Iffy for 7+
Predictable alien adventure is violent and forgettable.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Escape from Planet Earth is an animated alien adventure that features more violence, consumerism, and even references to romance than other similar films aimed at kids. There are some deaths in the movie: A father is killed when a spaceship lands on him, a man plummets to his doom from the air, and a freed alien is eaten by a much larger, scary-looking alien. A general is sadistic and likes to torture/exploit aliens. Unlike many other animated movies, this one doesn't shy away from sexuality, either: Alien couples kiss several times, a female admires her boyfriend's body, several characters comment on a "nerdy" character's beautiful wife, and online dating is even referenced. Lastly, families sensitive to consumerism should know that there are parts of the movie that seem practically like a commercial for 7-Eleven.
- Families can talk about the popularity of alien movies. Why is it so compelling to depict extra-terrestrials and their relationship to humans? How are the humans in Escape from Planet Earth represented? What about the aliens?
- Except for their features, the Baab-based aliens are pretty much just like humans in the way they live and even the names of their organizations and consumer products. Is it necessary for friendly aliens to resemble humans this way?
- Do you think the content in this movie matches with the intended target audience? Why or why not?
- What purpose do all of the references to brands -- particularly to 7-Eleven -- serve? Do they add anything to the story?
The good stuff
Educational value: The movie is intended to entertain, not educate.
Messages: The story does have some positive messages about the importance of family, what it means to display courage under fire, and why it's necessary to do everything possible to stop the rise of tyranny. On the other hand, stay-at-home moms and engineers/scientists are insulted repeatedly, even if they eventually save the day. And it might confuse really young kids to see the U.S. military depicted as containing not just a vengeful general but also a host of soldiers willing to follow his orders.
Role models: Gary and Kira are loving parents and make decisions to help save their loved ones. Despite his narcissism, Scorch really is quite brave and adores his nephew, admires his brother, and loves his girlfriend. On the flipside, the general is sadistic.
What to watch for
Violence and scariness: A father is squashed to death by an alien spaceship that crash lands. The general sadistically electrocutes imprisoned aliens and freezes them when they don't comply. A giant alien eats another alien. A young alien mother and her child are tied up and held against their will. A man plummets to his death. A friendly alien nonetheless has anger-management issues. There are dart guns and laser guns and both human/alien weapons. The general plans to use an alien energy source to destroy planets.
Sexy stuff: At least four kisses, three references to online dating and flirting, continuous jokes about how a "nerd" was able to "score" or "hook up" or "land" such an attractive wife, and one off-putting moment when a female alien stares longingly at her boyfriend and says "looking good."
Language: Several insults and put-downs to mission control engineers and "nerds" in general, as well as stay-at-home moms. Although the alien mother proves she still has all the same skills she had as when she worked full time, there are still three separate derogatory references to her having given up her career as a BASA supervisor. Words like "idiot," "stupid," "chick," "loser," "Little Miss Housewife," etc.
Consumerism: This movie at times seems like 7-Eleven commercial. At first it's funny when the aliens land in front of a 7-Eleven, but then there are several references to the store and scenes shot inside it when the Slurpee is described as "the most delicious frozen drink in the universe." Most of the movie's 7-Eleven's inventory is generic, but there are at least four shots that show Pop Chips on the shelves. Apple, Google, Facebook, and Pixar (and their CEOs) are all mentioned and shown in photos. The alien nation has a network called BNN, a space agency called BASA, cereal called Scorchios, etc.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue
Fan Reviews provided by
Entertaining FAMILY movie by Silly-Mommie
Reviewers who don't have children or who had chidren 50 years ago have no business writing a review for a movie made for kids. This movie was entertaining for both my children and for my husband and I . We are both college educated and we got all the references inserted for adults and laughed A LOT throughout the movie. Our kids (ages 5 & 7) really liked it. The animation was good, the story line was cute, there was some suspense and of course there was a happy ending...everything a child likes in a movie. Yes, the story was a little predictable but this movie wasn't created for cynical teenagers, young adults or older adults....it was made for KIDS!!!! This is a great entertaining family and I recommend it for families with kids 4-12.
Great fun of a movie by nobleln
Took my girls to go see it, 7 and 11, and they both enjoyed it immensly. Had no idea Shatner was the evil guy, but loved watching this movie for our daddy daughter date. Would watch it again, even purchase to watch all over again other times.
ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH by patvespia
BROUGHT THE GRANDKIDS AGES 8, 6 AND 4. THOUGHT THE 4 YEAR OLD WOULD BE A PROBLEM. THEY WERE TOTALLY FIXED ON THE SHOW. THEY ALL LOVED IT IMMENSLY ACTUALLY SO DID GRANDMA. IT WAS WELL DONE , CLEAN , FUNNY AND VERY ENTERTAINING.
A MUST SEE
A very good movie for children by Thor253
DreamWorks is creating a very tough competition for Disney with fresh ideas and stories. This is a must see movie if you have kids and if you are a kid at heart. Don't delay it anymore and go!
Wonderful film! by snh2498
My son is 5 and he loved this movie. It has funny jokes that the parents will find entertaining and the pace is fast enough to keep even the most adventurous child entertained. Definitely recommend!
Good inoffensive kids movie by jo_ordinary
This movie was great for an afternoon of distraction. My 9 year old rated it a 9/10 and said she thought it was really funny, my 4 year old rated it a 7/10. It has enough adult humor to make it watchable without wanting the poke your eyes out. All in all, not bad!
A nice and funny movie for kids and parents by drtodd98
Some of the critics suggest the movie appeals to kids and that's it. While my kid did love it (3 and 1/2), my wife and I also thought the movie was enjoyable. There were plenty of references to UFO lore and sci-fi movies, the story maintained a nice pace without too much violence, and the voice talents were strong.
Good afternoon distraction by Butcherzwife
It wasn't the best movie but it served its purpose of getting the kids out of the house and treating them to a movie. I could have waited for this one to come out on video though.
Good movie by mikedc16
When I saw this, the theater was packed. I wasn't expecting much being that this is a February release, but it turned out to be really good. The story was interesting and not too cliche. All of the kids in the theater were laughing their heads off. My daughter (7) really liked the movie. Since this is the only kid-friendly movie out there, it's a good choice for families.
Great and Enjoyable movie by RichieNJRich
This movie started out a little slow, and at first I was thinking - Great, this is another kids movie that with a poor plot and quickly brought to theaters to make money. Not the case at all. After the first 15 minutes or so, the plot really came out and My 5 year old was completely captivated - sometimes he was laughing so hard, he was shaking. I really enjoyed this.