Mars Needs Moms is a sci-fi animated movie with voices provided by Joan Cusack and Dan Fogler. The movie is directed by Simon Wells who has done some decent animated fare in the past (most notably Balto and the Prince of Egypt). Unfortunately, this is a very weak animated film compared to most. While the film does provide a laugh or two throughout it's run time, the movie is a complete bore to sit through and it feels like a chore to watch. For a movie that mostly takes place on Mars, it is visually unappealing, with most of the color palette consisting of monotonous shades of chrome and gray throughout. It does have occasional splashes of color when the main character (Milo) meets a certain alien during the second half of the movie.
The plot of the movie is rather strange as well. Basically Milo is a young child who is fed up with his mother (Joan Cusack) telling him what to do all the time. The next logical step is for his mom to be kidnapped by aliens and brought to Mars. Milo soon realizes that he needs his mom more than he thought he did so he stows away on the spaceship and looks all over Mars to find her. There's nothing wrong with this premise if it's done right, but this movie doesn't have a sliver of imagination, wit or originality.
First thing's first: THE MOTION CAPTURE IS CREEPY AS SHIT. Seriously, the way the motion capture is done, it makes the characters (especially Milo and his mom) seem like they're staring into your soul with blank eyes or moving around like a damaged robot. The face animations are atrocious and never seem to fit what the character is saying or doing. Sometimes Milo's mouth moves for no reason when he's sitting still and his animations are really creepy and jerky. The visuals on Earth at the beginning look like they were ported straight out of the Sims 3 and they look terrible. The visuals once they get on Mars are monotonous, bland and boring.
Secondly, this movie lacks any imagination and it always seems to take the easy way out of situations involving Milo. The main thing the film is lacking is heart and emotion. If any animated movie is going to succeed, it needs to have heart and emotional attachment. This movie fails to provide that and it's hard to root for Milo because he's really cocky and he isn't really that likable.
A few bright spots come into the movie during the second half when Milo meets this girl alien who is able to make everything quite colorful. She is able to spruce up the bland visuals a bit during the second half of this movie. The other positive thing about this movie is that Dan Fogler provides a few laughs and his character is likable.
Overall, only watch this film if you are under 10 years old or if you want to at least watch an animated movie that's better than the Hoodwinked sequel.