Earthbound is a 1997 movie. Unlike its predecessor, the film was made by Johnson Studios in conjunction with the BBC and Toho Co. Ltd., with 20th Century Fox handling distribution. The film was a high-budget, elaborate special effects, star-studded movie. The movie is often noted for being one of the longest films Johnson Studios has ever made, clocking in at 3:30.


The movie begins with the meteor crashing outside Onett, Washington in the year 2011. A 13-year old boy named Ness Jones leaves to investigate with his "friend", Pokey Minch. Armed with only a crack wooden baseball bat, Ness and Pokey find Pokey's younger brother, Picky, asleep beside the meteor. They are soon confronted by an insect named Buzz Buzz. He tells Ness of Giygas, the brother of Giegue, who invaded Earth in 1988. Giygas has chosen December 21, 2012 as the date he will invade Earth and exact his revenge on the humans. But the Chosen Four are prophecized to defeat Giygas. Buzz Buzz tells Ness that he is the one chosen by Gaia, Goddess of the Earth, to save not just Earth, but the entire universe.

On the way back to the Minch residence, the group is confronted by a Dalek. The Dalek has been sent back from 2022 to eliminate Ness and ensure the stability of the timeline. The Dalek, however, is unable to kill them as Buzz Buzz puts up a psychic shield that protects them. The Dalek is destroyed by Ness' dog King, who lunges at it and mauls the mutan within it.

At the Minch residence, Aloysius Minch gives Pokey and Picky a massive tongue-lashing, while Lardna mortally wounds Buzz Buzz. With his dying words, Buzz Buzz gives Ness the Sound Stone and tells him to assemble the Chosen Four. Ness proceeds to yell at Lardna for putting the world at stake, but Lardna doesn't get it and Ness beats her with his bat in a cartoonish way.

Ness sets out on his adventure. He defeats the Sharks and their leader Frank, gains access to Giant Step and defeats the Titanium Ant. After defeating Captain Strong of the Onett Police Force, he heads off to Twoson, Oregon.

In Twoson, he checks into the hotel. That night, he speaks to a girl named Paula Polestar in the PK Realm. She tells him that she is being held hostage in a cabin in Peaceful Rest Valley by Mr. Carpainter, who plans to make her a human sacrafice. The next morning, Ness speaks with Everdred in Burglin Park, who says Mr. Carpainter did indeed kidnap Paula in the dead of night. Ness meets Apple Kid (who is more a kid in a man's body than an actual kid), and gives him some food and $200.

On the way to Happy Happy Village, Ness encounters a Pencil Statue in the way. After comically attempting to get around it, Ness recieves a call on his Reciever Phone from Apple Kid, saying he has a new invention that could help him. Ness returns to Twoson and gets the Pencil Eraser. He uses it and makes his way past Dalek Mini Saucers, Robotic Drones, and living bushes and trees.

Ness arrives in Happy Happy Village, Idaho, where he finds out the village is the home base of the Happy Happy Cult, who was responsible for the Seattle Nerve Gas Attack that killed 300, and the Alaska Way Viaduct Bombing that killed 506. Ness' hatred for cultists is aroused, and he vows to kill each and every last one of them.

After killing several Cultists and a woman that was hassling him for money, he finds a cabin in the woods. Engraged cultists who followed him try to attack him, but Ness hides in the cabin. Inside, he notices a Glock lying on the floor, and he gets an idea. He grabs the Glock, goes back outside and shouts "PISS OFF, PAINTHEADS!", before shooting them. Then, he grabs a matchbox and a propane tank located nearby and sets the bodies aflame

Going back inside the cabin, Ness ponders where Paula might be, before seeing the jail cell with Paula in it. Paula, overjoyed to finally meet Ness, gives Ness a Franklin Badge and tells him that when he frees her, they will burn Happy Happy Village to the ground. Ness, clearly smitten, goes outside and his anger reaches new heights.

Just as he is about to head back to the village, Pokey comes with a pair of Cultists. He tells Ness that the time for Minch family to have their revenge has come, and tells the Cultists to kill Ness. Ness kills them easily and heads back to the village.

In a bloodthirsty rampage, Ness storms the Main Hall and uses PK Blasts to kill every Cultist in the way, and then brutally murders Mr. Carpainter. Retrieving the key to the cell door, Ness returns to the cabin.

