Year: 1985

Production: Fox-Zanuck-Brown

Director: Ron Howard

Starring: Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley, Hume Cronyn, Jack Gilford, Steve Guttenberg, Maureen Stapleton, Jessica Tandy, Gwen Verdon, Tahnee Welch

Screenwriter: Tom Benedek

Based on a story by David Saperstein

117 minutes; Color

Aliens disguised as humans come to Earth to revive their kinfolk who were abandoned millennia ago in cocoons on the ocean floor; the swimming pool prepared for their revival is discovered and used by occupants of a neighboring old people's home, who are (to a degree) rejuvenated by it. Some leave Earth for a new life with the aliens. Cocoon was aptly described by critic Tom Milne as "Peter Pan for the senior citizen". Directed with intermittent panache, it oscillates between the whimsical, the genuinely touching and the merely vulgar. A saccharine sequel with a soap-opera plot, Cocoon: The Return (1988), directed by Daniel Petrie, is dispiriting.

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

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