I'm sure you've seen the trailers and ads by now, but the new Disney movie, Mars Needs Moms, opens today and Aubrey and I were included in a lucky group of families who got to pre-screen it earlier this week.
The movie is based on the children's book of the same name, by Berkeley Breathed and it is the story of a young boy, named Milo (played by Seth Green). Milo's wonderful mom is swept up by Martians who need moms who know how to make their children behave. Mars has been ruled by a crabby old lady Martian for generations (played brilliantly by the ever hilarious Mindy Sterling) who has orchestrated an army of "nannybots" to raise the baby Martian hatchlings. In order to program the nannybots, they need real moms - thus the abduction. Milo ends up on an intense, but entertaining quest to rescue his mom from Mars with displaced Earthling "Gribble" (played by Dan Fogler) and a rebellious Martian girl, "Ki" (played by Elisabeth Harnois).
Here's a quick, helpful MOM review in-case you were wondering whether or not to bring your kiddo.
1) We really liked it! Dare I say, better than Toy Story 3? Yes. I liked it, believe it or not, a lot more. The storyline was great, the animation was cool and the acting was impressive. The film's animation is getting a little bit of a thrashing in other reviews I've read and while I'm not animation expert, I'll let you know it's that computer generated motion-capture style - the same technology they used in Polar Express. I guess this creeps some people out, but I kind of like it.
2) The movie is rated PG, so it may be a bit too intense for younger ones. My daughter is 3-1/2 and wasn't scared at all, but she was scared during Toy Story 3 several months ago. Go figure. Most of the scenes in the movie are dark and there is a lot of intense action, including falling, laser gun shooting, chasing, etc. You will have to judge if your kids are good at handling intense action, even though it is a kid/family movie.
3) Stay and watch the credits if you can, as they show clips of how the motion-capture style animation is shot with the live actors. I think this was actually my favorite part! So fascinating and cool to see!
4) Wah-Alert: Lots of moms told me they wah-wah cried during Toy Story 3. Well, watch out then. There are a couple mom-centric scenes in this one that will get you!
5) The main thing that I found to be a little disappointing about this film - and this is mainly from an actor's perspective - is why Seth Green to play a little boy? They manipulated his voice to make him sound age appropriate and I admit, he did a really nice job with the part, but why? Aren't there a zillion boy actors out there who would have done a great job? Whatev.
This wasn't the perfect kid/family movie, but it was a really good one and we are glad we saw it. Aubrey loved the girl Martian character, "Ki" so much, she has a temporary tattoo of her on her forearm now. I don't think it's going to be a giant Disney classic, but the entertainment value was there and I'd totally recommend it. Just remember, it is PG. The little ones might think it's a little s-c-a-r-y.
Mars Needs Moms opens TODAY in theaters across the US. For more information visit:
www.Disney.com/MarsNeedsMoms and www.Facebook.com/MarsNeedsMomsMovie