Planet 51: An Unusual Immigration Story


Sony Pictures
Sony Pictures

What really grabs people when they see a movie? It could be funny, sad or show powerful visual images, or it could have a strong, clear message. “Planet 51” is an example of the issue of immigration hidden away in a fun-loving animated movie. “Planet 51” could be thought of as just another silly movie for kids, but actually it has great meaning.

When the American astronaut lands on Planet 51 in search of life, there are not only plants but greenskinned people similar to humans. When Captain Charles’ (the astronaut) spaceship lands, the greenskinned people go nuts. They fear that he will destroy their planet. The army on Planet 51 tries to kill Captain Charles because they are afraid of him. People shout “The alien has come,” which they learned from movies they saw about “aliens.” Sometimes undocumented immigrants in the Unites States are called “illegal aliens” and not even treated as humans. That is the hidden comparison the movie is making about immigrants.

When Lem, a teenage boy on Planet 51, gets a job at the local planetarium, he realizes that the outside world is not as bad as most people on Planet 51 had imagined. Lem helps hide Captain Charles in secrecy because Lem is one of the few people who believe that the astronaut comes in peace.

I would recommend this movie if you’re interested in a family-fun—but important—movie. It does get slow at some parts and could add a little more humor. Overall, I think it’s a good movie that reaches out to a lot of people.

Rose Marsh is a fifth grader who lives in Takoma Park, Maryland.

2 thoughts on “Planet 51: An Unusual Immigration Story”

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