Sunday, January 2, 2011

"Mars Needs Moms": Does Earth Need This Movie?

You are probably never going to find a bigger fan of cartoonist and author Berkely Breathed than the author of this very blog.  About six feet behind me as I sit at my computer desk typing this, the top shelf of my book case sags under the weight of every Bloom County/Outland/Opus book, from Loose Tails to the latest volume of the Bloom County Library, including the three children's picture books-- A Wish For Wings That Work, Goodnight, Opus, and The Last Basselope--that Breathed wrote featuring Mr. P. Opus. Next to all of these sits a copy of his non-Opus children's book Mars Needs Moms.  So, when I first heard about the forthcoming movie based on the latter, I was looking forward to seeing it.  Then I started to read more about it, and watched the trailer, and now I'm not all that excited about it all of a sudden.
If the filmmakers had done what they really should have, which is simply bring to life the wonderful paintings with which Breathed illustrated his book, they might have at least produced a good looking film.  Instead, we are treated to another disturbing journey into the uncanny valley courtesy of the same folks who creeped out little kids with The Polar Express a couple of years back. 

Storywise, it appears that the film suffers from a common problem that comes from attempting to turn a fifty page picture book into a two hour feature film. That is, it appears overly padded and weighed down with a lot of unneccessary business simply to fill out the running time.
Of course, these are just my first impressions based on the trailer and they may change after I see the film.  Yes, I do still plan on seeing it, but it's definitely a wait-'til-it-hits-the-dollar-theater kind of deal.

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