Ness frees Paula from the cell, who proceeds to (rather unexpectedly) hug Ness and speak of her eternal gratitude to him. After Ness confirms Mr. Carpainter is dead, he and Paula proceed to level Happy Happy Village, killing all of the inhabitants.

After clearing out Lilliput Steps and defeating the Mighty Mole, Ness and Paula return to Twoson, and the Polestar Preschool. Paula's father, Paul Polestar, knows of Paula's destiny, and insists that she go with Ness.

In Burglin Park, Everdred gives Ness and Paula a wad of US dollars bills (which, according to Everdred, is "not" counterfeit) worth $10,000. They happen upon the Chaos Theater, where a group know as the Runaway Five is deep in debt. After giving the $10,000 to the theater manager (who is too stupid to realize the bills are counterfeit), the grateful Runaway Five give Ness and Paula a lift in their bus through the haunt Two-Three Tunnel to Threed, California.

Arriving in Threed, Ness and Paula find the town overrun by Zombies. The zombies, though numerous, are easily defeated with Paula's PK Fire. They are lured into a hotel room by a Mysterious Woman, where zombies ambush them.

Awaking in a rundown room with anti-American graffiti that offends them both, Paula identifies member no. 3 of the Chosen Four: Jeff Andonuts, son of famed British scientist Dr. John Andonuts. Knowing somehow that they are "on the menu for the Zombie's dinner", Paula desperately contacts Jeff through telepathy.

In the town of Winters, England, Jeff responds. He gets his friend Tony (who is obviously gay, but Jeff ignores this) to help him get to the Sky Runner, an experimental hypersonic jet.

Taking it to Threed, Jeff crashes it, freeing Ness and Paula. After introductions, Jeff uses his Bad Key Machine to unlock the door (and Ness wonders why he and Paula didn't think to just break down the door).

Back in town, Ness, Paula, and Jeff encounter an advance Dalek Scouting Party. Jeff retreats to charge his laser gun at an outlet. Ness and Paula, using PK Blasts, manage to kill two of the Daleks, before the Daleks bring in a Special Weapons Dalek. Ness saves Paula's life again by diving to the ground while holding her. Jeff returns with a fully charged gun and blasts all of the Daleks.

The group happens upon the Boogey Tent, which is a cover name for "Dalek Processing Facility". They find out that the Daleks have been re-animating the dead and using them to fill gaps in Dalek patrols. Jeff sabotages the machinery, while Ness and Paula engage the Daleks in battle. After the machinery is taken off-line, the Daleks are forced to evacuate Threed, but forget to exterminate the zombies in their haste, leaving the town still infested.

Ness then recieves a call from Apple Kid, saying he has invented Zombie Paper. A RoundTable deliveryman brings it to him. At the former Dalek Processing Facility, a detachment of the US Army, under the command of Gen. William Landon, sets up the Zombie Relief Corps. The Zombie Paper attracts the remaining zombies, where they are contained and taken away for "normalization" (a process that is never explained). As the group leaves, Landon notes the similarities between Ness and Ninten.

An even larger Dalek Processing Facility is uncovered. Tighter security negates sabotage, so Ness and Paula storm the factory while Jeff provides them with information. After destroying the Supreme Dalek in charge of the facility, they leave town as Landon and his men move in to restore order.

They come to Saturn Valley, where they encounter the strange Mr. Saturn. They are told that a monster lives in the nearby cave called Milky Well. Paula concludes that the cave is the third Sanctuary.

The group clears out the cave and defeats a giant sprout, then return to the town.

On the road again, they cross a vast desert that "nearly kills" Jeff, but Ness and Paula think he's being overly-dramatic. They soon reach Fourside, California, where they find out the Runaway Five is deep in debt again. They pay it off again (and Paula thinks they have a running gag). At the Department Store, a mysterious figure tries to kidnap Paula, but Ness brutally murders it.

They soon learn the figure was a Mook, an alien species enslaved by the Daleks, and that a man named Geldegarde Monotoli is also a Dalek puppet. Monotoli has overthrown the mayor and replaced the Fourside Police Dept. with Daleks. The also learn that Pokey and his father have left Onett and are working for Monotoli. Ness, now realizing his "friend" is an agent of evil, vows to liberate Fourside of the Dalek presence.

