Mars Needs Moms

2011

Mars Needs Moms

Critics Consensus

The cast is solid and it's visually well-crafted, but Mars Needs Moms suffers from a lack of imagination and heart.

37%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 114

40%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 27,688
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Movie Info

Take out the trash, eat your broccoli-who needs moms, anyway? Nine-year-old Milo (Seth Green) finds out just how much he needs his mom (Joan Cusack) when she's nabbed by Martians who plan to steal her mom-ness for their own young. Produced by the team behind Disney's A Christmas Carol and The Polar Express, Mars Needs Moms showcases Milo's quest to save his mom-a wild adventure in 3D that involves stowing away on a spaceship, navigating an elaborate, multi-level planet and taking on the alien nation and their leader (Mindy Sterling). With the help of a tech-savvy, underground earthman named Gribble (Dan Fogler) and a rebel Martian girl called Ki (Elisabeth Harnois), Milo just might find his way back to his mom-in more ways than one. Based on the Book by Berkeley Breathed. -- (C) Disney

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Critic Reviews for Mars Needs Moms

All Critics (114) | Top Critics (36)

  • As with a good live-action movie, it all begins with the script, and this one is solid-well thought-out, briskly paced, funny and sweet. In the end, it's the finished film that matters, not the process...

    Aug 12, 2011
  • What really sells this fabulous, kid-friendly 3D adventure to anybody over eight (no offense, kids) is its astonishing visuals, which uses motion-capture technology to a degree that surpasses what we saw in Avatar.

    Apr 13, 2011 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The credited director is Simon Wells (The Time Machine), but the grotesque characters and dark action bear the Zemeckis stamp.

    Apr 13, 2011 | Rating: 1.5/5 | Full Review…
  • Children are unlikely to enjoy it, and parents will be aching for a few stiff drinks in a Mars bar long before it's over.

    Apr 10, 2011 | Full Review…

    Philip French

    Guardian
    Top Critic
  • It's an interplanetary clunker.

    Apr 8, 2011 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • Family comedies about Martians don't need to be plausible exactly, but they need to be smart and entertaining. This one is ho-hum, so-so and so what?

    Apr 7, 2011 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Mars Needs Moms

  • May 18, 2015
    Unfortunately, one of those mass produced computer animated affairs (it seems like there's a ton of 'em) that finds actual storytelling a bothersome detail. What remains is a work that looks and sounds as if it were made for the kiddies but in actuality was made specifically for the moms of those kiddies, a little bit of encouragement for simply being moms (which, as I understand it, is a thankless job, or so I've heard), if not for only listening to toddler conversation for weeks at a time. If that was the case, why not actually write something for those moms with some meat in it instead of only breast milk?
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Oct 20, 2012
    As with other movies of this type, IE: motion capture animated films like the Polar Express, A Christmas Carol, this movie hopes to use its technical prowess to overcome pretty shoddy storytelling. As impressive as the visuals are, though the martians themselves look pretty bad, they're simply not enough to save the story, which as mentioned is dull, uninteresting and overly sentimental. I think its heart is in the right place but the humor is that silly, cutesy stuff that only kids will enjoy. The movie isn't all bad, I think it's got a good idea but the execution is what left a lot to be desired. The acting is fine but not something that will blow your mind. I think this style of digital animation is appropriate for this kind of story as it involves more "sci-fi" stuff, so the animation isn't as distracting as it is in A Christmas Carol, where they took a movie that would've been a great live-action movie and made it slightly worse in the transition to digital animation. Then again, who knows how good the book was, maybe the transition to digital animation made it a worse movie, but I still think the style fits better with this movie. And really, I don't think the movie is all THAT bad, it just simply didn't do anything for me. Apparently, adjusted for inflation, this is the biggest flop in film history. It's not THAT bad. It's not a complete and utter disaster, like Ishtar. It's got some elements that I like. But it just so happens that there was a lot more that I didn't like. For example: the story, the humor, and the sentimentality. I know I've harped on this for the entire review, but these parts of the film really sucked. I wouldn't recommend it at all, but it does have a good message for the kids and the parents love good morals in the movies they take their kids to see.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Jul 28, 2012
    To make up for Milo's(Seth Green) father(Tom Everett Scott) not being able to make it home in time for movie night due to a delayed flight, his mother(Joan Cusack) allows him to stay up late, as long as he finishes his vegetables which he does sort of by feeding them to the cat. Angry at deceiving her and poisoning the cat, she sends him to bed straight away, resulting in him saying something he will regret later when she is kidnapped by Martians. Stowing away in their spaceship gets him captured but he escapes, aided by Gribble who fills him in on the full story which only makes Milo rescuing his mother that much more urgent. With its share of cinematic influences, "Mars Needs Moms" is a very entertaining and heartfelt animated film that is also the first time I have been impressed by motion capture animation as it not only clearly expresses emotions here but also wonderfully creates a brand new world. The message is simple for children to never take their parents for granted, lest somebody from Mars is watching, and even goes as far as to say a child can be too well-behaved.(Parents, never name your kid Milo.) There is also a reminder that the geeks will inherit a planet but which one is still up for debate. I especially liked it when Milo points out that the hairy people are the good guys and the ones in uniform are the bad guys. Now, I'm left wondering what to make of the fascist matriarchy at the heart of all the troubles.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 17, 2012
    Next to Polar Express, this is one of my favorite motion capture animated films. I really wished I would have seen it in theaters, especially in 3D. I thought the story was good. The film kind of reminded me of movies like Zathura and Wall E. Both Seth Green and the kid actor who does the voice of Milo are great in the film. Dan Fogler steals the film as Gribble. I definitely recommend this film. Definitely check out the behind the scenes of how they made the film, which is shown when the end credits are rolling. I found it very interesting on how they made the film.
    Sol C Super Reviewer

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