Renowned cartoonist Bill Plympton's typically bizarre, occasionally inspired animated feature (his fourth since 1992's THE TUNE) starts as astronaut Earl Jansen (voice of Dan McComas), a national hero, is zipped into his spacesuit, escorted to his rocket, and launched into space with only a photo of his little daughter, Josie, for companionship. But as soon as Jansen's capsule reaches orbit, something terrible happens: Someone at mission control flips a switch and dumps Jansen's entire fuel supply, marooning him in space with no chance of rescue. Little Josie is blamed for the "accident," but something's fishy: The capsule contains a prepared farewell statement for Earl to read, and the tragedy is conveniently parlayed into a fundraising drive for the Department of Space. Twenty years later, Josie (Francine Lobis) has matured into a shapely young astronomer with a healthy sexual appetite and a hunky boyfriend, Darby (Matthew Brown). Josie and Darby are having sex at her mountaintop observatory when she happens to spot an unidentified blazing object hurtling towards Earth. What at first looks like an asteroid turns out to be Jansen, who's survived two decades lost in space and now wants revenge on the nefarious Dr. Frubar (George Casden), who stranded him there. And Jansen isn't alone: Alan, a booger-blowing, nose-shaped creature, is riding shotgun, and following right behind them in a separate craft is a wild collection of angry mutant aliens, the spawn of Jansen's deep space sexcapades with a group of abandoned lab animals. The aliens are awfully cute, and the film is full of inspired satirical asides: such as the Adship that can be fired into space and (for a mere billion dollars) provide advertisers with an ad space the size of Oregon, and the Plympton-penned gospel number, "You Can't Drag Race with Jesus." But Plympton also has an exceedingly gross sense of humor and a raunchy, somewhat juvenile, attitude toward sex ("I've got your big bang, right here!" haw, haw). The general level of mayhem, the sudden transformations that are Plympton's trademark moves and the pervasive irreverence will no doubt delight Plympton's legion of fans; others may find 80 minutes of these shenanigans exhausting.
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- Released: 2002
- Rating: NR
- Review: Renowned cartoonist Bill Plympton's typically bizarre, occasionally inspired animated feature (his fourth since 1992's THE TUNE) starts as astronaut Earl Jansen (voice of Dan McComas), a national hero, is zipped into his spacesuit, escorted to his rocket,… (more)