The group eats lunch at Jackie's Cafe. While eating, someone states they hear strange noises coming from outside. Going to investigate, they find Everdred lying on the ground, surrounded by Daleks. The Daleks are mowed down by Paula, as Ness speaks with Everdred. He tells Ness that the Daleks have begun a major extermination of all humans in Fourside.

Knowing very well the direness of the situation, Ness and Paula head to the Monotoli Building while Jeff stays behind to protect the townspeople.

At the Monotoli Building, Ness and Paula find Daleks patrolling the grounds. Using the Daleks' lack of peripheral vision to their advantage, they sneak by and go into the building. The Daleks are alerted to their presence and Ness and Paula are forced to charge the Daleks, a risky strategy but well worth it.

Going from floor-to-floor, Ness and Paula clear out each one until they reach the top floor. There, they confront Monotoli, Pokey, Aloysius, another Supreme Dalek, and several other Daleks. After exchanging heated words, Ness and Paula engage the enemies. The Daleks fall to Paula's PK Fire, while Aloysius, not being a good fighter, cowers in a corner. Pokey, armed with a baseball bat, engages Ness in a "lightsaber duel", as Paula describes it. After Pokey admits defeat, Ness and Paula turn to Monotoli, who starts using PK powers himself. The battle is heated and Ness gets a bloody nose, but eventually, the fight moves to the roof, where Ness and Paula together push Monotoli off. As Monotoli falls to his death, Paula moves to heal Ness. They move in on Monotoli's helicopter, but Pokey steals it, saying that he and Ness will meet again, and when they do, the Minch family will have their revenge.

Back in Fourside, Jeff reports that the Daleks didn't try making a move, as he kept them at bay with a Jammie Dodger he claimed was a Nuclear Launch Device. The Runaway Five repay them again by taking them back to Threed in their bus.

Back in Threed, the group finds out that the good townspeople have repaired the Sky Runner. After a short 15-minute flight at Mach 10, they arive in Jeff's hometown of Winters. After clearing out Rainy Circle and defeating a giant mushroom, the group crosses the English Channel and travel to Summer, Germany.

While experiencing German culture and visiting World War II battle sights, Ness suddenly falls unconscious and enters the PK Realm again. Here, he meets Poo, a Japanese prince who is PK-sensitive. He tells Ness that he live in Dalaam, Japan, and that he has found out he is the fourth of the Chosen Four, and is waiting for them to arrive.

Awakening, Ness finds that Poo has teleported to their location. He swears allegience to Ness, and they set off once more.

Returning to Fourside, Paula alerts Ness to the location of the fifth Sanctuary: Magnet Hill. After clearing it out and defeating the Plague Rat of Doom (and in the process, preventing the spread of an alien virus whipped up by Dalek scientists), they procure a small yacht and travel to Egypt (which takes longer than Jeff would like).

In Egypt, they find that the Daleks have taken over the Great Pyramid of Giza and are in the process of taking it apart. But it is not to create a new processing facility. Giygas, curious about human history, sent these Daleks to extract information. Ness and his crew manage to clear out the Daleks and destroy the Supreme Dalek in charge of the operation.

Next, they take the Sky Runner to Poo's homeland of Dalaam. They meet Poo's father, and then venture to the sixth sanctuary: Pink Cloud (a name that makes Ness and Paula wonder who named these places). They clearing it out and defeat an extra-terrestrial entity called Thunder and Storm.

Soon after, they aquire a submarine (which Ness calls "black market", since there are several Soviet markings on it) and take it to the Deep Darkness, a large underwater cave. They find a subterranean village called Tenda Village. After meeting the shy Tendas, they teach them bravery and the Tendas manage to hold off a Dalek incursion.

The Tendas show them the way to the Lost Underworld, where they find and clear out the final two sanctuaries. Upon learning the final melody, Ness falls unconscious and enters the Magicant. Here, he encounters his predecessor Ninten, who tells him that no matter what they do, the Dalek Army is infinite, and they will never be able to destroy them. Eventually, the Daleks will invade and destroy humanity, and Ness and his friends will fall in the final stand. Ninten then battles Ness, telling him that he has no choice. Despite being equals, Ness emerges victorious.

