It has a cool concept—a human is greeted with paranoia on an alien planet straight out of the '50s—but critics say Planet 51 never reaches orbit. Some reviews:
- It’s a “bland, humor-free narrative,” with lame references to other movies instead of jokes, writes Glenn Whipp of the LA Times. If the '60s ever come to Planet 51, “we just hope someone writes a protest song about this movie.”
- The film’s overstuffed creative team—four directors and 13 producers—has produced a “a lame-brained toon that even kids will recognize as an insipid goof on sci-fi conventions,” writes Todd McCarthy of Variety.
- Actually, kids probably won’t even get the movie, because “Planet 51 occupies the same comedy galaxy as Planet Andy Rooney,” complains Kyle Smith of the New York Post. “Singin' in the Rain references? John Glenn? Cold War duck-and-cover drills? What time capsule yielded this script?”
- But old-timer Roger Ebert liked it. It’s “not bowling me over,” he writes in the Chicago Sun-Times. But “it’s a jolly and good-looking animated feature in glorious 2-D.”