Scorch Supernova (Brendan Fraser) is an alien on a mission to rescue captured babies from the Gnarlachs. He rescues them just in time before the Gnarlachs wake up. Scorch then returns to Planet Baab where he is known as a famous hero and a love interest for anchorwoman Gabby Babblebrook (Sofía Vergara) while at BASA his brother Gary (Rob Corddry) works. Gary's son Kip (Jonathan Morgan Heit) is a big fan of his uncle Scorch. Soon, Gary receives a message from Lena Thackleman (Jessica Alba), the head of BASA, that Scorch will be sent to the "Dark Planet" (the Baabians' name for Earth) due to a SOS call. Scorch decides to go to the Dark Planet. However, Gary opposes as Scorch is not serious and no alien has ever returned from the dark planet. After further arguing, Gary finally says that he won't be helping Scorch and quits BASA before Scorch himself fires him. Gary then goes home to his wife Kira (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Kip only to find out that Scorch has already gone to the Dark Planet, while Kip is watching it on live TV in excitement.
Scorch arrives on Earth and lands in the desert and finds a 7-Eleven convenience store but mistakes an airdancer for a dying being. Scorch is then tranquilized and captured by General Shanker Saunderson (William Shatner), the malevolent general of the US Army, and is taken to "Area 51" where aliens from other planets are held. Knowing that this has happened, Kip wants to go rescue Scorch but Gary discourages him. Kip is angry and goes to his room. Gary goes to Kip's room to apologize. When Gary flips Kip's blanket open, he sees Kip's dog and his window is open. Knowing that Kip is going to try and save Scorch, he rushes to BASA with Kira wearing his rocket boots. They arrive to find Kip is about to take off in a ship.
Gary manages to cancel the launch sequence, but re-activates the sequence so he himself can rescue Scorch. He soon arrives on the Dark Planet. As soon as he arrives his ship immediately activates a self-destruct sequence, but Gary manages to get out. He arrives at the same store that Scorch arrived at earlier. Gary enters the store, but is spotted by two owners, Hawk (Steve Zahn) and Hammer (Chris Parnell). Both Gary and the two men were freaked out and try to hide from each other. After the owners realize that Gary is not a hostile alien, they offer him a Slurpee. Gary takes it but drinks it too fast and gets brain freeze. Afterwards, Shanker's men break into the store and capture Gary, taking him to Area 51.
Gary is taken to Shanker's office where he is quickly removed after Shanker receives an incoming call. It is revealed that Lena is an ally of Shanker's as she has sent him a powerful source known as blubonium. Gary is placed in a cell hall with other alien geniuses named Doc (Craig Robinson), Io (Jane Lynch), and Thurman (George Lopez) who tell Gary that various human technology has been invented by them for Shanker to rip off and sell to all of Earth so he will release them from Area 51. With these technologies, Shanker had made deals with companies like Apple Inc., Facebook, Google, and Pixar. Gary reunites with his brother, but is again annoyed by his conceited behavior. After a food fight in the cafeteria, the aliens make their way to "the peace shield." Meanwhile, Lena captures Kira, who stayed at BASA who tried contacting Gary. Lena then reveals her plan to give a lifetime supply of blubonium to Shanker.
After Shanker reveals the blubonium, Gary unintentionally provokes Scorch into stealing it after stating its dangerous power. While being chased, Scorch destroys the blubonium, causing Shanker to freeze him. He orders Gary to fix the blubonium and reveals that he's going to destroy all alien planets in the universe with a laser ray using the blubonium. Shanker says that all aliens are hostile just because a grey alien spaceship (accidentally) killed his dad in 1947. Gary fixes the ray with help from his new friends, but Shanker goes back on his promise and freezes him instead. The other aliens discover Shanker's true intentions when he tries to destroy Baab with the laser ray and mutiny, knocking out Shanker's henchmen. It is revealed that Gary did not put the machine together fully and it malfunctions, destroying itself before it can destroy Baab. With Gary and Scorch released from their icy prisons by the machine alongside the other frozen aliens, the brothers, Doc, Thurman, and Io escape Area 51 and eventually find Scorch's ship in a trailer park. With help from Hawk and Hammer (who live together in the park), Gary and his friends get into the spaceship and take off after helping to narrow its location down with a tornado scare.
Meanwhile, back on Baab, Kip frees his mother, who stops and subdues Lena after the latter took off with the blubonium shipment (and in the midst of the battle, learns Shanker was using her). US Air Force jets chases Gary's saucer, but Kip guides his father through and manages to destroy the jets by making the spaceship pull up suddenly over a waterfall while the jets ram into it. However, Shanker (wearing Scorch's robotic suit, that he wears on his adventures) uses a tractor beam to stop the ship and freeze it in midair. Gary and Scorch jump on and manage to get the suit off Shanker which causes him to fall to his death. Suddenly, Scorch and Gary begin to plummet to their doom but they and Shanker are rescued by the captured grey aliens (the ones who accidentally killed Shanker's dad) who have their own plans to deal with Shanker.
