Mars Needs Moms

First slide

Endearing but frequently scary 3-D animated adventure about a 9-year-old boy (Seth Green) who comes to appreciate the love his mother (Joan Cusack) has for him after she is kidnapped by Martians and he stows away on the rocket transporting her to the Red Planet. Once there, he learns that the aliens (led by Mindy Sterling) want to extract Mom's nurturing qualities and transplant them into the robots who raise their own young, a process that, if completed, will take her life. His rescue efforts are aided by a goofy but good-hearted human fugitive (Dan Fogler) and a free-spirited Martian rebel (Elisabeth Harnois). A few mild potty jokes aside, director and co-writer Simon Wells' technically accomplished screen version of Berkeley Breathed's children's book - which features a ringing endorsement of the traditional family that parents will appreciate - is suitable for all, though seeing characters run a long gauntlet of dangers may frighten the most sensitive.

Watch out for: Considerable peril and a bit of light scatological humor.

Rated: A-I; MPAA: PG

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2011