As one can probably tell from the Escape from Planet Earth trailer, the animated film is squarely aimed at young kids. In that effort, it succeeds. But, where it also scores is how the film gives us a unique perspective on the aliens in movies genre. This time out, the film is told from the alien's point of view. It's hysterical when you find out that this "Dark Planet" they fear is Earth!
Rob Corddry is Gary Supernova, a mission control console jockey who is quite good at his job. He tolerates, and let's be honest -- also loves -- his brother Scorch (Brendan Fraser). He is the most popular space adventurer on their planet. As the film begins, it is established that this sibling tandem is key to Scorch's success. Without Gary in the booth monitoring the goings on around Scorch, he would most certainly fail.
When Gary discovers his brother's head has gotten a little too big, he walks away from the job he adores... seemingly to the chagrin of his boss (Jessica Alba).
When he heads home, he greets his wife (Sarah Jessica Parker) who understands why he quit. But his son -- who just happens to idolize Scorch -- is not so happy. Kip Supernova (Jonathan Morgan Heit) wants to be Scorch when he grows up, and not anything like his father.
With Gary at home and not manning Mission Control, Scorch heads off on a mission. He's responding to a distress call from the Dark Planet... a place no other space jockey has returned from. Scorch's TV reporter girlfriend (Sofia Vergara) is none too pleased with this move either. But alas... off goes Scorch.
When arriving on Earth, the Escape from Planet Earth show truly gets going. That is largely due to the chew the scenery in a good way performance of William Shatner as General Shanker. His villain mans Area 51 with an iron fist, luring aliens to Earth, only to imprison them for his own personal joy.
As told to us in our William Shatner exclusive interview, the actor found it "good to be bad." Shatner clearly had some of the most fun he's had in his legendary career.
The story never strays or loses its impact. But, adults may find the film's tone a little tedious after a while. Even though the film employs some serious talent, including George Lopez and Glee star Jane Lynch, Escape from Planet Earth is not about its all-star cast. It's a funny, engaging sci-fi animated film aimed firmly at children.