Mars Needs Moms Movie Poster Image

Mars Needs Moms

(i)

 

Surprisingly touching adventure has sad moments amid comedy.
  • Review Date: January 1, 2011
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 88 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids will learn the importance of doing their chores and not saying mean things to their mothers.

Positive messages

This movie has a strongly positive message: that kids should value and appreciate everything their moms do for them (even if it's chores and discipline) because it's all done out of love. There are also positive take-aways about helping friends in need and the importance of being raised by a family. The motivation behind the Supervisor's tyranny is rooted in female empowerment, but along the way it stripped female Martians of the ability to have families.

Positive role models

Mom is an excellent maternal role model: She's fair, loving, and selfless, and she doesn't think twice about saving Milo at her expense. She loves Milo unconditionally, even when he disappoints her by disobeying her. Gribble eventually helps Milo, even though it means that he'll be alone without a human friend. Ki realizes that her Supervisor's laws are unjust and helps Gribble and Milo save Mom.

Violence & scariness

Young kids may be upset to hear that Mom will be killed once her parenting skills are extracted to program the Nanny Bots. And at one point, it looks like she has actually died, which could be more disturbing. The Martian ladies, especially the Supervisor, are an imposing, menacing bunch, and the Supervisor always looks and sounds like she's giving mean orders. Gribble is nearly executed by firing squad (the Martians have huge gun-like weapons). There are some foot chases, and the climactic rush to save Mom and return to Earth is tense.

Sexy stuff

Flirting between Gribble and Ki. Gribble keeps blushing in her presence; at the end, they embrace, and she gives him a peck on the cheek.

Language

Insults like "idiot," "stupid," and "jerk."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this animated 3-D adventure comedy based on the book by Berkeley Breathed is occasionally frightening -- and scenes in which it looks as though the Mom character has died could be quite upsetting for younger viewers -- but it has a very strong message about unconditional love. Because the animation is based on motion-capture technology, some of the tenser scenes (chases, a near execution, close calls with death) seem more realistic and may affect younger kids more than regular computer-generated animation. Expect a few insults ("stupid," "idiot," etc.) and very mild flirting between a female alien and a man who's grown up on Mars. Moms will particularly appreciate the movie's biggest take away: Even when they nag kids to do their chores or send them to bed without a treat, moms love their kids and would do anything to ensure their safety.

What's the story?

Nine-year-old Milo (Seth Green, whose voice is altered to sound younger) has a loving but occasionally disciplinarian mom (Joan Cusack) who sends him to bed without a movie because he feeds his broccoli to the cat. In response to her nagging, Milo spits out, "I wish I didn't have a mom," leaving her in tears. That night, an alien ship abducts her, but not before Milo jumps aboard and flies back to Mars as a stowaway. On Mars, Milo evades detection by jumping down a trash chute that leads to an underground Martian garbage dump, where all the male Martians are kept locked away by the ruling females. Milo meets Gribble (Dan Fogler), a tech-savvy human who explains that every 25 years, the Martians abduct a good Earthling mother in order to program a flock of nanny robots who raise Martian girl babies. If Milo can't save his mom before programming, she'll die -- and he'll be stuck on Mars forever.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

This is a surprisingly tender and sweet adventure. As motion-capture technology advances and produces more and more films, the startlingly realistic animation it produces is no longer as occasionally disturbing as it was when The Polar Express was released. It's easier to just be in awe of it now -- and to see the actors' faces and expressions in every scene. And MARS NEEDS MOMS, like most animated movies, features a noteworthy comedic voice cast, especially Green as Milo, Fogler as Gribble, and Cusack as Mom.

The film's weak link is the '60s-show-obsessed Martian, Ki (Elisabeth Harnois). She believes in groovy love thanks to watching the same 1960s TV program over and over again. It's funny for a little while to hear her say anachronistic catchphrases, but after a while the joke gets a bit flat. Still, this is an enjoyable movie that helps kids understand that, despite the rules, the chores, and the bedtimes, mothers love their kids fiercely, unconditionally, and sacrificially. Mothers -- don't be surprised if you cry and your kids hug you extra tight.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's message. What is it saying about moms and kids? Kids: Do you see your mom at all differently after watching this movie?

  • Kids: What parts of the movie were scary and/or sad? Did any of it seem scarier or sadder because of the way the animation looks? Why do you think that is?

  • How does Milo's experience affect him? How does he act differently once he's back home?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 11, 2011
DVD release date:August 9, 2011
Cast:Dan Fogler, Joan Cusack, Seth Green
Director:Simon Wells
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Adventures, Book characters, Space and aliens
Run time:88 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:sci-fi action and peril

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Teen, 15 years old Written bymida22 July 31, 2011

worst movie ever

i hate this movie so much!!! It's stupid and boring! >:( MIDA22
Kid, 11 years old March 7, 2012

:)

I cried during this movie (am 11) and i was a little scared but overall this is a good movie (the scared part is when the guy (forgot his name) explained he tried saving his mother and the mother didnt make it :..( )
Teen, 15 years old Written byMASSICLIKPERCYJ... March 29, 2011

bad memory!!!

So one time me and a friend were planning girls night out and we wanted to watch a movie. We wanted to watch something else she said she wanted to watch red riding hood/sucker punch so i said OK let's watch that when we got to the movie theater our moms were with us and they said we were watching this. I said noooo waaaayyy!!!! Please anything but this but they still bought it. And plus i'm 15 this would be so dumb. When we got there i slep through the first five minutes. I got back awake and we both (faked) went to the bathroom. We just stayed there but we had to go back. It was so boring. Why did i have to watch this. ANYTHING ELSE would work. Don't watch it and don't waste ur money/time. Trust me peeps!! Not even good for lil kids!!
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