Dir. Simon Wells, 88 minutes, USA, 2011
Cast. Seth Green, Joan Cusack, Dan Fogler, Elisabeth Harnois, Mindy Sterling
Review by Michelle Moore
This summer, sci-fi has ever been so exciting. Not only can adults be adventurous with the brilliant Super 8 but children can explore the red planet and its inhabitants with the DVD release of Disney’s eye-catching animation Mars Needs Moms, an adaptation of the 2007 picture book by Berkeley Breathed.
On the surface, Mars appears to be a desolated and deserted red planet. Unbeknown to humans, beneath the surface are its small and cute inhabitants. These creatures have a specific way of life, every few decade’s babies hatch, the boys are abandoned in the rubbish, dancing and playing happily and left to fend for themselves, while the girls are raised to control the planets infrastructure.
The reason why Mars needs mums is due to the lack of maternal instinct in the species. The matriarchal leader instructs the capture of the mother of a small boy called Milo (Green), in order to remove her “mom-ness”, the aspect that makes her a good mother, and place it into nannie-bots, howeverMilojumps on board the ship to Mars in an attempt to rescue his mother.
Bought to you by the talented minds behind A Christmas Carol and The Polar Express. this intergalactic adventure goes to new lengths of amazement in terms of placing the actors into the animated action. Typically in animated movies, animation is created digitally with actors supplying the characters voices. Here however, the credits reveal the actors in special sensor-equipped motion-capture suits that convert human performances into animation, catching emotions, responses and movement.
There are some very comical scenes in the movie. One in particular that stands out is when Milo describes using words and actions the role of a mother as the one that feeds him, washes clothes, vacuums and tucks him in. As the male characters attempt to imitateMilo’s movements, the result is the creatures appearing to participate in some form of dance.
Funny man Seth Green makesMiloappear as a funny little lad – one minute moaning about his mum the next jumping on board a space craft and saving her life. The character of Gribble (Fogler), a Mars based gadget loving human who has spent a few years too many on his own, is the most amusing character by far with his attitude, his fun loving nature and overall upbeat outlook on life. Likewise, Harnois as alien graffiti artist Ki, whose mind has been exposed to nothing but 60s TV shows, is brilliant in her hippie like manner.
A mother is the woman that cares for you when you’re down, makes sure you eat your broccoli, does your chores and tucks you in at night as a child. They are a vital role in the lives of children and although it may not always seem like you need them, Mars Needs Moms is an entertaining and technologically sound movie that goes to show you would miss them if they were not in your life.