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Universal Studios Home Video presents
Butt-Ugly Martians: Boyz to Martians (2002)

"I know some of the bands have pretty weird costumes, but do you really think no one's going to notice they're Martians?"
- Angela

Review By: Joel Cunningham   
Published: September 18, 2002

Stars: Ogie Banks III, S. Scott Bullock, Jess Harnell, Rob Paulson
Other Stars: Charlie Schlatter, Kath Soucie, Robert Stack
Director: Josh Prikryl

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (some bodily humor)
Run Time: 01h:09m:11s
Release Date: July 30, 2002
UPC: 025192225123
Genre: animation

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
C- C-BB- D-

DVD Review

In reviewing two other Butt-Ugly Martians DVDs, I believe I've said just about everything there is to say about this bland children's series from the hit-makers at Nickelodeon. I'll say it again, though, if only to keep unwitting parents from endangering the brain cells and fragile imaginations of their young progeny.

The CGI-animated series looks promising. The premise—three Martians are sent to Earth to conquer humanity; instead they decide to stay and make friends with some of the Earthlings. What kid wouldn't want to watch a show like that? In practice, though, the premise is wasted, thrown away on extremely formulaic episodes and inane scripting. The plots are very simple. The Martian Emperor Bog sends some kind of destructive force to Earth, and the Butt-Uglies must use "BKM" power to transform and save the planet, all the while trying not to let on to Bog that they aren't working for him anymore. They've also got to keep idiotic alien hunter Stoat Muldoon off their backs (which is easy, because he's a moron).

The animation quality is less than impressive, with limited movement, simple backgrounds, and character designs that leave much to be desired. I admit, I don't find the series quite as offensive as I did at first, but it's not because the quality is improving. I've just become used to the mediocrity.

This volume contains three episodes of the series, all featuring a musical theme. Out of Sync is actually fairly good—by far the best episode on any of the first three DVDs. The Butt-Uglies decide to try out for a "battle of the bands" contest, selling themselves as a boy-group in elaborate costumes. Their plan goes awry when a vicious alien hunter sees through their ruse. Some good jabs at the boy band phenomenon make up for the plodding pace. This is... The Butt-Uglies is basically a sequel to the previous episode. The evil Emperor Bog discovers the Butt-Uglies are making nice with Earth kids (and presenting themselves as a boy band), and they must convince him that it's all part of an elaborate plan to take over the world. Once Bog comes into the picture, the show slips back into formula, with a menace visiting Earth and the Martians transforming to save the day. Finally, in Alien Games, video games become a serious business when Bog sends meteors flying at Earth, forcing the Butt-Uglies to use a modified videogame to shoot them out of the sky.

Rating for Style: C-
Rating for Substance: C-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Butt-Ugly Martians looks fairly good on DVD, if not quite as sharp as most CGI cartoons. Colors are bright and saturated. Darker scenes show decent black level but inconsistent shadow detail. The picture is a bit grainy, with artifacts and aliasing sometimes visible.

Image Transfer Grade: B


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno

Audio Transfer Review: The DD 2.0 mix sounds fine, considering the source. Dialogue is clear, and the front soundstage expands with music and sound effects, though at times the effects sound somewhat harsh and unsupported.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 3 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish, French with remote access
1 Other Trailer(s) featuring The Mummy: Quest for the Scrolls
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Character Profiles
Extras Review: Extras are identical to other DVDs in the series: character bios and a trailer for the direct-to-video animated movie The Mummy: Quest for the Scrolls. The back of the box also promises a DVD-ROM game demo, but the feature didn't seem to work on my computer.

Extras Grade: D-


Final Comments

This is my third review of a Butt-Ugly Martians DVD, and my opinion of the show hasn't changed. It's puerile and brainless, and generally dull children's entertainment. Stick to Nickelodeon's other, better offerings, like Spongebob Squarepants.


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