Kids Stuff

Published on June 26th, 2022 | by Andrew Paul

SCIENCEWORKS: Tycho Goes to Mars Review #SchoolHolidays

Looking for a family friendly activity for the entire family these school holidays in Melbourne? Then you’re in luck as Tycho the dog is back in another interplanetary adventure as he unwillingly visits the planet Mars in this family friend short-film with edutainment fun thrown into the mix that is now showing at the Planetarium at Scienceworks.

Prepare for blast off!

The story of Tycho Goes to Mars starts innocently enough as his human family are preparing their dog kennel turned spaceship for another mission to space, however when Tycho chases a butterfly into his kennel, he accidentally presses the launch button and thus begins his adventure. Supporting this story is that the creators of this short-film fully maximise the planetarium “screen” as Tycho and the audience travel into space where he lands on Mars as we follow him on the search for water in order to help fuel his rocket back to Earth.

Thankfully Tycho has backup from his family on Earth, including a new friend he finds on Mars called Oppy, the NASA Mars Rover who work together to find ice on the red planet.

While the animation of Tycho is a little on the simpler side, younger planetarium goers will immediately resonate to the style, however with that said, the scenes in space and Mars are quite spectacular as it fills up the entire planetarium dome at Scienceworks. Additionally, the characters have a likeable personality, particularly our hero Tycho and his new friend Oppy, the Opportunity Mars Rover which was active on the red planet from 2004 to 2018.

Adding to the edutainment aspect is a geography lesson on important areas of mars such as Olympus Mons which is three times taller than the Himalayas to Valles Marineris, a vast canyon system which dwarfs Australia. So as Tycho explores Mars in his doggy space suit in search ice, he even encounters a powerful dust storm but thanks to Oppy, they escape it, where they finally find the water they need to power his dog kennel to help him return home to his family on Earth.

Final Thoughts?

Tycho Goes to Mars is a fun and educational journey to one of our nearest planetary neighbours that will have younger audience members captivated by the larger than life planetarium dome as we join this dog on his search for ice on the red planet.

As with other planetarium films, there is also a second presentation on the stars of the night sky which nicely rounds out this film.

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