Mars Needs Moms appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The image usually looked spectacular.
At all times, sharpness excelled. Even in the widest shots, the movie appeared crisp and well-defined; the movie boasted consistently stunning definition. No issues with jaggies or shimmering occurred, and the presentation lacked edge enhancement. It also failed to present any source flaws and appeared totally clean.
Colors worked well. Much of the movie took place in a sterile, metallic setting, but enough bright hues – like Ki’s graffiti paint – appeared to give the image life. The Martian exteriors also offered a strong red tint that looked solid, so all of the tones were terrific. Blacks seemed deep and rich, and shadows were acceptable; they could be a little thick at times, but not tremendously so. The minor opacity of the dark scenes was the only reason I didn’t give this transfer an “A+”; it really jumped off the screen otherwise.
While not as impressive, the film’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack also had a lot going for it. Speech was the weakest link. As I mentioned in the body of the review, dialogue often failed to fit the animation very well, and the quality of the lines was a factor. Speech always seemed intelligible, but the material could be somewhat stiff and felt a bit artificial.
Otherwise, audio quality was fine. Music was full and dynamic, and effects seemed solid. They came across as accurate and concise, and they showed good range; during the louder sequences, effects sounded deep and bold.
The soundscape opened up the material well. The sci-fi setting allowed for good movement and activity. We got elements like laserfire, space ships and a mix of other pieces that showed nice placement and transitioned among speakers nicely. These combined to create a good, involving setting. The issues with the speech knocked my grade down to “B+”, but this was still a strong mix.
A handful of extras flesh out the set. Fun With Seth runs two minutes, 28 seconds and gives us remarks from director/screenwriter Simon Wells and actors Seth Green and Elizabeth Harnois. We hear about how wild Green was on the set and see footage from the shoot. That’s the best aspect of “Fun”, as we get some good glimpses of the process. Don’t expect much meat, though, as this is a cutesy piece without much to it.
In the two-minute, 51-second Martian 101, we hear from Wells, Harnois, and actors Mindy Sterling, Kevin Cahoon and Stephen Kearin. We learn about the development of the film’s Martian language and discover the meaning of some terms. It’s another puffy piece but it’s an enjoyable little recap.
Seven Deleted Scenes fill a total of 28 minutes, 31 seconds. We find “Extended Opening” (2:48), “Begonia Attack” (2:10), “Adlibs from Gribble’s Lair” (4:03), “Swinging Bridge” (0:46), “Angry George Ribble” (5:37), “Gribble Growing Up” (4:20) and “Mars Monorail” (5:09). These exist in various stages of completion, though most come as rough animation.
As you can tell from the titles, we get a fair amount of Gribble from these. One of the most significant shows more of him as a child; it’s moderately interesting though way too long to have worked in the final film. “Monorail” provides a decent action bit, and some of the others are mildly enjoyable.
Note that the 28:31 total includes introductions from Wells. (The individual scene timings are just for the sequences themselves.) Wells tells us a little about the segments and why he cut them. He adds good info, so the intros deserve a look – and are easy to skip if you’re not interested in them.
The disc opens with ads for Prom, The Lion King and Winnie the Pooh. These also appear under Sneak Peeks along with promos for The Lion King on Broadway, Disney XD, SpookyBuddies, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and DisneyNature: African Cats. No trailer for Moms shows up here.
A second disc provides a DVD Copy of Moms. This delivers a normal retail copy of the film, so it includes a few extras.
Like the other motion capture flicks under the Robert Zemeckis banner, Mars Needs Moms loses major points due to its awkward, unappealing visuals. Even with better animation, though, it’d still be a mixed bag; while moderately enjoyable, it’s an awfully up and down ride. The Blu-ray boasts excellent visuals, very good audio and a minor complement of bonus materials. The movie’s a watchable disappointment that does look great on Blu-ray.