(PG for some suggestive humor): It would be easy to dismiss this as a Pixar look-alike with a terribly corny script that's lifted from half a dozen earlier sci-fi flicks (most notably "2001") & features characters that look amazingly like, among other 50s stars, Burt Lancaster. And yet, puzzlingly, the credits list both Ilion Animation Studio (from Spain or some Latin country) & the American Handmade Films, with mostly Spanish actors, animators, designers, etc., listed. Only the voices (from Gary Olman, John Cleese, Dwayne Johnson, Jessica Biel et al) are English & American. To add to the confusion, while American Joe Stillman scripted this pastiche, it has been directed by Spanish Jorge Blanco & co-directed by Javier Abad & Marcos Martinez. Distributed by the American company New Line Cinema.
If "New Moon" is consistently lush, this sci-fi adventure is all the way pure 50s corn - perhaps intentionally so? Not sure.
"Something very strange is coming to Planet 51," says a stentorian voice. The green people who speak perfect English there are soon to be terrified by the landing of a space ship (to the opening chords of "Thus Spake Zarathustra") and a handsome, friendly astronaut steps out amid all natural confusion. Fear of the unknown, opportunism among the greedy, bombastic chases & flaming gunfights - nothing original here, nor is the final moral(You have to accept differences, and you can if you have the Right Stuff).
The visuals are impressively imaginative and the overall concept is just fine; it's the god-awful corny execution that has us rolling our eyes & sighing in disgust. Intentional or not, the international mix just doesn't work. Fortunately, it's over in rapidly paced 91-minutes. Little kids will love it. (Grade: C-)