New on DVD: Planet 51

New on DVD: Planet 51

We’ve always considered what would happen if aliens landed on Earth, but what if during our outer space explorations we landed on a planet that was already occupied? Planet 51 ponders this question. American astronaut Chuck Baker (Dwayne Johnson) lands on Planet 51 ready to claim it with the U.S. flag, thinking he’s the first […]


We’ve always considered what would happen if aliens landed on Earth, but what if during our outer space explorations we landed on a planet that was already occupied? Planet 51 ponders this question.

American astronaut Chuck Baker (Dwayne Johnson) lands on Planet 51 ready to claim it with the U.S. flag, thinking he’s the first person to step foot on it. To his surprise, he finds the planet is inhabited by little green people who are happily living in a white picket fence world reminiscent of a cheerful 1950s America. Coincidentally, their only fear is that it will be overrun by alien invaders – like Chuck.

The voice talent involved in breathing life into this fish out of water sci-fi story is notable. Other than being well-known, they all provide the appropriate personality to their character. Johnson, a former WWE Superstar and renowned tough guy, actually raises his voice a little because Chuck is masculine, but cowardly. Justin Long and Sean William Scott were great choices for the geeks, while Gary Oldman portrays the commanding but hard-headed general perfectly. John Cleese is also a great quirky profressor. All the voice contributors do wonderful work.

The ’50s world created is familiar but different as designers put a slight alien twist on various items. The best tribute is the one to ’50s sci-fi pictures, which is a creature feature about a giant alien trying to suck out people’s brains; it’s called “Humaniacs.” Then like Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds, panic rises when word spreads that the “alien” has landed.

This is a cartoon that can be enjoyed by adults and children, consisting of humour for the young and older.

Special features include: “Run Rover Runt” obstacle course game; three extended scenes; “The World of Planet 51”; “Life on Planet 51”; “Planetarium – The Voice Stars of Planet 51”; a music video montage, animation progression reels; and interviews with the Quebec actors (in French only).