'Monsters vs Aliens' is a frantically paced, fairly humorous and family pleasing 3D offering from DreamWorks Animation.

The sci-fi comedy is set to entertain adults and kids alike with its combination of wacky jokes and affectionate references to classic sci-fi movies.

We are introduced to sweet bride-to-be Susan (Witherspoon), who is about wed her sweetheart Derek (Rudd) when a meteorite hits the earth and she is transformed into a 50-foot-tall version of herself.

The military are quickly brought in to whisk her away to a top-secret underground base, which is dizzyingly captured with the 3D animation.

Here she meets the oddball bunch of friendly monsters, a goofy blob called BOB (Rogen), mad scientist Dr Cockroach (Laurie), macho sea creature Link (Arnett) and Insectosaurus, a giant and surprisingly cuddly looking insect.

But when alien creatures headed by the evil Gallaxhar (Wilson) launch an attack on earth to recover the element lodged in the meteorite which has caused Susan’s transformation, these monsters are called up to defeat the attacking forces.

The action whizzes along from here with the definite highlight being a tense fight scene involving San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.

Although the film is always nice to look at, there is a sense that the 3D possibilities were not used to their greatest effect. The opening sequence which swoops through outer space until zooming in on earth is impressive, but a shot of a guy playing with a ping-pong bat just comes across as lazy and pointless.

And despite the wealth of comedy talent at their disposal, from 'Arrested Development’ star Will Arnett to man of the moment Seth Rogen, the jokes are all tame and laugh-out-loud moments are rare.

That said, kids are sure to be bowled over by the 3D novelty factor and there’s enough to keep everyone else from nodding off in the cinema.

Sarah McIntyre