Mars Needs Moms 3D

Featured In Issue 159, September 2011

3D Picture4.5
WSR Score4.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Walt Disney Home Entertainment
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Sci-fi action and peril
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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A, B & C
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Simon Wells
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Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS HD Lossless 7.1
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Based on the book by Berkeley Breathed, Mars Needs Moms is the story of nine-year-old Milo (Green) who finds out how much he needs his mom (Cusack) when she's nabbed by Martians who plan to steal her mom-ness for their own young. In a race against time and oxygen, his quest to save her knows no bounds. And with some unexpected help, Milo just might find his way back to her—in more ways than one. (Gary Reber)

Special features include Mom-Mapping, Fun With Seth (HD 02:28), Martian 101 (HD 02:21), seven deleted scenes with introductions by Director Simon Wells (HD 28:31), previews, and a digital copy.

Theatrically, Mars Needs Moms was released in Disney Digital 3D, D-Cinema 3D, and IMAX DMR 70mm blowup dual-strip 3D. The 2.40:1 1080p MVC 3-D picture is absolutely wonderful! This is a "performance" motion-captured animated mixture, which is very imaginative and similar in visual effects to Director Robert Zemeckis' A Christmas Carol, Polar Express, and Beowulf. The picture quality is outstanding, if not perfectly executed in 3D. Colors are naturally rendered, contrast is well balanced, and resolution is superb. Unlike other animated films, the imagery is stylistically darker, playing on dramatic lighting and shadow effects to heighten the dramatics and the sci-fi genre. Colors are richly hued and, at times, vividly rendered. Blacks are deep and solid, and shadow delineation is revealing, with excellent depth perception, even during scenes with darkened and shadowy environs, which play prominently in the storytelling. Resolution is outstanding, with finely detailed textures resolved, seen in fleshtone detail and other subtleties. The perception of depth is exceptional, with virtually no apparent crosstalk ghosting artifacts. The human characters and Martians pop just in front and behind the screen plane, to contrast against the deeply rendered background depth. Everything appears with natural geometry and perspective in the context of character and object spatial relationships in each scene. The interplay of shadows and color, as well as perspective, is captivating. This is an amazing visual experience in 3D and exhibits extraordinary richness in the detailing. As with other Disney 3-D presentations, this is an amazing visual work and is sure to engage all audiences with its gloriously imaginative imagery. While the 2-D experience is stellar, when viewed in 3D, the visual experience is extraordinary! The 3D is faultlessly perfect. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 7.1-channel surround track is wonderfully dynamic, dimensional, and holosonic® sounding. The orchestral music score is extremely expansive and enveloping, with an impressive surround and wide and deep soundstage presence. The low-frequency foundation sounds natural, with engaging .1 LFE energy support during the action segments, without ever sounding overwhelming. The sound is full-bodied throughout, with exemplary fidelity, with the music score mixed by Shawn Murphy. Surround engagement is aggressive, with effective directional atmospherics and sound effects. The added two channels appear to be positioned at 90 degrees relative to the sweet spot listening position and dramatically enhance the holosonic envelopment experience. Dialogue sounds natural, and spatial integration is decent, though, of course, ADR derived. Overall, this a fantastic sonic experience that delivers an engaging and imaginative sound design. (Gary Reber)