Justin Burks Strikes Sci-Fi Romance Gold with Danger Planet

Danger Planet is a super happy fun animated short by filmmaker Justin Burks. During a routine scan on a distant planet, a young space scout finds romance with a female pilot. But when peril strikes the two star-crossed explorers, he must face what lurks in the darkness of the planet to rescue the girl.

Awesome, eh?

I really enjoyed discovering this gem. The story struck me as giving homage to a few genre films such as Star Wars, Wall-E and Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. Can you spot any others?

In Danger Planet: Lessons from Production, Justin Burks shares (forward to 8:06) that by adding a romance to the action-adventure elements already present, he ended up creating a story that packed a lot more punch than would be the case with a mere spectacle film. (Take that, Michael Bay!) The SF and romance elements are pretty seamlessly integrated, which is no small feat.

Mr. Burks also shared that the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip was an inspiration for the art direction. Let’s see, sci-fi romance meets Calvin and Hobbes — I never would have seen that one coming! Ain’t art grand?!

I blogged about Danger Planet at The Galaxy Express here. To learn more about the film such as behind-the-scenes information and storyboards, visit the Danger Planet site.

Thanks for your art, Justin Burks!


Heather Massey is a lifelong fan of science fiction romance. She searches for sci-fi romance adventures aboard her blog, The Galaxy Express.

She’s also an author: Her latest sci-fi romance is Queenie’s Brigade, coming October 2011 from Red Sage Publishing. To learn more about her published work, visit www.heathermassey.com.

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