With an IMDb rating of 4.4 and 2000 votes, you would think that Mars Needs Moms is just another generic piece of shit. You would be wrong. I do not know what in the world possessed people to hate this movie but it deserves at least a 5 or 6. Unless they were expecting a porno movie. The reason for such a low rating, in my opinion, is this: most of the IMDb votes came from males. And this movie presented Mars as a planet where females call all the shots and males are marginalized. Something that triggered the anger and everything else.
And not to blame just the male voting population, I’m certain that there are a lot of women who found that this concept is not compatible with their worldview. These are just speculations and it’s almost impossible to get to the bottom of this. So it’s best that you check out the movie and see what’s it all about. The bad reviews are fun reading, going into details about violence. They also further detail how this movie is actually not intended for children. Along with a slew of other topics. With some of them, I completely agree. For example, the Martians look pretty bad, like a deformed ET who better not phone home. So if you have some free time and have watched the movie, you might consider reading through them. Try to find a common theme and analyze why this movie triggered such a response.
Now, back to the movie, the animation is almost photo-realistic, and when it comes to human characters, sometimes it is. You can totally recognize the main actors. Unlike in other computer-animated movies in Mars Needs Moms they went in another direction and created realistic human characters, breaking the popular ye oldy cartoon style. The story is not too bad either dealing with a lot of issues. Granted, it is a bit childish and oversimplified, but then again what to expect from a cartoon.
Milo is an ordinary kid living with his mom and creating havoc wherever he goes (just like any other child). His mom is trying her best to discipline her kid and she is pretty good at her job. Meanwhile, on Mars, there is a shortage of moms who know how to properly take care of their kids (insert random mafia joke) so they decide to kidnap Milo’s mom. During the momnaping, Milo somehow gets on board a ship and ends up on Mars. A planet where women rule the planet with their dictator leader Supervisor monitoring everything. There he will meet Gribble, another human who apparently lived on Mars for a long time. Will Milo rescue his mom, and how the hell Gribble ended up on Mars is up to you to find out…
Mars, the red planet, has been a subject of many movies and stories ever since we saw it in the sky. As a science fiction and space exploration fan, the combination of populated Mars and its interactions with Earth was a very intriguing premise for me. Not to mention the totally different concept of society that Martians have. I think that this was a deal-breaker for many of the viewers. If you see a system of values that’s different from yours, no matter how good or bad it is, you can learn something from it. Especially by comparing it to yours, or ours, to be more precise. This requires critical thinking and analysis, something that kids need to learn to survive in our crazy world.
So, strangely enough, Mars Needs Moms can be a subject of a deeper analysis than any of the other animated movies. The difference in societies reminds me of the capitalism/communism clash. This also might be the third reason why the movie is so hated. And it can also be viewed just as a classic cartoon with a lovely story. I think that this stems from the fact that it’s based on a book of the same name written by Berkeley Breathed. With a $150 million budget, it made just $39 million. A definition of a box-office bomb.
Director: Simon Wells
Cast: Seth Green, Dan Fogler, Joan Cusack, Elisabeth Harnois, Mindy Sterling
Fun Facts: Seth Green spent six weeks outfitted in a special sensor-equipped performance-capture suit while also simultaneously performing his lines in the role of Milo. During the post-production process, filmmakers noticed that Green was able to physically embody a 9-year-old – imitating the movements and behaviors of a child – but his voice sounded too mature for the character. Therefore his voice was removed from the final print and replaced with that of 11-year-old actor Seth Robert Dusky.