With increasing budget cuts and lack of interest in inter stellar space; we seem to be drifting further and further away from the ‘morning filled with 14 billion Suns’ that Carl Sagan envisioned for us. Maybe you feel its more likely that our planet exists in an empty vacuum devoid of intelligent life, or that man’s departure from Earth isn’t worth the effort. Well, this film is here to tell you how awesome it’s going to be if you’re wrong.
When five children go searching for their lost rabbit on a camping trip, they instead find a wounded dog who shocks them with the revelation that he is a sentient alien named Pochi. Upon request he takes them to space, where the dark side of the moon is a space port, there’s a galactic union of planets and where a live TV show broadcasts out to the entire known nebula. As the children marvel at the wonders of a cosmos-wide society, they also find themselves in the middle of one alien’s lust for God-like power, and his hunt for a mysterious Earth-grown plant that might give it to him.
Give or take, Welcome to the Space Show is the child’s equivalent of Prometheus. Its plot is a little slow to take off, but once it does we’re treated to a wealth of concepts and ideas not often found in films of this age range, such as faster than light-speed travel, the origins of the Universe and Super Novas, as well as some very raw themes related to human behaviour and development. For example, in a particularly poignant scene the youngest child takes an immigration test, in which she’s asked:
“One day, a space alien comes to visit you. He says that if you let him, he will make the people of Earth very smart so there will be no more wars or poor people and everyone will get along and be happy. What do you think? Will you accept the alien’s offer?”
Her answer contains so much revealing truth about our species that it’s hard to not to tear up a little.
Production-wise the film is fantastically drawn and animated with an abundance of alien creatures and spaceship designs, hand drawn and 3D animation and even a couple of high tension action scenes. It does drag a little in the final act, a majority of the villains are largely forgettable and as with any science fiction there are logic-bombs and unanswerable questions a plenty, but it’s an enjoyable space chase with very lively protagonists brought to life by great voice actors in both language tracks.
If you have a child that loves science, or maybe you want yours to be, there’s no film in the West that can match Welcome to the Space Show.
Words > Graham Ashton