Story

In Luis and the Aliens, 11-year-old Luis (voiced by Callum Maloney) is a lonely and neglected boy. His father, Armin (voiced by Dermot Magennis), is too busy searching for intelligent life in space to pay attention to Luis. When three mischievous little aliens, Wabo, Mog and Nag (voiced by Dermot Magennis, Ian Coppinger, and Paul Tylak respectively), crash-land in Luis’s yard searching for an item they saw on an infomercial, Luis offers to help them find it and get them back to their mother ship. In return, the aliens help Luis trick his principal (voiced by Simon Toal) and a creepy child protection lady (voiced by Aileen Mythen) into letting him stay with his father. All is not what it seems, however, and aliens might already be living among them.

Themes

Child neglect and loneliness; forced separation of child from parent; death of a parent; alien and science fiction themes; bullying

Violence

Luis and the Aliens has some violence. For example:

  • Aliens slap and punch each other on numerous occasions in a slapstick and comical way. This happens after almost every disagreement or problem in the story.
  • Three older boys bully Luis, and he lunges at them wanting to fight. They restrain him.
  • Luis’s father punches and kicks his neighbour in the stomach many times to prove he’s an alien. This is presented in a funny way.
  • A freeze-ray gun is brandished at both aliens and children many times. Its effects are temporary and no serious consequences are shown from using it.
  • There is car chase between the adults and the children. The adult female driver rear-ends the children’s car, running her own car off the road. No-one is hurt in either vehicle.

Sexual references

Luis and the Aliens has some sexual references. For example:

  • One of the male aliens frequently flirts with both female aliens and people. Children will probably miss these jokes, but the jokes might subtly contribute to an objectifying attitude towards the movie’s female characters.
  • The main aliens make several rather crude jokes and visual gags, most of which children will probably miss. These jokes include an alien disguised as a female looking down his shirt to check that there are breasts; an alien looking down the pants of a sleeping adult man to confirm he is a man; an alien wanting to touch a female character’s breasts, which are described as ‘lovely dovelies’.
  • The aliens worry that humans will ‘probe’ them.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

Luis and the Aliens has some references to substance use. For example, Luis’s father suggests that his neighbour might be a drinker.

Nudity and sexual activity

Nothing of concern

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in Luis and the Aliens: cola, Converse and smartphones. Although the phones are unbranded, they’re clearly iPhones.

Coarse language

Luis and the Aliens has some insults and name-calling that children might imitate.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Luis and the Aliens is an American redub of a German animated children’s comedy. It’s likely to entertain younger children, but older children and adult viewers are likely to find it slow and predictable. It lacks the quality storytelling that can make children’s movies enjoyable for all ages.

This movie’s scary scenes, including scenes of physical transformation, might be distressing for children under five years. The constant threat to Luis of separation from his father might be disturbing for young children too. Therefore, we recommend parental guidance for children aged 5-7 years.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include:

  • getting to know someone before you judge them
  • treating everyone fairly and with respect
  • standing up to bullies.

You could also talk with your children about:

  • child neglect and the real role of child-protection agencies
  • joyriding (particularly by children)
  • the real-life dangers of drinking dishwashing liquid, which is consumed by an alien who comically burps out bubbles afterwards
  • the dangers of riding a bike without a helmet, and riding it on the road
  • the safety precautions children need to take when using ovens and stoves.