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stills from mars needs moms Actor Dan Fogler in his motion caption suit for the filming of Mars Needs Moms, and a scene from the movie with his character Gribble, an Earthman who has a tree house made out of trash. (Photo courtesy ImageMovers Digital LLC All Rights Reserved)

Movie Review: Mars Needs Moms

Go on a thrilling mission to save mom from Martians

By Cassandra Hsiao | null null , null

Mars Needs Moms 3D and IMAX 3D
Rated: PG for Sci-fi peril
Opens: Friday, March 11, 2011
Running Time: 88 min.


What's the big deal about moms? They make you eat your broccoli and do chores. Nine-year-old Milo (Seth Green) doesn't think there's anything special about that. However, when Martians abduct his mom (Joan Cusack) to discipline their own young, Milo changes his mind and embarks on a quest to save her.

Produced by the team behind Monster House, The Polar Express, and Disney's A Christmas Carol, Director Simon Wells' breathtaking Mars Needs Moms in Disney Digital 3D and IMAX will take you on an ultimate adventure through space.

In the movie, Milo meets Gribble (Dan Fogler), a boisterous, tech-happy, '80s-speaking underground earthman who has a treehouse made out of trash. He also hooks up with a strong-willed Martian named Ki (Elisabeth Harnois) who learned to speak English by watching a '70s sitcom. Gribble and Ki help Milo stop the heartless Martian leader, the Supervisor (Mindy Sterling), from taking his mom away forever.

From the setting to the clothing, meticulous and accurate attention was paid to every single detail. The movie was filmed through the process of mocap, or motion capture. The action is filmed using real actors in skintight suits with digital monitors embedded. The animation is then imposed on the live action for a more realistic look and feel. It works!

I could almost taste Mars' famous red dust. The scenes where Milo is tumbling down mounds of trash or when he is blasting off on the spaceship are like being on a rollercoaster ride at a theme park! Seeing the movie in IMAX 3D enhances these stimulating and exhilarating scenes.

The music intertwines with not just the action of this fast-paced film, but the touching moments as well. It brilliantly reflects personal, emotional detail of individual character. The scene where Gribble reveals his past is so touching, my eyes even got misty toward the end.

This movie is based on a book by famed cartoonist Berkeley Breathed, who was inspired to write the book when his own son Milo had a disagreement with his mom over broccoli. Milo thought that he would be better off without his mom. The movie used the key elements in the short picture book and added unbelievably spectacular 3D scenes littered with funny characters, adventure, fantastic humor, and great performances.

Mars Needs Moms has an amazing message beneath all the comedy, action, and special effects. Start your journey to Mars with Milo when Martians land in U.S. theaters on March 11, 2011!

Find out what the actors think in Kid Reporter Cassandra Hsiao's story about the press day promoting Mars Needs Moms. And check out her post about the movie on the Scholastic Kids Press Corps Blog!

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