Seth Green is the voice of Milo, a little boy who is chafing a bit under his mom’s strict upbringing. Mom (the voice of Joan Cusack) is serious about raising her son to take out the trash and clean up his room and do his homework, and this apparently has not gone unnoticed by the Martians, who are targeting earthling moms with the “right” ideas about child-rearing. It seems that Mars, currently being ruled by a dominatrix-matriarch supervisor (the voice of Mindy Sterling), has banished the males, to the garbage heap below, and the females give birth to “hatchlings” en masse. But somewhere along the way they’ve completely lost the concept of nurture. They suck out the “mommy” essence from the captured earthlings and then discard the carcass, and Milo knows all this partly because he was a stowaway on the spaceship (how come nobody else noticed it landing in his back yard?), and partly because he met another stranded earthling boy, Gribble (the voice of Dan Fogler), who’s now become an agoraphobic computer nerd, but at least he tries to help. There’s apparently one Martian, Ki (the voice of Elisabeth Harnois), who’s also interested in helping poor Milo rescue his mom, and at the end, we are supposed to be heart-warmed by the family being intact again. But did anybody else wonder if there was a barbed message in there somewhere about, “This is what would happen if women were to take over?” (“Reuben, Reuben, I’ve been thinking, what a great world this would be…”)
Ronald P. Salfen is co-pastor of United Presbyterian Church, Greenville, Texas.