Kid Reporters

Life On Mars

TFK chats with the cast of Disney's Mars Needs Moms, in theaters March 11

March 10, 2011

Milo feeds his broccoli to the cat.

What would you do if Martians kidnapped your mom? In the 3-D animated movie Mars Needs Moms, a young boy named Milo (Seth Green) finds himself in this exact sticky situation. The aliens want to steal Milo's mother's "mom-ness" for their own young. Now it's up to the 9-year-old to get his mom back before she is lost forever.

TFK Kid Reporter Taylor Pannell with Joan Cusack, who plays Milo's mom.
TFK Kid Reporter Taylor Pannell with Joan Cusack, who plays Milo's mom.

Luckily, Milo has a little help in Ki (KEE) and Gribble. Ki is a rebel Martian girl who secretly paints colorful graffiti on the dull walls of her underground home. Gribble is a 30-year-old Earthling whose own mom was kidnapped years before. The unusual pair will risk everything in order to help their new friend. Will they save Milo's mom in time? Find out on March 11, when the film opens in regular and IMAX 3-D theaters.

A Chat with the Cast and Crew

On March 4, TFK Kid Reporter Taylor Pannell met with some of the talented actors, writers and animators who created the movie. Actress Joan Cusack (Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3) stars as Milo's mom—the kind of parent who's loving, but still tries to teach her son responsibility by asking him to take out the trash and go to bed when it's bedtime.

Having two boys herself, Cusack told TFK that she found it easy to play the role of a parent. What's her favorite role of all the ones she's played in her career? "I would say my favorite role is being a real mom," Cusack said, with a smile. "As a mom, the biggest job is not to act, but to be yourself."

Kid Reporter
Taylor Pannell

Every good action movie has a sinister bad guy. The villain in this film is the Martian Supervisor, played by Mindy Sterling (iCarly). The Supervisor has an icy cold heart, and rules the Martian underworld with a iron fist. Remarkably, Sterling acted out almost all of her scenes in a special Martian language created just for the movie. Learning Martian was a piece of cake, Sterling told TFK. "There wasn't too much to learn," the actress says. "Sometimes, I just made it up!"

A Family Affair

Taylor interviews Mindy Sterling, who plays the evil Martian Supervisor.
Taylor interviews Mindy Sterling, who plays the evil Martian Supervisor.

Anyone who has a mother will be moved by this movie. In fact, anyone who loves someone, period, will be moved by this movie. Maybe it is because the story was inspired by a real-life event. The movie is based on a novel by prize-winning cartoonist Berkeley Breathed. He wrote the book after a dinner-table incident between his wife and son, who was then 4 years old. That night, Breathed's son had thrown his broccoli into the air and stormed from the room, yelling at his mother on the way out. Breathed told his son, "You might think differently about your mom if she were kidnapped by Martians." He wrote the novel that same evening.

Director Simon Wells co-authored the screenplay with his wife, Wendy. They also know what it's like to be parents and used it to build their story. "It's tough being a parent," Wells told TFK. But at the same time, he glowed with pride when he spoke of his own two daughters, who have parts in the film.

All kids get into arguments with their parents. The fights may be about homework, chores or eating vegetables. Mars Needs Moms reminds us to look past these silly disagreements and to remember the importance of family and the things that really matter. After watching this movie, you'll want to hug your parents and loved ones.

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