Escape From Planet Earth (2013)

Escape From Planet Earth was an entertaining thrill ride that received loads of laughter one moment and had me intrigued about what might happen the next.

The story of Escape From Planet Earth was pretty straight forward as most animated movies are. There is a good guy duo of brains and brawn embarking on their most dangerous mission ever against an unpredictable enemy that slowly reveals his true character and evil intentions.

Related: Rainmaker Animation

As simple as the plot was supposed to be at one point I found myself saying, “That’s not supposed to happen.” Without telling too much to those who haven’t seen the film yet, there is a point where it seems all hope is lost for Scorch and his brother Gary but the brains of the rescue operation, Gary had other plans. Thus, I was pleasantly surprised there was more complexity to the plot than your typical animated movie.

One downside to the story was the villain. He didn’t seem like much of a bad guy. He didn’t do bad things and he didn’t have much of a motive to do bad things and he always acted alone. His evil ways all lead back to a traumatic childhood accident but it still seemed pretty weak and it was just briefly mentioned. At the end of the day this is a kids movie after all so that can be a fine line to walk, so why not error on the side of a “not so bad guy.”

The voice talent for the movie was excellent. You may find yourself recognizing some voices like Brandon Fraser, Rob Corddry, George Lopez, or Sofia Vergara (from Modern Family/Pepsi commercials) who all have very distinctive and fun voices. For the most part, the familiar voices weren’t distracting and you will still be able to enjoy the animation and character interaction without wondering who’s voice belongs to each character.

The 3D animation was excellent and appropriately used. I didn’t find myself being overwhelmed by too much 3D or feeling like I didn’t get my monies worth for the 3D glasses. I did notice many of the characters, buildings, and ships all had a similar style of rounded edges. There weren’t a lot of right angles or sharp corners so that made the quality of the computer animation harder to judge in my opinion.

However, there was one scene which is probably my favorite, from an animation perspective. Gary was rebuilding a very technical piece of equipment that required extremely fine detailed workmanship. The scene isn’t very long but it showed in very fine detail the complexity of this part he was fixing. It reminded me of the detailed Transformers movie series and the complex animation of the robots changing shape but on a much smaller scale.

I watched this movie with a theater full of kids and parents, all laughing and commenting about how neat the movie was throughout. This is the first feature animated movie of the year and it’s a great start for 2013.

Escape From Planet Earth top movie star voices are Brendan Fraser, Rob Corddry, Ricky Gervais, Jessica Alba, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kaitlin Olson, Ashley Eckstein, Gregg Brinkley, Sofía Vergara, Steve Zahn, Craig Robinson, Jane Lynch, and more. Featured Animation ranks this movie a 2.5 on a scale from 1 to 5.