Scorch, Gary, Doc, Thurman and Io return to Planet Baab where Gary is reunited with his family. Scorch is greeted as a hero, but gives the credit to his brother which the citizens of Baab celebrate. Scorch then embarks on his toughest mission yet: marrying Gabby Babblebrook. Hawk, Hammer, and the grey aliens are also present at the wedding as the airdancer is also patched up.Rob Corddry as Gary Supernova, Scorch's older brother and the head of mission control at BASA.
Brendan Fraser as Scorch Supernova, Gary's younger brother and Baab's residential hero who is an arrogant but benevolent space pilot.
Sarah Jessica Parker as Kira Supernova, Gary's wife and Kip's mother.
William Shatner as General Shanker Saunderson, the villainous head of Area 51 whose father was accidentally killed by a grey alien spaceship.
Joshua Rush as a young Shanker
Jessica Alba as Lena Thackleman, Kira's best friend and BASA's no-nonsense chief who is later revealed to be an ally of Shanker.
Craig Robinson as Doc, a mouse-like alien who Gary befriends and weds Scorch and Gabby at their wedding. He hosted a radio show on his planet that got so famous that he invented the social networking service.
George Lopez as Thurman, a 3-eyed snake-like alien with 4 arms who Gary befriends and becomes his cellmate at Area 51. He was a professor on his planet where he had invented touchscreen technology.
Jane Lynch as Io, a giant cyclops-like alien with anger management issues who Gary befriends. She worked as a librarian on her planet until she got so mad at looking up stuff for her kind that she invented the web search engine.
Sofía Vergara as Gabby Babblebrook, an anchorwoman on Baab, Scorch's fiancée and later wife.
Jonathan Morgan Heit as Kip Supernova, Gary and Kira's adventurous son and Scorch's nephew.
Ricky Gervais as James Bing, a sarcastic computer AI.
Steve Zahn as Hawk, a human working at 7-Eleven who Gary befriends.
Chris Parnell as Hammer, a human working at 7-Eleven who Gary befriends.
Sean Kenin as Radio Show Host
Paul Scheer as Cameraman
Jason Simpson as Barry
Kaitlin Olson as 3D Movie Girl
Bob Bergen as 3D Movie Boy
Daran Norris as Orientation Film Host
Jim Ward and Cooper Barnes as the three Grey Aliens
Joe Sanfelipo and Scott Beehner as the BASA Guards
Michael Dobson as the father of Shanker who was accidentally killed by a grey alien spaceship.
Tim Dadabo as Larry Longeyes
Adrian Petriw as Snark Beast
Baabian Citizens voiced by Doug Abrahams, Ashley Araki, Kirby Morrow, Alan Silverman, and Sylvia Zaradic.
Hazmat operatives voiced by Doug Abrahams, Jason Benson, Trevor Devall, Brian Dobson, Brad Dryborough, Gabe Khouth, Kirby Morrow, Andrew Moxham, Alan Silverman, and Jason Simpson.
The film was in development at The Weinstein Company at least since 2007. The film was first announced in a press release from The Weinstein Company, which announced that the film was in full production and also announced most of the cast.
The film's director is Cal Brunker, who previously worked as a storyboard designer on Despicable Me, Horton Hears a Who! and Ice Age: Continental Drift. The film was originally set for release on February 14, 2013, but was pushed back to February 15, 2013, due to conflicting schedules.
Writer-director Tony Leech and film producer Brian Inerfeld sued The Weinstein Company, claiming they signed a deal whereby they were to receive at least 20 percent of Escape's adjusted gross profit, which they estimated would be worth close to $50 million in back end participation alone. But the film languished in development, and the plaintiffs claimed that the Weinsteins repeatedly unlocked the script, forcing rewrites at least 17 times, which they say "eviscerated" the movie's budget by keeping 200-plus animators on payroll. With the film pushing its budget, the Weinsteins went outside for fresh capital.
The Weinstein Company entered into a Funding and Security Agreement with JTM whereby the financiers agreed to provide new money and, in return, get 25 percent of the film's gross receipts and 100 percent of all foreign gross receipts. Leech and Inerfeld were upset, alleging that the agreement had mortgaged their own financial upside and said the Weinsteins advised them that if they wanted their past due money, they would have to agree to this arrangement. Instead, Leech and Inerfeld went on the legal attack against TWC even claiming that they were paid $500,000 in hush money to keep the dispute quiet on the verge of the Weinsteins' The King's Speech Oscar victory in 2011. As for JTM, the plaintiffs demanded a declaratory judgment that their contractual rights to share in the profits were superior to JTM's security interest in profits from the film.
