Story: On Mars, the regime separates male and female babies at birth. The females are kept to do all the work and enforce the Big Bad's rule, and are raised by caretaking robots, while the males are left to fend for themselves in the trash-filled wasteland below the surface. However, families have been abolished and none of the Martian women are knowledgeable about caring for children. They aren't taught about love, so basically they are useless as caregivers. The solution? Every generation, a human parent is taken to Mars. Their brain is drained and programmed into robots.
Young Milo gets his mother abducted, just at the time he says something really mean to her (of course). When he goes to apologize that night, he finds the spaceship and stows away just before liftoff. He meets a tribe of the males after going down a trash chute (they know love, but are depicted as dumb due to never being taught anything). Shortly after, he encounters Gribble, a man-child who came to Mars pretty much the same way as Milo, back in the '80s. Gribble believes it is impossible to save Milo's mother due to what happened to his, but eventually decides to help Milo. They are joined by Ki, a Martian woman who sees the problems with Martian society after viewing old Earth TV (She is portrayed as a hippie). Since it's a family movie, the mom is saved and the evil leader is defeated. I like the story.
Design: Despite what everyone says, the mocap isn't creepy, except one thing. When Milo's face is shown close up, it is so scary that I reacted like the Nazis did when they opened the Ark of the Covenant. Fortunately, this movie doesn't feature many close-ups, because the focus is on the backgrounds, which are great, futuristic, and pretty beautiful.
Characterization: Milo's acting sucks, but no animated kid sounds realistic, anyway. I like Gribble's acting and he's pretty well developed. At first he seems obnoxious, but they do a good job explaining him. The mom is depicted only as a mom and needs some development, or else the story seems misogynistic. Ki is really entertaining with her warped version of human
Overall: Nice story, good characters. Great visually. Very emotional in many ways. 8/10.
Also, near-death by oxygen starvation probably shouldn't be in a family movie. It's a very powerful scene, though.