The opening for the latest animated kids’ fantasy is promising — but it’s for another movie. Two teens parked in lovers’ lane are about to smooch when a giant, one-eyed, inescapably phallic alien appears.
A homage to the 1953 War of the Worlds ensues. Then the camera pulls back and we discover that what we’re watching is on a movie screen in a theater on the title planet, a retro-world of green aliens who enjoy the bucolic bliss and paranoia of ’50s US culture. Everybody’s terrified by the threat of alien invasion, and when it does come, it’s a NASA astronaut (Dwayne Johnson) who’s a cowardly and inane version of Buzz Lightyear.
Dorky teenage Lem (Justin Long) grudgingly helps protect the “alien” from the authorities, with the assistance of a Wall•E-like robot. It’s all a creepy mishmash of sci-fi and fantasy classics that director Jorge Blanco tarts up with an unwholesome preoccupation with pee, anal plugs, and homosexual anxiety.