(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing trailer clips and screenshots from "Mars Needs Moms")
Doug (vo): By popular demand, it's "Mars Needs Moms". Yeah, sorry it took so long to get to these. We've...kinda been busy with a few other things. But, here I am, and I finally saw one of Disney's biggest disappointments: The critical and box office flop that actually destroyed Robert Zemeckis' motion capture company. (The logo of the studio ImageMovers Digital is shown briefly) Yep, remember "Polar Express", "Beowulf", "Christmas Carol"? You're gonna see nothing like that anymore, because this is the film that killed it. Some would say that's a shame, others would say, "Thank God!", because if they kept turning out films like this...yeah, it's not a big loss.
Doug (vo): The film is about a little boy who's having trouble getting along with his mother, only to discover she's being kidnapped by aliens, and he follows along. They're taken to a planet that's ruled by females who have absolutely no idea how to take care of children. (Beat) Huh. Then how did they survive all these years...okay, we'll get to all that. The boy comes across another guy who was taken hostage long ago, and while he doesn't like what they do, he just sort of learns to accept it because he has no other choice. But the boy says he does have a choice, and thus, the two of them, as well as an alien graffiti artist, decide to change how Mars works, fight the evil repressive system, and stop all the mothers from being destroyed. Oh, yeah. When the mothers out-use their usefulness, they just blow 'em up.
Doug (vo): And that gets to kind of the major problem of this movie. Okay, I know they always say don't judge a movie by its title, but the title of this movie is "Mars Needs Moms".
(The film's title is shown briefly)
Doug (vo): Okay, it's stupid, it's one of the worst titles for a movie ever. But at least when you hear it, you get an idea what you're going to get: something playful, something goofy and colorful, kinda lighthearted. But, no. This is a really dark, miserable-looking, even intense film! There's a scene where one of the characters talks about seeing his mother actually get destroyed, right in front of his eyes, and it's told really slowly and really dramatically, and all I could think to myself is...
(The title is shown again as Doug says it in a goofy way)
Doug (vo): "Mars Needs Moms"! But that wouldn't really matter if the film was, say, creative or charming or imaginative, and it's surprisingly not. I know the idea of this world is that it's supposed to be repressive and there isn't any color, but come on. Even for a repressive world, we've seen this a million times. It looks like Tron, it looks like 1984, it looks like The Matrix, it looks like all these movies we've seen with miserable worlds a bajillion times, and it's just not interesting anymore. I guess the idea of a race run by females and all the males are just kind of left in the garbage is kind of interesting, but even then, I'm not really sure what kind of commentary they're trying to get across, if any. Is this like a Wicker Man remake, is women taking over a good thing or a bad thing, or is this supposed to show ironically how like how men treat women or women treat men...? I don't know. Maybe there is no commentary. Maybe it's just the way this planet does things and they just need an enemy to go after. And that's exactly what this film feels like. It feels like everything is there just so it can kind of be there. A kid travels to Mars, because...kids want to travel to Mars. They fight oppressive systems, because...kids like fighting oppressive systems. Hey, look how much they argue with their parents.
(We see a behind the scenes image of Seth Green, who plays the main character)
Doug (vo): We're gonna motion capture Seth Green as the little kid, even though he doesn't do any of the voice, because...we just kinda motion capture celebrities for some reason*.
Note: Green was going to be the voice of the protagonist, but some of the crew thought he sounded too mature for the character, so he was voiced by Seth Dusky instead.
(An image of the Conductor in The Polar Express is briefly shown)
Doug (vo): At least with Tom Hanks and Jim Carrey, they were in the movie, they got to use their voices. But Seth Green? I mean, he's a fine actor, but did you absolutely need this guy in this role? I can tell you that his addition doesn't add anything nor any of the characters.
(The main character's mother, played by Joan Cusack, is shown)
Doug (vo): Joan Cusack, she's one of my favorite actresses, she is so funny and so entertaining, yet she's just there to kind of...be there. For a film about a kid who wants to go save his mother, they don't make this mother interesting at all, and it's such a shame to hear someone I know is so uniquely fun like Joan Cusack just given nothing to work with.
Final thought Edit
Doug (vo): So, I guess if you're just in the mood to, say, fight the power and the repressive whatevers as, hey... (A poster of The Hunger Games is shown) those films do well sometimes, this one definitely doesn't make any sense, but...I guess if you just want to get that rebellious emotion out of your system? But outside from that, I have no idea who would enjoy this film. It's not the worst, it's just...dull, and when it's not dull, it's kind of unpleasant. And for a movie called (speaks goofily) "Mars Needs Moms", you wouldn't expect something so grim and depressing. In terms of at least seeing a yearly film with motion capture that's gonna look like a really high budget production, they're pretty much extinct now. Again, it's hard to say this is a good thing or a bad thing, but if they're anything like this film, I can say we definitely traded up.
(A scene showing one of the supporting characters, a robot named Two-Cat, shaking his head in annoyance, is shown)