My Grandpa is an Alien
Una and an alien robot have 24 hours to find her Grandpa, who was kidnapped by aliens. The extraordinary adventure leads to friendship, the rational robotic logic is replaced by emotions and Una’s selfless love saves her partly alien family.
Love is a miracle, and even aliens know it! This is an endearing movie, mainly because of teen Una, and her growing companionship with Dodo, a small robot with a big personality, not to mention a dry sense of humor.
The visuals are pretty spectacular too. The movie opens with a spaceship roaring through the atmosphere toward Earth. We then see a young girl playing an old video game, Galaga, and it’s bedtime so she has to stop. She puts her headphones on though to listen to music when crash! A burst of light and ominous sounds tells her that something has crashed nearby. “Dad!” she calls out.
We see a skeleton-like alien at the crash site. There is a blue energy-glow to him. Then the movie jumps ahead 30 years and we see the young girl is now a mother of three, including a daughter named Una. Her brothers are Sven and Alex. Una is close to her grandfather, but there is more to Grandpa than meets the eye.
Grandpa has invented a machine that turns flatulence (or “farts” as they refer to it a few times in the film), into “energy.” Una asks Grandpa to try to be “normal for a while — please?” but then kisses him on his head. In fact, Una is so close to Grandpa that the girls at her school tease her that he is her “BFF” (Best Friend Forever). One annoying girl calls her an “alien.” The girl posts an embarrassing video of Una online. She’s called a “loser” as well. But Una is about to experience some amazing adventures that the other girls will never know.
At night, Una sees her grandfather looking at a blue light and then his eyes turn a bright blue. Then, Grandpa is caught up in a red beam. “Grandpa!” she cries and then she’s knocked down by an energy bolt. When Una wakes up outside the next morning, on the ground, she asks about Grandpa only to learn he’s nowhere to be found. And when Mom becomes ill and is taken to the hospital, Una wonders what is happening to her family? To make matters worse, this happens on Una’s birthday.
Una does some research on her own and follows a blueish-lit tunnel and finds a one-eyed small robot that talks. She is frightened and hits it with a pebble and it begins speaking to her. “Accept you cookies?” it asks but then Una demands it to identify itself and wants to know why it’s so little. It boasts that it speaks 1,226 languages, with up to seven dialects each. It explains it’s from a planet from the Cassiopeia system. He goes on to explain, astoundingly, that mortals there became immortal beings of pure energy and logic. He says that immortality proved to be faulty because they became self-sufficient, then lonely. He is an interstellar being but Una learns he is the last of his kind so she names him, “Dodo,” as in the extinct Dodo bird. She has no idea of the adventures ahead that they will share and that they will eventually become “amigos.”
Without plot spoiling, Una learns there is a connection between the alien that abides in Grandpa’s body, and her mother. What is this connection? When Mom momentarily dies at the hospital and then battles convulsions, the concern is what can be done to save her? The movie is whimsical at times too, contrasting the drama, with the fact that flatulence is needed to turn into energy for Dodo and other electronic devices. Dodo assures Una that his gas, however, is “odorless!” Una winds up in a canoe with Dodo, not to mention on a motorbike, as they attempt to reach a goal and to save Una’s mother. All Una knows is that Grandpa is “Mom’s battery,” according to Dodo, and she has to save her mother’s life no matter what. Though not his original mission, it becomes Dodo’s goal to save Mom too.
Dodo can be quite inventive, such as when he adds an algorithm that sounds like music as he and Una canoe down the river. However, a waterfall lies ahead and there are several close calls for the characters in this fast-paced film. Or, as Dodo says when he winds up going off alone in the canoe due to a mishap — “Mission compromised! Danger!”
The movie resembles E.T. in parts, with Una being “Elliott” to Dodo’s “E.T.” And Una learns she feels emotions for Dodo by the film’s conclusion that she never would have first believed possible. And we learn the fate of Grandpa and Mom and everything leads to a satisfying conclusion.
The movie is a nice little fantasy film that remains family friendly and it has met the requirements to earn our Dove seal for All Ages.
The Dove Take:
This movie has an endearing quality to it and makes the point that love is a miracle, and that even aliens know it!