Returning from the Magicant, the group finds that the Daleks have begun the invasion early. Giygas, tiring of Ness and his friends constantly meddling in Dalek affairs, decides to invade now than wait for the December window. Returning to Saturn Valley, Dr. Andonuts and Apple Kid reveal they have made a time machine. After transplanting their minds into robot bodies, Dr. Andonuts states he is sending them back in time to Skaro, the home planet of the Daleks, to destabilize the Dalek timeline.

The group arrives on Skaro at the time the last of the Thals were driven out of Dalek City. Unable to speak because there was no time to install voice boxes, Ness uses morse code with his eye lights to give commands. Jeff and Poo will assault the main production line, while Ness and Paula will attack the city itself and hopefully destroy the Emperor.

The Daleks soon find themselves under a massive assault. The Automated Dalek Production Line sustains severe damage from Jeff and Poo, while Ness and Paula raise hell in the city, destroying many buildings with lasers and flames. Believing enough damage has been done to set the Daleks back many, many years, the group returns to the present day. Unbeknownst to them, Giygas, now assuming a human form, had followed them back in time. He tells the Emperor he will make the Daleks stronger than ever!

Back in the present, the Chosen Four regain their bodies, but are horrified to find that Giygas also meddled with the Dalek timeline, and the invasion is underway again!

Ness formulates a game plan: Jeff and Poo will hold off the Daleks, while Ness and Paula will seek out and kill Giygas.

On the American Prairie, Ness and Paula engage a large group of Daleks, which they defeat with ease. Jeff and Poo fight tirelessly and prevent a hoarde of Daleks from invading New York City.

All of a sudden, Ness and Paula are teleported to the Moon by Giygas. After exchanging heated words, they engage in a PK Duel, throwing attacks left and right.

Eventually, Giygas decides to make things interesting by turning them all into Japanese monsters. He turns Ness into Godzilla, Paula into Anguirus, and himself into King Ghidorah. The battle is what you would expect; Godzilla and Anguirus basically thrash Ghidorah. Finally, Giygas turns into his ultimate form: Super Giygas.

Paula, desperate for Ness' survival, prays for him. On Earth, other people Ness met over the course of his journey pray as well. The combined prayers allow Ness to harness the power of God, and he turns into this ultimate form as well.

A massive battle of gargantuans thrash about the lunar surface, trying to kill each other. The hate is clearly seen on their faces and in their voices, as Giygas reveals he killed Ness' father. This causes Ness to become extremely enraged, and he begins violently using PK Blasts against Giygas. But Giygas stands firm and is about to blast Ness at point-blank range, when Paula intervenes, having transformed into her Ultimate Form.

Back on Earth, Jeff and Poo believe they have killed the last of the Daleks. Suddenly, a barely-functioning Dalek is about to blast Jeff, but Poo pushes him out of the way. Poo is hit at point-blank, causing Jeff to go ballistic and destroy the Dalek in cold-blood.

On the Moon, the final showdown between Ness and Giygas begins, with Paula bearing witness. Ness nearly gives into his anger and destroys Giygas, but instead of destroying Giygas on the spot (and thus the Moon), he throws Giygas to the Earth. Giygas hits the ground at an inconcievably high rate of speed, exploding and leaving a giant crater. Ness also falls into the crater, and is greivously injured.

Landing on Earth, Paula reverts to her normal form and pulls Ness from the crater. Using PK Heal, she nurse his injuries and he regains consciousness. Ness asks why Paula would pull him from the crater and revive him after he almost used his powers for revenge. Paula simply states, "Because, I love you." And with that, Ness and Paula share their first kiss.

Jeff comes in with the mortally wounded Poo. With his dying breath, Poo transfers his ultimate power, PK Starmstorm, to Ness. With that, he dies, and his friends mourn.

In Dalaam, Poo has a funeral pyre. Poo's father states that his son died protecting someone, and that there is no greater honor. Jeff believes the entire Dalek affair is over, but Ness and Paula know it's just the beginning. The movie ends with Ness and Paula, in each other's arms, looking at the full moon, which looks slightly different after Ness and Giygas re-arranged it in the fighting.

In the post-credits scene, Ness recieves a letter from Pokey, saying he is now the leader of the Daleks, and the Minch family will have their revenge. This leaves Ness and Paula wondering about the future...


