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August CineMatters: Mars Needs Moms

By on August 17, 2011

Guilt-Stricken Son Seeks Missing Mom On Mars

By Laura Gray

Your sons are engaged in a rowdy game of intergalactic warfare, complete withlaser guns, slimy aliens and bloody battles. The “trash talk” flies as fast as the proton bullets: “I’ll show you who’s commander of this ship, swine!” and “You don’t deserve to live, you green monster!” are met with even louder “gunfire.” But the game takes an ugly turn when their playful war cries get personal. You step in to restore peace and to point out that words too, can be weapons.

It’s a lesson Milo learns the hard way in Disney’s Mars Needs Moms, available this month on DVD. Why not make

Mars Needs Moms a movie night feature for your family? Then you can discuss Milo’s adventures – and heartbreak – using our Talk Together conversation starters.

Milo learns that Mars Needs Moms to help program the robots who raise their young ones. The Supervisor, a sinister woman who has built an all-female army, has dispatched all the men and now kidnaps Earth women to provide the right “mom wisdom” the nanny-bots need. Milo’s mom has just what the Supreme Leader is looking for: she’s firm, but fair, and Milo is, for the most part, a good kid.

After Milo yells some hurtful comments at his mom, he discovers a Martian spaceship whisking her away. He stows away on the ship and, when he lands on Mars, he finds an ally in Gribble, a human man. The two try to rescue Milo’s mom but are captured. With help from Ki, a Martian woman who is intrigued by the human concepts of love and families, they get to Milo’s mom just before she’s incinerated by the Supervisor.

Milo, overcome with guilt, enjoys the sweet reunion. But when he falls and breaks his oxygen helmet, his mom places her own helmet on her son. As she collapses with the Martian army in pursuit, Gribble arrives with another helmet. He and Ki return Milo and his mom to Earth. In the end, Milo learns the powerful impact of words – both unkind ones and loving ones.

Talk Together

Why does Milo get mad at his mom? How does she react to his cruel remarks? How does that make Milo feel? Do you think this old nursery rhyme is true: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”? Why or why not? How can words hurt? Gribble was a little boy when his mother was kidnapped by the Martians. What happened to her? How did it affect him? What does Gribble regret the most? Words are just words, but they can build up or tear down. What words make you feel loved? What words hurt your feelings? Tell your mom or dad something that will let them know they are appreciated.

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