Mars Needs Moms 4–Disc Blu/3D/DVD/Digital Combo I 2–Disc Blu/DVD Combo I DVD
DIRECTOR: Simon Wells
WRITER: Simon Wells, Wendy Wells
STARRING: Seth Green, Seth Robert Dusky, Dan Fogler, Joan Cusack, Elisabeth Harnois, Mindy Sterling, Tom Everett Scott, Kevin Cahoon
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
RELEASE DATE: August 9, 2011
Having the very unfortunate disposition of costing $150 million to make, and only bringing back $38 million worldwide in return, Walt Disney’s Mars Needs Moms can be considered one of the biggest flops of all time…and that, my friends, is not a good thing to have hovering over you. But is the movie really as bad as this monumental flop indicates, or are there redeeming qualities worth seeking out?
The movie follows Milo, (performance captured by Seth Green, voiced by Seth Robert Dusky), a normal everyday boy who has a bit of an argument with his mother (Joan Cusack). As most boys would, he feels badly about snapping at her with some very unkind words, and proceeds to go and apologize. But when he reaches her bedroom, a strange bright light is making its way through the bottom of the door, and he goes in to check out what it is. When he enters, he sees some sort of craft zooming away, and, realizing his mom is gone, runs after it only to find a spaceship, which he sees has taken his mother.
Milo bangs and yells at the ship to give him his mother back, but accidentally ends up going right up with it when the landing gear grabs hold of his shirt and brings him on board as well. When the ship arrives on Mars, Milo is discovered and imprisoned. But thankfully, due to the help of another human named Gribble (Dan Fogler), he’s able to escape, and the two—along with the help of a native Martian named Ki (Elisabeth Harnois)—set off on a journey to save Milo’s mom.
Now, going back to whether or not this movie is as bad as its box office numbers indicate, I don’t believe it is. Is it a good movie? That’s not something I can say; many will consider it to be lacking all–around, and that’s fine. But it’s not nearly as bad as its numbers seem to accuse it of being.
First of all, Mars Needs Moms is best suited as a family film that you can enjoy with your kids. The whole kidnapping moms thing might be a tad scary for some little ones, but in terms of story presentation it’s meant to appease all ages. Secondly, it’s often thought to be a film made by Robert Zemeckis—director of animated performance capture feature films such as The Polar Express, Beowulf, and A Christmas Carol—but he only produced this one. The movie is directed by Simon Wells, great grandson to H.G. Wells and director of movies like An American Tale: Fievel Goes West, Balto, The Prince of Egypt, and The Time Machine.
The movie has a decent little sci–fi adventure story, though it does lag at times and can be a little boring. As is the case with most animated performance capture flicks, the effects are pretty solid all around and it’s an appealing film to look at. It’s still pretty crazy to see animated human beings that look this realistic in a movie, and that’s something I can always appreciate.
Also, no one does home video better than Disney does. I got the four–disc combo that comes with the 3D version (which I’m currently unable to watch), the Blu-ray version, the DVD, and a digital copy. Now, I won’t use all of these, but it’s so very appreciated to have access to all of them just in case. As far as I’m concerned, everyone should include all viewing options in a package like Disney does. If you don’t want all four options you can grab the two–disc Blu–ray/DVD combo or just the DVD, but this is the best purchasing option in my own humble opinion.
All of that said, I feel that the kiddies will be the ones who enjoy this one the most. Some adults will enjoy it, don’t get me wrong, but again, it’s not the most compelling movie and some older folks could be bored by it at times. I’d suggest you do not let the unbelievably bad box office showing of Mars Needs Moms deter you from giving it at least a watch, especially if you have little ones running around. Families will be the most likely to buy it, but everyone else should at least give it a Redbox tip–of–the–hat if you’re looking for an all–ages sorta flick to watch.
Special features include Fun With Seth, where Seth Green goofs around with the cast in their performance capture suits, a look at the martians and their language called Martian 101, and deleted scenes. You can also watch the entire movie with a little box at the bottom of the screen that shows the performance capture work, along with commentary by Green, Fogler, and Wells.
The 3D version comes with alternate and deleted scenes, while the DVD just has the Martian 101 and Fun With Seth extras.
I also happened upon at least one Easter egg (on the Blu–ray, at least)—just keep pushing up while on the special features and the colorful graffiti from the movie will appear. This opens up the hippie video Ki watched and learned English from.