Live ActorsEdit

  • Gary Nelson as Ness
  • Kate Locklain as Paula
  • Jefferey Paul as Jeff
  • Shiro as Poo
  • Andrew Hall as Pokey
  • Matt Morrison as Picky
  • Ryan Stephenson as Frank
  • Liam Neeson as Dr. Andonuts
  • Robin Williams as Apple Kid
  • Tim Curry as Giygas (Human Form)

Voice CastEdit

  • Dalek Voices: Peter Hawkins, David Graham, Roy Skelton, Nicholas Briggs
  • Mr. Saturn voices: Dan Castellaneta
  • Various Creature and Alien Sounds: Frank Welker


Production on the film began in December 1995. Filming began in March 1996 at Sammond Studios. Live scenes in caves and houses were filmed on Soundstage 23, model shots for the Invasion and Skaro scenes on the famed Soundstage 13, Dalek facility scenes and the Moon fight on Soundstage 5, and vehicle shots in the Johnson Model Studio, and scenes in shops and other misc. buildings on Soundstage 19. Location filming was conducted in various settings, including the Tunisian Desert for the desert scenes, Sequoia National Park for Peaceful Rest Valley and other forest scenes, Yosemite Village for Happy Happy Village, Egypt for the Egypt scenes, Stuttgardt for Summer, the Isle of Man for Winter, Beijing, China for Dalaam, and an area near Lawrence, Kansas for the Prairie and Giygas Crash scenes.

The film used little, if any, CGI effects. Alot of the effects were practical and employed old methods. For example, when Paula's PK Fire is used, Kate's outstretched arm hides a Flamethrower used by a crew member to shoot fire and set various props on fire.

During one of the Dalek Facility scenes, Ness and Paula flee a group of Daleks by sliding on a zipline. During filming, the zipline's brake stuck, leaving Gary and Kate suspended in mid-air without harness or airbag. The only thing keeping them from falling was Gary straining to keep a hold of the zip-line handle while having to hold up Kate. Eventually, props were moved to bring in a cherry-picker to get them down. The snag became one of the most celebrated bloopers of all time, and an entire featurette was released on the bonus disk of the 2011 Blu-Ray release.

The Godzilla sequence garnered much media attention in Japan. Toho lent suits to Johnson Studios for the sequence. The Godzilla (MosuGoji) suit was fresh out of Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, the Anguirus (ShoshingekiGira) suit had sat in storage since 1974, and the King Ghidorah suit and puppets (HeiseiGhido) were last used in 1991. All three suits were retained and put to use the next year in Monster World (the famed Godzilla/HP Lovecraft/Neon Genesis Evangelion crossover series).


The movie used a lot of music from other media, mainly Star Wars, various Godzilla productions, and Star Trek: The Next Generation. The movie also includes songs that were sampled or referenced in the game, mainly The Beatles.

Several tracks from other media include:

The movie used a ton of stock effects from other media:


Among the list of filming methods:

