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Planet 51
Planet51movieposter.jpg
Canadian theatrical release poster
Directed by Jorge Blanco
Produced by Ignacio Pérez Dolset
Guy Colins
Screenplay by Joe Stillman
Story by Jorge Blanco
Marcos Martínez
Ignacio Pérez Dolset
Javier Abad
Starring Dwayne Johnson
Jessica Biel
Justin Long
Gary Oldman
Seann William Scott
John Cleese
Music by James Brett
Editing by Alex Rodriguez
Studio TriStar Pictures
Ilion Animation Studios
HandMade Films
Distributed by DeAPlaneta Distribución
(Spain)
Sony Pictures Releasing
(United States)
Entertainment Film Distributors
(United Kingdom/Ireland)
Release date(s) 14 November 2009 (2009-11-14) (Westwood)
20 November 2009 (2009-11-20) (United States)
27 November 2009 (2009-11-27) (Spain)
4 December 2009 (2009-12-04) (United Kingdom)
Running time 91 minutes
Country Spain
United Kingdom
United States
Language English
Spanish
Budget 49 million
($70 million)
Money made $105.6 million

Planet 51 is a 2009 3D computer-animated science fiction comedy film directed by Jorge Blanco, written by Joe Stillman, and starring Dwayne Johnson, Jessica Biel, Justin Long, Gary Oldman, Seann William Scott and John Cleese. An international co-production by Spanish, British and American companies, and produced by Madrid-based Ilion Animation Studios and HandMade Films, the film was originally acquired for North American distribution by New Line Cinema, but then sold to Sony Pictures before completion.

Originally titled Planet One, and later named as an allusion to Area 51, the film was completed on a $70 million budget, which, as of 2010, was the most expensive film produced in Spain. Planet 51 was released on November 20, 2009 by TriStar Pictures.

Plot

On Planet 51, green extraterrestrials live peacefully in a society reminiscent of the United States during the 1950s. One day, a mysterious spacecraft lands in town. NASA astronaut Charles "Chuck" Baker emerges from it and is shocked to find the planet inhabited. Chuck escapes to the town's planetarium, where he meets teenage alien Lem, who works there part-time. Realizing Chuck is not a threat, Lem agrees to help return him to his spacecraft before command module Odyssey in Planet 51's orbit departs for Earth and leaves him stranded. Planet 51's army, led by the paranoid General Grawl, arrives to inspect the spacecraft. Grawl, after Baker's MP3 player is accidentally started, deduces that the astronaut is an alien invader bent on turning the planet's population into zombies, and a manhunt ensues.

Lem enlists the help of his best friend Skiff, a science fiction aficionado with conspiracy theories about the so-called "Base 9", to hide Chuck away from the army. During his efforts to conceal Chuck, Lem inadvertently upsets his neighbor and crush Neera, who believes the alien is friendly, and is also fired from his job when his boss discovers Chuck. In Lem's room, Chuck reunites with a dog-like NASA probe called Rover, which freed itself from the army's base after tracking Chuck with a GPS and headed for the city and which befriends a small, domesticated xenomorph. After the army searches Lem's home for traces of the alien, Lem and Skiff move Chuck to a comic book store Skiff works at, where the news station manages to capture Chuck acting out references to Earth's pop culture, which is misinterpreted as alien threats. After escaping the store from the invading army, Grawl has Chuck's spacecraft moved to a secret location. Chuck is later captured by Grawl's forces during a festive movie premiere in town, and is slated to have his brain removed by alien scientist Professor Kipple. When Lem defends Chuck, Kipple deems him a zombie minion. Resigned to his fate, Chuck pretends to release Lem from his "mind control" and is taken away with Rover to Base 9.

Lem gets his job back, but is determined to rescue Chuck. Joined by Skiff, Neera, her younger brother Eckle, and Rover, Lem tracks down Base 9's location in the desert to a gas station where Skiff inadvertently opens a gate to the underground base. They free Chuck from Kipple and find his spacecraft, but they are cornered by Grawl and his forces. Bent on eliminating the human, Grawl reveals he has the base rigged to explode; Lem accidentally activates the countdown. Enraged, Grawl attempts to shoot Lem, but misses and ignites an explosive, causing him to be trapped under debris. Chuck rescues him before launching his spacecraft into Planet 51's orbit, escaping Base 9's destruction. After admiring Planet 51's view from space, Lem successfully asks Neera out on a date, while Grawl expresses his gratitude to Chuck for saving him. Chuck returns his friends home and allows Rover to stay behind with Skiff, who has bonded with the probe, and bids Lem and the rest of the town farewell before launching back into space, but the last seconds of the film reveal that the little Xenomorph pet befriended by Rover is on board.

Voice cast

  • Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as Charles T. "Chuck" Baker, a NASA human astronaut from Minnesota
  • Justin Long as Lem Kerplog, a teenage boy living in Glipforg on Planet 51
    • Long also voices Rover, a robotic vehicle probe that studies the planet (mostly rocks)
  • Jessica Biel as Neera, a teenage girl and Lem's love interest
  • Seann William Scott as Skiff, Lem's best friend, who works at a comic book store
  • Freddie Benedict as Eckle, Neera's younger brother
  • Gary Oldman as General Grawl of the Army of Planet 51, who fear an alien invasion
  • John Cleese as Professor Kipple, a scientist and Grawl's right-hand man
  • Mathew Horne as Soldier Vesklin, a gullible soldier
  • James Corden as Soldier Vernkot, another gullible soldier
  • Rupert Degas as Chief Gorlock
  • Alan Marriott as Glar, a ukulele-playing hippie

Soundtrack

Planet 51
Soundtrack album
Released 10 November 2009 (digital)
17 November 2009 (CD)
Length 42:54
Label Decca Label Group

The soundtrack album for the film was released by Decca Label Group on 10 November 2009 (digital) and 17 November 2009 (CD).

No. Title Artist(s) Length
1. "Lollipop"   Sophie Green 2:30
2. "Long Tall Sally"   John Sloman 2:10
3. "Tried To Save the World"   Tom Cawte 3:49
4. "Ding Ding a Boom Boom"   Keith Murrell 2:25
5. "Gonna Be a Star"   Tom Cawte 3:35
6. "Be Bop a Lula"   Chris Cawte 3:01
7. "Greased Lightnin'"   Lance Ellington 3:10
8. "Unchained Melody"   Keith Murrell 3:37
9. "Mr. Sandman"   Peter Gosling 2:30
10. "Stick It to the Man"   Tom Cawte 3:29
11. "Space Oddity"   Keith Murrell 5:19
12. "Planet 51 Orchestral Suite"   London Metropolitan Orchestra 7:19
Total length:
42:54

Video games

A video game based on the film was announced in November 2009. The game was published by Sega and was released on Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360 on 17 November 2009. The console versions was developed by Pyro Studios and the Nintendo DS version was developed by Firebrand Games. Zed Group, a long-time customer of Trinigy's, worked on the online version of the game with the Vision Engine. There are also Planet 51 games for iPhone, mobile devices and Facebook, developed by Zed Worldwide.

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