Friday, March 18, 2011

Simon Wells: Familial Frontiers

The state of the popular animated film is in limbo. While they are more popular than ever, the demand for talking animals and fantasy/sci-fi narratives, warmed over and recycled are high in demand, almost anyone is down for an original, powerful creation. When a movie like Coraline, Legend of the Guardians, Rango or any Miyazaki opens, it really is cause for rejoice.

Simon Wells has crafted an interesting, if not completely successful sci-fi family film. The man is a veteran of the imaginative and pleasing, having brought to life An American Tail:Feivel Goes West, We're Back, Balto and The Time Machine. Mars Needs Moms is replete with wondrous imagery, creepy rotoscoping human faces(ala the recent Zemeckis misfires), superb voice work(Joan Cusack,Seth Green and Dan Fogler), creepier aliens and another remarkable score by John Powell.

While far from stimulating and moving, Wells brings more to the table than most contemporary animated filmmakers.

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