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Saturday, March 30, 2013
Mission From Mars: A Close Alien Encounter Of The Candy Coated Chocolate Kind
Aliens and candy go together like E.T. and Reese's Pieces. So the Mars, Inc. Candy company introduced "Mission From Mars" in 1991.
The Mission From Mars crew visits Earth because their natural candy resources have been depleted by a Marsquake.
It is well known that aliens love candy, soft drinks and brand name products. This is documented in "E.T." (1982) and in the 1988 movie "Mac and Me" (a film about an alien race that enjoys drinking Coca-Cola, dancing at McDonald's and shopping at Sears).
When the Mission From Mars crew is not busy working, they enjoy watching "The Mattel and Mars Bar Quick Energy Chocobot Hour" on TV (their alien friends Kang and Kodos from "The Simpsons" told them all about that show).
Mission From Mars stars Captain Romtu (the helmeted alien), Gleep (an orange blob with long arms and legs), Scoota (a reptilian creature) and Bing (a springy cyborg).
Artist John Blair Moore (well known for his work on the "Darkwing Duck" comic book and "Invaders From Home") wrote and illustrated the Mission From Mars comic.
The Mission From Mars comic is a "mini comic book" found inside the 1991 Disney Comics Darkwing Duck Issue #2, which was also drawn by John Blair Moore.
The aliens landed on Earth on Halloween, the perfect time to easily promote delicious and healthy candy (hey, there's peanuts in a lot of these items, and that is sort of healthy).
M&M/Mars sponsored the "Star Wars" Star Tours attractions at Walt Disney World and Disneyland for years.
Be on the lookout for cameo appearances by Mars Candy Brands.
You'll find Milky Way, M&Ms and Snickers. Gleep holds a bowl containing two brands of candy that I can't identify.
Bing snacks on a Twix bar (which side will he choose?) and Kudos. Romtu enjoys a Mars Bounty bar, which I've never heard of before.
Gleep has a bunch of candy, including Starburst and 3 Musketeers. He also has a Mars Almond Bar and PB Max, both of which have been discontinued.
Mission From Mars appeared at about the same time that Disney announced "The Disney Decade" expansion plans for Walt Disney World in Florida. This was to include a New Tomorrowland described as "an intergalactic spaceport for arriving aliens."
I thought these characters would have fit in well at Tomorrowland's "Mission to Mars." The "Alien Encounter" attraction ended up replacing that in 1994 (which was later replaced by "Stitch's Great Escape" in 2004).
In September 1991, Disney Adventures Magazine had a special Mission From Mars Contest. The Grand Prize was a Mission From Mars Halloween Party, complete with alien costumes and candy (so you could re-enact the Mission From Mars comic, I suppose). The First Prize was a cassette tape of the Mickey Mouse Club's band, "The Party." Second Prize was a box of candy.
The Mission From Mars characters appeared as CGI characters for this ad (and probably the commercials, though I can't remember them), which were very new and very rare in 1991. My, how times have changed. These days it is the hand drawn characters that are rare!
Keep your eyes open for the return of the alien characters in "Mission From Mars 2: Attack of the Russell Stoverlords."