The Movie: 6/10
Mars Needs Moms looks on paper to be a excellent little kids movie. A young boy has his mother stolen from him by Martians, and as he attempts to rescue her, he is caught in the same spaceship that she in on, and is transferred to mars, where he must rescue his mom to save the day. The movie is based on some serious motion-capture acting and features the always energetic Seth Green, along with Joan Cusack, Dan Fogler, and Elisabeth Harnois. It sounds great, and it is pretty fun, but the execution just seems to fall short of what this could have been.
Milo (Seth Green, and voiced by Seth Dusky) basically tells his mom that he is sick of being bossed around, and as he feels terrible about telling her, he finds that she is being dragged to space by aliens. He accidentally ends up in the spaceship, and when he runs into Gribble (Dan Fogler) on Mars, the two fight to save Milo’s mom, who is set for extermination just as soon as the Martians can extract the discipline that she possesses. The Martians do not raise their young, and they have created robots that do it for them. No love or affection is allowed on the red planet, and the results have been disastrous.
Milo and Gribble, with the help of Martian Ki (Elisabeth Harnois) set out to save Milo’s mom from an evil death. Ki, like some of the Martians who are seen as outcasts by the establishment, long for any sort of affection, and while Milo sets out to save his mom, he ends up saving Mars.
The story is based on a bedtime story by Berkeley Breathed, but the movie seems to meander a bit at times. The ending is prety well done, and very heartfelt, but it takes a long time to get there, which is never a good thing in a movie aimed at kids. The movie overall is fun and watchable, but it has enough issues that this is not what I would consider a great movie.
- Extended Opening, and various Deleted Scenes – Included on the Blu-ray are several extended and deleted scenes, with introductions by Director Simon Wells. they are in various stages of finish. They include an extended opening sequences as well as deleted scenes from throughout the movie.
- Life On Mars – This is a picture-in-picture motion-capture feature that lets you view some of the action as t was filmed, with the motion capture actors suited up and moving. there are introductions by Simon Wells included.
- Martian 101 – Speaking Martian With Lessons From An Expert – This is a strange little segment based on the creation of the language that the characters used when they ad-libbed the made up language. It is kind of intersting to see the development of the phrases and terminology.
- Fun With Seth – This is a feature that is based on the motion capture parts of the movie that Seth Green, as the lead actor, has taken on for the movie. In a strange twist, Seth Green does the acting and voice work, but since he is playing Milo, who is quite a bit younger then Green, the voice work is done by youngster Seth Dusky. This short feature just highlights the fact that the set was apparently quite lighthearted, due to Seth Green’s inclusion.
- DVD Version Of The Movie – A standard DVD version is included, which is a staple of Disney Blu-ray releases.
Cover Art and Menus: 7/10
The cover for Mars Needs Moms is kind of a throw back to the alien movies of the 1950s. A boy, opening the front door to a large spaceship is just a nice classic spave movie type of cover. Even the font harkens back to the old school movies. The menu features scenes of the movie playing inside Gribble’s control room.
Audio & Video: 9/10
The audio and video for this Disney presentation were amazing. The animation looks great, and the colors and black levels were simply spot on. The creepiness of the capture animation is still there, but this presentation is amazing. the audio was also excellent. This is presented in 7.1 Surround Sound, and the panning from speaker to speaker was very well done. Overall this is just a great Blu-ray presentation.
For a kids movie, this one is pretty straight forward in terms of the story. The pace of the movie and the development seemed a bit off to be honest, and while it is a fun little watch, it is not overly remarkable. It is almost like too much effort was spent on trying to capture Seth Green’s energy, and not enought time was spent on fine tuning the film. It is a decent watch, but not a long term favorite.
Overall Score 6/10