  • In opening scene with the meteor, the meteor itself is a burning piece of charcoal dropped into the hill. Within the hill are explosive squibs used for most of the explosions in the model shots. This shot was reused in the eighth season premiere of Monster World.
  • Also in the opening scene, when Ness is jolted awake by the meteor impact, director Timothy Hill wanted the full effect. Therefore, Gary was given no indication as to when the hydraulics under the set and the loud blank shot. When both happened, Gary actually fell out of bed, but the shot was kept since it was the full effect Hill was looking for.
  • As mentioned, whenever Paula uses PK Fire, Kate's outstretched arm hides a flamethrower that shoots the fire itself. The things Paula sets on fire are truly burned by the flamethrower. This method is still used.
  • Happy Happy Village's destruction was NOT filmed in Yosemite Village as it is usually stated. Only close-up shots of Ness and Paula in the village killing Cultists were actually filmed on location. The rest were model sets filmed at Soundstage 13.
  • The Monotoli Building scenes were mostly filmed in the World Trade Center North Tower. This caused some media attention post-9/11, and there was serious consideration to refilm the scenes on Soundstage 6, but by this time, Nelson and Locklain had outgrown the roles. Another idea was to film with John Helbert and Vanessa Parsons, but they were knee-deep in filming for Revenge of the Sontarans.
  • The long-shots of the Runaway Five's tour bus were filmed on both US Highway 50 near Carson City, with the Two-Three Tunnel being filmed at Cave Rock. Care had to be taken in order to ensure Lake Tahoe did not show up in any shots. When the crew couldn't get any shots without Tahoe, the tunnel scenes were moved to the Waldo Tunnel near Marin. The shots of Cave Rock were later recycled in several third and fouth season episodes.
  • The Skaro scenes were difficult to film, since the whole sequence, from start to end, was based on the Dalek Civil War from the 1967 Doctor Who serial, "Evil of the Daleks". Since only the second episode of the serial is the only part to survive in whole, stock footage was hard to come by. Several telesnaps from the seventh episode that do survive were spliced with footage of the Ness and Paula robot props opening fire. A surviving clip of the assembly line scene from "Power of the Daleks" was also used, with CG explosions superimposed when Jeff and Poo open fire. The robots themselves were animatronics running on tracks that were compositited out of the final cut. Actual robot suits for Nelson, Locklain, Paul, and Shiro to wear were actually constructed, but they were too bulky and if someone fell, they couldn't get up by themselves. The suits were nixed and were later used in the second season episode, "Insurrection on Sondor", where they were effectively disposed of.
  • The Giygas Crash scene was the only point where CGI was noticeable. Super-Ness and Giygas falling to Earth was filmed using harnesses and green screens, with the harnesses composited out. The far shots of the re-entry and flyby shots were CGI. The crash itself was filmed on Soundstage 5, where the largest explosion on a Johnson model set to date was set off. The explosion was so powerful, most of the Soundstage's windows were blown out. The sound of the blast could be heard up to 3 miles away, and caused windows in Downtown San Jose to rattle and many calls to the police department.
  • As you would expect, Shiro was not burned on the funeral pyre at the end. Instead, a dummy with Shiro's head digitally added was used.

Surfacing of Original ScriptEdit

On June 16, 2007, the original script for the movie surfaced, showing different characterizations for the characters. Ness was originally a cocky, self-centered, yet likeable jerk, Paula was a stereotypical whiny damsel-in-distress, Jeff was a stereotypical nerd who has an aversion to physical confrontation, and Poo was a Japanese Nationalist who secretly resented his partners for being from the countries that defeated Japan in World War II. The film was originally a hand-drawn animation film, and Eddie Deezan was slated to voice Jeff. The script was rejected as being too stereotypical and containing offensive material glorifying the Allied victory in World War II. It was quickly re-written to its final form.



Dalek City

Misc. ShotsEdit



Upon its release, the film recieved universal acclaim. Critics praised the story, acting, effects, soundtrack, and props. Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel gave the film Two Thumbs Up, and went on to say "Johnson Studios has officially become the messiah of cinema".

The New York Times called the film "re-assurance of Johnson Incorporateds return to form", saying the film exceeded all expectations and put its Warner Bros. predecessor to shame.

Critics highly praised the performances Gary Nelson, Kate Locklain, Jeffrey Paul, and Shiro as "the definitive depictions of these underrated characters". Critics also highly praised the relationship and chemistry between Ness and Paula, saying they "avoided the most annoying and repetitive cliches". Paula was praised for being a strong female lead capable of fighting instead of a whiny damsel-in-distress (as she was in the original script).

The movie brought attention to the EarthBound SNES game, and it quickly saw a huge boost in sales, extending the lifespan of the SNES in North America until 2002. The movie was extremely popular in Japan, with lines stretching miles long and theaters running out of food and being filled to capacity.


On Opening Weekend, the movie was a literal blockbuster, opening at No. 1. At the end of the year, it was the second-highest grossing film of 1997, coming in behind James Cameron's Titanic.

In total, the film made $2,185,372,300, $2 short of Titanic, ironically. At the time, it was the second-highest grossing film of all-time.


The success of the film spawned a follow-up television series, EarthBound: The Series, a remake of the original game for SNES and N64 that follows the plot of the movie, a comic book series, novels and novellas, a toyline by Hasbro (later made in-house by Johnson Toys), a LEGO theme (starting in 2004) a clothing line, among other things. Several sequel films were also released in 2002 (Revenge of the Sontarans), 2008 (Mother 3), and, most recently, in 2011 (EarthBound 2: Invasion).