In a sense, Mars Needs Moms takes the message of the simple storybook, Where the Wild Things Are, and simply sets it in space. There are still savage aliens and the young boy involved learns to appreciate the discipline his mother instills in him. This makes for a solid foundation for Mars Needs Moms, and a surprisingly creative family film that also seems to blend 60s science fiction with cutting edge animation.
The story follows a young boy who has a fight with his mother the same night aliens come to take her. He sneaks onto their spaceship and is taken to mars, where a race of aliens need humans to program their nanny robots to take care of the alien children. Determined to save his mother from this fate, nine-year-old
Milo bravely fights the hostile alien race with the help of another human stranded on Mars.
I’m not exactly certain why this film needed to be animated, except perhaps to save on budget. There is no reason this couldn’t have been live-action like Zathura, but instead it was animated to look as realistic as possible. That being said, they have come a long way in the way realistic humans look animated. The eyes were always the problem, but they look extremely real in this film. Almost so real that it brings me back to the original question; why animate it?
The animation comes from the same studio that brought you the classic Christmas tales to animated life by Robert Zemeckis. Zemeckis acts as producer for this feature, while Simon Wells directs his own screenplay adapted from the book by Berkely Breathed. The two-disc combo pack comes with a Blu-ray and DVD disc of the film. The DVD includes a featurette with Seth Green and Dan Fogler, the main voice actors. There is also a featurette on the alien language spoken in the film. The Blu-ray has these, plus more. There is also an extended opening sequence, deleted scenes and the full motion-capture experience, with an audio commentary.