On February 15, 2013, the same day the film was released, in a document filed in the New York Supreme Court, lawyers for both sides filed a motion of discontinuance in the case, effectively ending it. No details of the settlement were made available but because the motion was filed “with prejudice” both sides would be paying their own legal costs.
Escape from Planet Earth: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is the soundtrack of the film which was released on February 19, 2013.
Escape from Planet Earth: Original Score By Aaron Zigman is the soundtrack of the film scored by Aaron Zigman which was released on February 8, 2013.All songs written and composed by Aaron Zigman.
Based on 42 reviews, the film holds a rotten rating of 33% on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 4.6/10. Another review aggregator, Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, calculated a score of 35 based on 11 reviews.
Stephen Farber of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a positive review, saying, "The picture has enough entertainment value to tickle its target audience and even offers a few chuckles for accompanying adults. A strong cast and bright – if uninspired – animation help to offset a thin story. Decent box office returns seem likely." Tasha Robinson of The A.V. Club gave the film a C, calling it a "Mild-mannered CGI animated film that consists largely of broad conflicts, broadly resolved. It’s unchallenging fun for a younger crowd, but adults might feel like they’re staring down a colorful 24-piece board puzzle, trying to figure out how such a simple activity could be drawn out over 90 minutes." Mack Rawden of Cinema Blend gave the film one star out of five, saying, "Every single facet of the film is at best, slightly below average and at worst, downright terrible." Stephen Whitty of the Newark Star-Ledger gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying, "It provides a few smiles, and a decent amount of rainy-day, kiddie entertainment." Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times gave the film two and a half stars out of five, saying, "A children’s movie about space-traveling blue beings that has lots of high-flying escapades but fairly low aspirations." Jordan Riefe of the Boston Phoenix gave the film two out of four stars, saying, "This might please young kids but torment discerning parents." Michael O'Sullivan of The Washington Post gave the film two out of four stars, saying, "Just like its hero and his grounded starship, Escape From Planet Earth is, for much of the film, a decidedly earthbound adventure." Vadim Rizov of Time Out gave the film two out of five stars, saying, "The late Douglas Adams summed up Earth as "mostly harmless," a description that also applies to this eminently tolerable animated time-filler."
Alonso Duralde of The Wrap gave the film a negative review, saying, "It's a bowl of warm water into which no one has bothered to place a bouillon cube. The kids in the theater with me never mustered a single laugh or gasp of excitement. It's plenty o' nuttin'." Peter Howell of the Toronto Star gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying, "No matter whether you call Escape from Planet Earth sincere homage or cynical thievery, it goes down well in its brisk 89 minutes." Gregg Katzman of IGN gave the film a 4.5 out of 10, saying, "Escape From Planet Earth looks fantastic and is sporting some commendable voice acting, but these qualities can't overcome a stale script and significant lack of laughs. Unless you have a young kid that wants to see it, I just can't recommend this one at all." Sheri Linden of the Los Angeles Times gave the film three out of five stars, saying, "It never discovers new worlds, but "Escape From Planet Earth is, in its genial way, escape enough." Tom Russo of The Boston Globe gave the film two stars out of four, saying, "If "Escape" figures prominently into your February staycation plans, you won’t feel like you’ve thrown your money away, but the kids won’t still be buzzing about it when they get back to school, either." Roger Moore of The Seattle Times gave the film two out of four stars, saying, "The animation is what sells Escape from Planet Earth, with rich, textured surfaces – check out the fishnet webbing on Scorch’s spacesuit, the paint worn off the hardware and the perfectly rendered 7-Eleven, where even the Slurpee (product placement in a cartoon?) shimmers like the real thing. But it’s not worth paying 3D prices". Joe Leydon of Variety gave the film a positive review, saying, "A lightweight, warp-speed, brightly colored trifle that should delight small children and sporadically amuse their parents."
Escape from Planet Earth grossed $57,012,977 in North America, and $17,584,666 in other countries, for a worldwide total of $74,597,643. In North America, the film opened to number four in its first weekend with $15,891,055, behind A Good Day to Die Hard, Identity Thief and Safe Haven. In its second weekend, the film went up to number three grossing an additional $10,682,037. In its third weekend, the film dropped to number six grossing $6,619,827. In its fourth weekend, the film dropped to number nine grossing $3,218,923.
Escape from Planet Earth was released on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D on June 4, 2013.