the other level.
In some sense he also gets better acknowledged and acquires some emotional skills by the way.

Animated movies are supposed to be lighter than usual depressive drama featured ones. In some sense, we can always see them through a child's eye. On the other hand, more and more cartoons /animated movies feature a powerful story, which can easily make you cry or identify yourself with. Hence, they help us turn a mirror image towards ourselves, see a different perspective and grow. With a powerful cast and some experiments with functionalities of animated movie, these have a huge advantage compared to ordinary ones. In the end.. we believe what we see on screen. Because it's animated.
Huge bow to dialogues and storyline.

My personal rating: 7,0 (excellent example of how one gets to be a hero even if he was a genuine loser before he got this push).

Planet 51 on IMDB

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