Earth to Echo parents guide

Earth to Echo Parent Guide

"Earth to Echo" is a nice addition to that small collection of summertime movies featuring young adolescent with an unfailing optimism that they can change the world.

Overall B+

Curiosity gets the better of a group of young friends (Teo Halm, Astro, Reese Hartwig, Ella Wahlestedt) that are convinced a construction project in their neighborhood has unearthed something mysterious. But what they end up exploring proves more alien than any of them could have suspected.

Release date July 2, 2014

Violence B-
Sexual Content B+
Profanity B
Substance Use B+

Why is Earth to Echo rated PG? The MPAA rated Earth to Echo PG for some action and peril, and mild language.

Run Time: 91 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

Alex, Tuck and Munch (Toe Halm, Brian Bradley aka “Astro”, Reese Hartwig) are inseparable buddies who are being forced apart by a freeway expansion program that is to be built right on top of their suburban homes. With only two days left before everyone in the neighborhood must move, the trio comes up with a plan that will not only bond their friendship but also allow them to share one last adventure together.

A few days earlier the whole community started having problems with their smartphones. Instead of the usual display, the devices showed random patterns of colorful globs (which the boys refer to as “barf”). Then men claiming to be construction workers started collecting the “faulty” electronics. Convinced this phenomenon is no coincidence, the young adolescents decide they will be the ones to solve the mystery.

Taking a closer look at the signal interference, the pals conclude the shapes on the screen may be offering a valuable clue, because they bear a resemblance to a map of the local desert. Anxious to investigate the corresponding area, the gang determines to secretly ride their bikes several miles out of town. However to do so means a little lie is necessary. So they tell their respective parents they are going to a sleepover at one of the other boy’s homes (and they back up the plan using some call-forwarding skills to make sure their mothers can’t communicate with one another.)

After several hours of pedaling into the night the group reaches their destination. There they discover a strange object amongst the sandy scrub that doesn’t appear to be much on the outside. Yet after it begins emitting a flashing light and making sounds, the youngsters are certain they have come across an alien life form. And sure enough (it’s a movie after all), they have.

The little creature that emerges from the dirt-encrusted cylinder is something no young boy can possibly ignore. Adorned with big glowing blue eyes it manages to lead the kids on an all-night scavenger hunt. Along with locating suitable parts to fix a spaceship, the search collects Emma (Ella Wahlestedt), a (gasp!) girl from their school. Their quest to find the elusive pieces of the galactic puzzle includes trespassing into Emma’s bedroom, breaking into an arcade, visiting a bar, stealing a car and fleeing from the police.

These indiscretions, all done in the name of saving an extra-terrestrial, are the greatest concern with the film’s suitability for its intended audience. Parents should know that these young adventurers never really face any consequences for their sometimes dangerous and illegal actions, although within the context of the story they appear guilty more of naivety than malicious intent. Thankfully other content is relatively mild. A crude reference to male anatomy and a couple of terms of deity are heard. Characters face perilous situations. And alcohol use is inferred rather than shown at a teen party and in the bar.

Now the biggest issue for adults: This movie is shot in its entirety from a hand-held camera perspective. Sometimes the camera is mounted on a bicycle or a pair of glasses, at others it is simply toted around. So please note, if you suffer from motion sickness, this may not be the film for you.

Earth to Echo is a nice addition to that small collection of summertime movies featuring young adolescent with an unfailing optimism that they can change the world. It also provides some pointers on real life relationships, even though the plot is all about an alien life form.

Directed by Dave Green. Starring Teo Halm, Astro, Reese Hartwig, Ella Wahlestedt. Running time: 91 minutes. Theatrical release July 2, 2014. Updated

Earth to Echo
Rating & Content Info

Why is Earth to Echo rated PG? Earth to Echo is rated PG by the MPAA for some action and peril, and mild language.

Violence: Scenes depict young adolescents exploring the desert at night. While there is very little violence there are moments of peril. Also the young characters lie to their parents, trespass on private property, break into a business, enter a bar and flee from police. One of them steals his older brother’s car and drives without a license.

Sexual Content: A boy makes a sexual reference about another boy’s mother. Mild, infrequent embracing and kissing is portrayed.

Language: A crude term for male anatomy and two terms of deity are heard.

Alcohol / Drug Use: Young adolescents enter a bar where patrons in the background are seen with drinks. It is implied teens are drinking at a party.

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More parents' guide for Earth to Echo after the break...

Earth to Echo Parents' Guide

How does the use of technology change this “boys’ adventure” story? In what ways were “clues” were introduced in movies made before everyone had a smartphone?

Does a good cause justify breaking laws?

Why do so many movies about kids show the adults as being evil or incompetent? How does this portrayal affect the options these youngsters have when trying to achieve their goal? In the real world, what other ways might the friends have used to help the alien?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Earth to Echo movie is October 21, 2014. Here are some details…

Home Video Notes: Earth to Echo
Release Date: 21 October 2014
Earth to Echo releases to home video (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy) with the following bonus extras:
- Creating The Truck Scene
- Casting The Characters
- We Made That!: The Making of Earth to Echo
- Friends No Matter How Far
- Original Theatrical Trailer

Related home video titles:

Another group of friends accidentally capturessomething out of this world on their Super 8 camera. A young boy befriends a creature he finds in his backyard in E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. And a pair of siblings starts behaving strangely after making contact with some unusual toys in The Last Mimzy.

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