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IN SHORT: Parents with kids, take 'em. [Rated PG for sci-fi action and peril. 88 minutes]
And those who want wallpapers for your kid's computers, [get 'em here]
This is what we learn about Mars: Female Martians rule the roost (sic). Male Martians are exiled somewhere in the suburbs where they dance and party all the time. Martians have one rocket ship capable of trekking to and from Earth. They have the ability to spy on us earthlings and have determined that nine year old Milo (Seth Green) has the bestest mother in the whole wide world. They also -- these being the Martian women who run their planet -- hatch their young and have no maternal skills whatsoever. So they kidnap the bestest moms from earth and strap 'em into some kind of sci-fi machine to steal all that maternal stuff to teach their children well.
Of course, when Milo's mom is snatched by said Martians, the one thing they didn't count on to happen, happens. Milo chases mom's kidnappers down and stows away aboard their ship [not fully realizing that said ship was from Mars, of course].
Depleting mom of all her mothering skills has one unfortunate side effect, as Milo learns from another survial kid, Gribble (Dan Fogler). Gribble's mom was disintegrated by the process. Gribble isn't all that keen on rescuring Milo's mom 'cuz Miso is the first human kid friend to get to the planet in years! Gribble's psych profile would make you cry -- he's sad and lonely and just a wee bit bonkers from hiding in the high tech underground Martian city. Navigating that city is easy if you're befriended by a native. Her name is Ki (Elisabeth Harnois), and she is the polar opposite to the shrieking harpy (Mindy Sterling) who shouts orders at her trooops.
That sums up just about all you need to know about Mars Needs Moms . . .
. . . which brings us to the critic portion of the job. We've noted many times in the past fifteen years that we're big on animation. We also love the occasional family oriented film that we can lug the kids to because, if said kidlets are big enough, we make 'em earn their free ticket. So, from the pen of the son of a once-upon-a-time coworker of mine, named Atticus, age 12 years old, who reports:
I think that the movie Mars Needs Moms is an enjoyable space comedy that takes the story away from the stereotypical perspective of space aliens. Instead of small, green Martians, we see tall, purple, female characters that live under the surface of Mars. The storyline of this movie is simple enough to follow and will entertain as well. I do find some parts of this movie confusing, such as why do the Martians have only one space ship? Why are the males on the planet oppressed? Even though I found some parts confusing, I think that most children would enjoy seeing Mars Needs Moms.
As for yours Cranky, 'toonhead that I am and all, I was disappointed with the overall film. Then again, and I'm showing age here, there have always been toons that have worked better for the kidlets; those of us of parental age can stow away in the back row and let the kids share the godzilla sized popcorn buckets with their friends up front. That's what Mars Needs Moms is.
We don't put the usual dollar rating on family movies. We just let the parental units know whether or not to trust their hard earned cash to the local theater owner's wallets <g>
That's why we can say those with kids should bring 'em. Those without kids should pass in favor of one of the more adult themed flicks opening this week. [Then again, we've seen most of this week. Maybe you should rent.]
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