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Western Animation / Mars Needs Moms

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Mars Needs Moms is a 2011 Image Movers film distributed by Disney based on the storybook by Bloom County creator Berkeley Breathed and produced by Robert Zemeckis. It focuses on young suburban kid Milo, who late one night discovers his mother has been abducted by Martians in an attempt to use her skills in parenting to raise their own young. After accidentally hitching a ride on their craft, he lands on the red planet and meets up with another human, an 80's era Manchild who has gone a bit crazy after being brought to Mars in the same way as Milo. Together with a rebellious young Martian girl they attempt to save Milo's mother from her captors.


Mars Needs Moms provides examples of:

  • Abusive Alien Parents: The Martians have their offspring pop out of the ground every twenty-five years and are raised by nanny-bots programmed with the fatally extracted memories of abducted human mothers. Or rather the females are, the males are dumped down the garbage chutes where they've formed a tribal society that actually does care for their children. It turns out that the Supervisor is entirely responsible for their Brave New World-esque society, and once she's overthrown they start forming nuclear families.
  • Act of True Love: While they are fleeing the Martians, Milo accidentally breaks his helmet. His mother puts her own on his head, knowing that this means she'll suffocate in the Martian air. Fortunately, she gets saved by other means, namely, the helmet Gribble planned to use for his own mother.
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  • Alien Abduction: The entire plot of the movie.
  • All Work vs. All Play: On Mars, the female martians assume power and total control while the men are exiled and become free-spirited hippies.
  • Artistic License – Space: While the movie does at least make a decent effort at not completely disregarding scientific plausibility for the sake of the Rule of Cool (Mars's low gravity, for instance, is rendered fairly accurately as long as it doesn't stand in the way of plot convenience), there are more than enough inaccuracies to go around. For example, if you're walking on the surface of Mars with no spacesuit on right before dawn, you'll probably freeze to death in the temperature of some -100 F before you even realize you forgot to put on your oxygen mask.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Averted, sort of. The characters can't breathe in space, but are able to survive much longer in the vacuum than a real person would. They also wear domes over their faces but no other protective equipment without any ill effects. Borderline Truth in Television, at least compared to traditional "explosive decompression, as in your body explodes" Hollywood fare.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Or your mother might just be drained and vaporized.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The male Martians jumping out of the trash chute to take on the SIS.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Gribble: "When you're gonna shoot a laser at someone, you should bring them a change of underwear!"
  • Chekhov's Gun: A literal one. Also Gribble's helmet that we see him drop on the Martian surface in his flashback, is found, still functional, and used to save Milo's mom who gave up her helmet to save Milo, whose helmet had shattered earlier when he tripped.
  • Even the Dog Is Ashamed: Four separate "cut to sidekick robot's reaction of disdain" shots in the trailer.
  • Female Misogynist: The Supervisor may have a great dislike towards the female Earthlings due to reminding her of how female Martians used to be. So in her mind, any female Earthling they abducted deserve to be disintegrated.
  • Graffiti of the Resistance: Ki rebels against Mars's society by spray-painting colorful murals over the skyscrapers.
  • Hartman Hips: Every female Martian has this body shape.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Milo's mom gives him her helmet after his was shattered. Fortunately, Gribble was able to find the helmet intended for his mom that he left behind.
  • Interspecies Romance: Gribble, a human, and Ki, a Martian. She loves how he blushes.
  • Jive Turkey: The Martian girl Milo meets shows elements of this when trying to talk in his language. Though to be fair, Ki learned her English from watching early 1970's television and speaks more like a stereotypical hippie.
  • Lady Land: Martian society under Supervisor, the females live in the surface, while the males are sent down underground.
  • Manchild: The tech-savvy, underground Earthman Gribble (whose real name is actually George Ribble).
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Ki seems to channel this towards the entire Martian society. After sneaking around in the past and seeing a broadcast from an early 1970's TV show, she feels compelled to make vibrant, colorful, psychedelic graffiti tags all over the monotone blue/green station.
  • Mars Needs Women: Naturally. The title of the film even pays homage to the Trope Namer. The Martians need them because they're too busy to raise their own children, hence the need to copy the child-raising abilities of a human mom onto an army of nanny-bots.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: Gribble tells Milo that he never got the chance to tell his mother that he loved her.
  • Nonhumans Lack Attributes: But they can still pee on your face if you hold them up.
  • Pale Females, Dark Males: The female Martians are pink, while the males are brown.
  • Rebellious Rebel: The Martian girl Ki.
  • Rubber-Forehead Aliens: The Martians.
  • Sad Clown: Gribble is a happy and fun-loving guy, but it's likely a facade considering the fact that he failed to save his mother from the martians and had to live the rest of his life on Mars in the aftermath.
  • Shout-Out: Upon Gribble's introduction, he breathes like Darth Vader.
  • Straw Feminist: Turns out that The Supervisor is one of these, having instituted a super-fascist feminist regime and keeping it running for decades because she absolutely hated the males' supposed lazyness (and once she's discovered, she says that she did it "for all of us (Martian females)!").
  • Stunned Silence: Milo's mom had this reaction after Milo's Wham Line.
  • Title Drop: "The fact is... Mars Needs Moms."
  • Trojan Prisoner: Ki uses this ploy to get Milo and Gribble through the jail.
  • Two Decades Behind:
    • How Gribble acts, since he's been on Mars ever since the 1980s, when his mother was abducted and killed by the Martians while he was a child.
    • Ki, since she only knows about humans from 1970s television.
  • Vader Breath: Gribble imitates the breathing.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Supervisor.
  • Wham Line: Milo says he wished he didn't have a mom. It seems to imply that Gribble said the same thing to his mom.
    Milo: Yeah, well my life would be so much better if I didn't have a mom at all.
  • Women Are Wiser: What the martian women believe.