Mars Needs Moms

John Powell

" Mars needs YOU John Powell! "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the download only release

Mars Needs Moms was a critical and financial box office failure, enough to warrant Disney's decision to shut down ImageMovers Digital, the company it formed with Robert Zemeckis (the producer of this film). Luckily it did not harm John Powell's soundtrack when receiving negative word of mouth. John Powell's music may not have been released (most likely due to it being a major box office bomb), it nonetheless was released as a digital download this march. Despite not reaching How to Train your Dragon's awesomeness, Mars Needs Moms doesn't limp behind at all.

Opening with the somewhat eclectic sounds to identity Mars and its inhabitants (and briefly presenting the main theme on flute), it soon moves towards the beats and excitement of "Abduction and Trashworld", unleashing a couple of main theme statements that already fuel Milo's adventure really well (watch out for the perfect alienating sounds of Mars at 3.05). Furthermore we have the awesome delight of the main theme (in the movie especially) during "Milo Escapes", and the fantastic adventure theme during the second part of "Firing Squad" and the thunderous "To the Surface". And we have the optimistic main theme statements in "Transformation" and the concert suite like performance of the adventure theme during the god damn terrific "Mars Needs Moms (Credits Suite), and that's enough proof to show you this score's brilliance.

Luckily Mars Needs Moms is not without emotion. And while it didn't do any good for the movie, I thought the music of Powell made a definite impression enhancing the movie's action and drama. In "Mars Needs Moms" it's handled through delicate playful underscoring (think of the last track's opening seconds of Face/Off to get a certain idea), in "Gribble's Loss" the piano enhances the themes of the film during Gribble's sad recollection and in "The Sacrifice" the emotion's enhanced through the choir and adventure theme when Gribble makes a desperate rescue attempt.

Honestly, I'm not afraid to say that I actually enjoyed the movie. And I'm sure that John Powell's score is responsible for that. I know it doesn't equal How to Train your Dragon's awesomeness, but Mars Needs Moms definitely comes close. Its themes are once again the absolute delight of this listening experience, and the perfect combination of drama, excitement and adventure will leave no Martian soul untouched. I honestly even recommend to see Mars Needs Moms, especially if you really like this score. Because for me it's one of those scores that actually makes a movie better, despite whatever you think of the movie in general. Powell's score is worth that attempt.


1. Mars Observers (3.26)
2. Abduction and Trashworld (4.48) Excellent track
3. Enjoy the Ride (1.34)
4. Mars Needs Moms (2.08)
5. Gribble's Plan (1.21)
6. Milo Escapes (3.48)
7. Gribble's Loss (3.17)
8. Firing Squad (5.03) Excellent track
9. To the Surface (6.36) Excellent track
10. The Sacrifice (3.23) Excellent track
11. Transformation (3.47) Excellent track
12. Family Reunion (2.58)
13. Mars Needs Moms (Credits Suite) (3.43) Excellent track
14. Martian Mambo (3.09)

Total Length: 49.01
(click to rate this score)  
(total of 11 votes - average 4.27/5)

Released by

Walt Disney Records No number (download only release 2011)

Conducted by

Pete Anthony

Orchestrations by

Pete Anthony, Brad Dechter, Germaine Franco, Rick Giovinazzo, Dave Metzger & John Ashton Thomas