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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: July 5, 2014.

Tuck, Munch, and Alex have the kind of friendship that only happens once in a lifetime.

They’ve spent countless days playing together and having adventures, all of which Tuck films for his YouTube channel.  That’s all about to end, though, because a construction company is building a highway right through their neighborhood.  The three will have to part ways, and that won’t be easy for any of them.

You see, these kids aren’t likely to make new friends.  Alex is a foster child with attitude, Tuck can’t connect with his own family much less talk to a girl, and Munch is the kind of “acquired taste” who organizes his ketchup packets and tells his friends to wear helmets when riding their bikes.  And even if they do make friends, it won’t be the same.

So to honor their last night together, the three boys decide to go on one final adventure.  It seems their phones have picked up some strange signal, and now the screens display an image Alex discovers to be a map.  Following that map, they find something beyond their wildest dreams: an adorable little alien stranded on Earth.  Just like these boys, he is a misfit, lost and in need of a friend, and so our heroes decide to help reunite him with his spaceship.

Teo Halm plays 'Alex'; Photo Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios.

It won’t be easy, though.  They’ll have to trek all over Nevada finding parts little Echo needs to repair himself and his ship.  Meanwhile, some shadowy organization is looking for the alien, and they’re not the nicest people in the world.  And when one of their schoolmates, a girl named Emma, finds out what the boys are up to, she won’t stop tagging along or being generally annoying.  But hey, sometimes you have to go out of your way for a friend, and this special friend is going to make this a night for them all to remember.

This sci-fi adventure blends elements of E.T. The Extraterrestrial, Super 8, and even a little Close Encounters of the Third Kind, bringing it all together for a fun family adventure.  The actors are all relatively unknown, but for being new to acting, they do a great, believable job.  The found footage style, while often overused today, is well-justified here, and the use of the kids’ technological culture works to the film’s advantage without distracting from it.  In addition, the CG is very impressive, which is important when the film revolves around a CG character.

Is it a great film?  Probably not, but it is entertaining, and it’s got some good messages hampered slightly by some problems (both of which I’ll get into later).  For older children on up, this may well be the adventure for your family.

The children share their amazing discovery; Photo Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios.

Christian Worldview

Themes of friendship fill this movie.  Alex forms an especially close bond with Echo, saying, “I know how he feels; we’re all he’s got.”  Later, when a major moral dilemma makes everyone else question whether helping Echo is the right thing to do, Alex decides to trust his friend to do the right thing, and that trust is rewarded in a surprising way.

Meanwhile, Tuck struggles to overcome his fear in order to save Alex, and the whole team comes to the rescue when Munch is in trouble.  In the end, we learn that the best friends are always our friends, no matter how far away they may be, and that the difference between a boy and a man is sometimes taking a stand for what you believe to be right.

On the downside, much of the “adventure” in this film comes from the kids doing the wrong thing.  They lie to their parents, government officials, and basically every adult in the movie (also, Alex’s foster parents are the only ones portrayed as good and competent, and they barely get any screen time).  They ride across the desert at night without supervision, sneak into a bar, crash a wild party, steal Tuck’s brother’s car, drive without a license, and break into a house, an arcade, and a government base.

Echo is an engaging little creature that teaches the boys to be brave; Photo Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios.

Tuck says he’s tired of being the good, invisible kid, and he and his friends manage to shake that persona pretty quickly.  It helps that Munch is the moral compass of the group, encouraging them not to lie or trespass or beat a possible explosive against the ground.  Still, most of the time, his wise advice is played for laughs.  Many families may find this part of the story problematic, especially if their children are still trying to understand right and wrong.

Other problems: when rehearsing their alibis for their adventure, Alex says he’ll be “in your mom’s bed, not playing a video game.”  Tuck tells his friends that he kissed Emma, a story which we discover isn’t true.  Munch calls Emma “Mannequin Girl” because he thinks mannequins are “hot.”  Brief glimpses of women at the bar and the party include a few mildly revealing outfits.  Tuck’s brother falls asleep in a bathtub, apparently drunk.  Language includes “barf,” “spewing chunks,” “what the . . .” and “scary as b—s.”  A few scenes with ricocheting mechanical parts can be a little intense.


Biblical Discussion

Despite several drawbacks, biblical themes such as the value of friendship and the importance of making a difference shine through in Earth to Echo. With a bit of discussion, you can bring them to life for your kids.  Below are some verses and questions you can use to start Christ-centered conversations with your children on the ride back from the theater.

Proverbs 17:17 – A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

How do Tuck, Munch, and Alex show love to each other and to Echo?  What kinds of adversity does their friendship overcome?  How can you be that kind of friend to someone you love?

Ella Wahlestedt plays leading girl 'Emma'; Photo Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios.

Romans 13:1 – Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.  The authorities that exist have been established by God.

Were Tuck, Munch, and Alex right to disobey authority, even to protect their friend?  How might they have obeyed their parents, the government, etc. to get a better result?  To whose authority do/should you submit?

1 Timothy 4:12 – Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.

How did Tuck, Munch, and Alex make a difference for good despite their age?  How could they have set a better example?  How can you set an example for others now?  Is there something you know is wrong that you should be standing up against?


Learn more about the movie at the official site, Call Him Echo

Make sure to check out SCH’s Edge of Tomorrow – Movie Review


Jonathan King writes speculative fiction for middle grade and young adult readers. Several of his short stories have been published in North Greenville University’s literary magazine, The Mountain Laurel, and one of them received a Certificate of Merit from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. In addition, his one act play “Cuckoo in the Nest” was written and performed for the John Hewitt International Summer School in Armagh, Northern Ireland.  In his free time, Jonathan writes a movie blog called “The Nerd King,” in which he reviews trailers for upcoming movies and takes a deeper look at older films.

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  1. Christian Movie Reviews Echo Chainsaws | Movie BJ

    […] Earth to Echo – Movie Review | Sonoma Christian Home – Earth to Echo – Movie Review. By Jonathan King in Movie Reviews, Movies. Genre: … Christian Worldview. Themes of friendship fill this movie. Alex forms an especially close bond with Echo, … SCH Movie Review. Are you game? […]


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