Monday, November 30, 2009

A Preschooler's Movie Review: Planet 51

On Saturday, my wife took our 10 year old, Thing 1, to see "New Moon" (T1's 2nd viewing, my wife's first). At the same time, I took Thing 2 (who will be 5 in January) to see a showing of "Planet 51," which started around the same time.

I have to admit that I am a bit leery of taking young kids to see movies. Thing 1 is plenty old enough, but Thing 2 is at that age where the Icee from the snack counter could catch up to her, and she might not make it through the whole film. I still have memories of taking Thing 1 to see Miracle when she was about 5, and being halfway through the game between the US and Soviet Union (the climax of the film) and her having to use the bathroom. I carried her at a full sprint down the hall to the bathroom and was back in our seat in less than 2 minutes (hands may or may not have been washed).

Thing 2, unlike her sister, has the ability to nurse an Icee or a drink. Thing 1 has it finished by the time the opening credits are done. Thing 2 usually has some left over by the end of the movie, so she has that going for her. We made it through the movie "Up" back in June with no problems, other than her developing a speech impediment where she would say "Squirrel!" every 5 minutes for a week or so.

I have to say, I was not at all impressed with Planet 51. I think as far as the voice talent went, they did OK with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and the guy from the Mac commercials, but the story just wasn't that good (the writer also did Shrek and Shrek 2, and obviously strained his brain trying to squeeze in just as many double entendres and pop culture references but not as good). However, a movie has to be awful for me to want to leave a theater, and let's face it, I was not there to see Planet 51. I was there to spend quality time with my daughter, who DID want to see the movie. Even though I wasn't that wild about it, I had that feeling that we were going to miss some of it when T2 started fidgeting in her chair. And I knew we were going to have to rush out when she leaned toward me to whisper something. I bent down to hear her, and she cupped her hand around my ear to whisper something that I never thought I'd hear her say:

"Can we go soon?"

I was kind of taken aback by her question. So I said, "What?"

"Is this almost over? I want to go home."


Dear producers of Planet 51:

My 4 year old daughter thinks your movie sucks.

Warmest regards,



  1. Haha. Never had the cinema experience, but both my nieces watched my TV a lot when they were younger, and didn’t spare the critical comments. The best was probably when we were watching The Secret Garden, and I was trying to mask my tears at the ending while they each stared with stony eyes. They preferred watching Sleepy Hollow, which they both thought was great.

  2. When you mentioned Miracle I thought you were going to make her go in an icee cup. The sacrifices we make as parents is extraordinary.

  3. Children are scathingly accurate in these matters.

  4. Naut, Miracle was the kind of movie where I half considered making Thing 1 pee in a cup rather than leave the theater. I would have to go back to Jedi to find a movie that made me feel that way.

    Nat, they should let kids write reviews for children's movies. I'd like to see what they would've said about Shrek 3.

  5. They should let kids write reviews for most movies. They aren't afraid to say what's good and what isn't.

  6. Took a friend's kid to see "Up" over the summer and as I wept during the first 15 minutes, the four year old looked over at me and said "What's wrong?"

    I wanted to say "I thought this was a kid's movie! I didn't sign up for this shit."

    Rented it over Thanksgiving weekend and watched the tears roll down hubby's face during the same beginning patch to which he denied when I called him on it.

    As far a ur girl goes, I'd like to get her review of "Inglorious Basterds" hehehe.

  7. Heidi, I had a similar reaction when I took Thing 2 to see Up. I had a flashback to the early 1980's, when my dad took me to see ET. As ET was withering away, I looked up to see tears rolling down his cheek. It was the first time I'd ever seen him cry.

    On a side note, I IMDB'd Henry Thomas recently. I can't believe how poorly he parlayed his E.T. success into a career in Hollywood.

    And I'm not sure what Thing 2 would've said, but I'm pretty sure Thing 1 would've pointed out that they spelled "Bastards" wrong.

  8. Oh dear god yes....that part in E.T....sniffle.

    I always used to get him and Lukkas Haas confused-ya know..."Witness" boy? But then inevitably "Cloak and Dagger" would come on with the memorable Dabney Coleman opposite Thomas and I'd realize it.

    And she'd be right, they spelled it incorrectly but it still ruled!

  9. I just IMDB'd Lukas Haas. I think Witness was the last decent movie he was in (seeing as how I don't know ANY of the movies he's done since). The only thing good I recognized is a 3 episode arc he did on 24 a few years ago.

    Without "Witness" and "24," playing 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon with him would be impossible. Oh, wait, he did Solarbabies too. But being in 24 gets him closer to Bacon than Solarbabies.

    Never mind, Jason Patric was in Solarbabies, and he was in Sleepers with Bacon.

  10. I think he did Mars Attacks! too and there are a lot of people in that... Jack Nicholson being one of them who was in "A Few Good Men" with Bacon.