Title: Mars Needs Moms
Director: Simon Wells
Starring: Joan Cusack, Seth Dusky, Dan Fogler (’Take Me Home Tonight’)
Written by: Karen Benardello
A children’s story paired with computer animated sci-fi action in 3D seemed like it would be a perfect combination for Walt Disney Pictures when it first announced its new movie ‘Mars Needs Moms,’ particularly after the success of last spring’s ‘How to Train Your Dragon.’ However, the new Disney film unfortunately proves that not all similarly-themed movies fare the same. With its lack of creative graphics and a likable protagonist, ‘Mars Needs Moms’ proves that even animated action movies need unique effects and relatable characters to be enjoyable.
‘Mars Needs Moms’ follows nine-year-old Milo (voiced by Seth Dusky), who claims his life would be better if his mom (voiced by Joan Cusack) wasn’t around to make him do chores anymore. That night, Martians kidnap his mom in order to take her maternal instinct and plant it in the robots that are used to raise their children. Realizing that he would really miss his mom if she was no longer around, Milo follows her onto the spaceship that takes her to Mars.
While on Mars, Milo must avoid capture from the Martians and their leader, the Supervisor (voiced by Mindy Sterling). in order to rescue his mom. However, a fellow human, Gribble (voiced by Dan Fogler), is determined to keep Milo on Mars so that he can have a friend. But a rebellious Martian girl, Ki (voiced by Elisabeth Harnois), is determined to help Milo and his mom, and bring love back to the Red Planet.
While director Simon Wells is trying to recapture the box office success he achieved with his last directorial effort, the 2002 Academy Award-nominated sci-fi movie ‘The Time Machine,’ with ‘Mars Needs Moms,’ he ultimately failed to incorporate any effective action effects and elements into his latest effort. The most disappointing aspect of ‘Mars Needs Moms’ is the computer animation; while the genre has spawned numerous hits over the past 15 years, including ‘Cars’ and ‘Finding Nemo,’ the graphics in ‘Mars Needs Moms’ don’t have the same allure as the films that have made those films popular.
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