The Deadbolt has an interesting interview with Simon Wells, director of the Disney 3-D computer-animated science fiction family film Mars Needs Moms (2011), which crashed at the box office earlier this year. Based on the 2007 children’s book by Berkeley Breathed, the film stars voice actor Seth Green as a kid named Milo and Joan Cusack as his mom, who is kidnapped by Martians and taken to the Red Planet to help raise alien children. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:
THE DEADBOLT: How did you approach the book and Martian society differently in terms of men and women? What did you and Wendy want to say?
SIMON WELLS: Well, our initial thing, because we were going to spend more time on Mars than the book, the book didn’t have to deal with what Martian society was like at all. We wanted to actually use the expiration of Mars as a way of exploring [new things]. Our initial thinking was what Milo experiences on Mars, in a Wizard of Oz way, is kind of a version of how he perceives his life.
So the mother is a dictator who has no emotional value at all and just tells him what he has to do and what he isn’t allowed to do all of the time and that is sort of absent. So on Mars we have the Nazi Supervisor and everyone walks in lockstep. The males are sort of these crazy hippy characters that are relegated to the trash and thrown away. So he already has a sense that something’s wrong. Then meeting Milo kind of flips a switch for Ki and she realizes this society is wrong.