Cute, Heartfelt and Just freaking Beautiful, this new animated film is just what I needed after a tough week.
Director: Glen Keane, John Kahrs
Screenwriter: Jennifer Yee McDevitt, Audrey Wells
Starring: Ken Jeong, Sandra Oh, Phillipa Soo
Genre: Animation, Adventure
Runtime: 100 Minutes
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by: Pearl
Fei-Fei grew up with her parents telling her stories of the moon goddess and her tragic love story. After Fei Fei’s mother dies, she hangs onto those stories as a way of remembering her mother. When her father makes plans to re-marry, Fei-Fei is worried that life is going to change, that people are forgetting about her mother. So to prove her mother’s stories are real, she builds a Rocketship and plans to fly to the moon and find the moon-goddess.
OK, so this film requires a little bit of a suspension of belief. Not about Moon Goddesses or talking animals, or magical rabbits, that is all par for the course in kids animated films. The part you have to over come is that a 13ish year old girl was able to build a functioning rocket, fly to the moon, be away a good long while with her 8-year-old half-brother. Then return in the middle of the night and no-one got grounded. That is the hardest thing to swallow in this film. The rest of it is pretty great, if a little predictable.
Fei-Fei is your normal pre-teen you wants nothing to do with her kid brother and doesn’t want her father to get remarried and change everything. She goes on a quest with said brother she doesn’t like, and an adorable animal sidekick (here it is a white bunny named Bungee), learns some lessons about family and moving on etc, sings a bunch of songs, has an important moment of emotional growth and returns home ready to accept the new challenges in her life. When a formula works, why mess with it right. And while this may be a tale as old as time, this film is jammed full of so many charming characters, that it almost gets a get out jail free card for it’s average storyline.
Visually though, this film is just stunning. Especially the parts set in the moon kingdom. Everything looks like it is ready to jump of the screen. It is bright and colourful and sumptuous. It is a regular feast for the eyes.
There are of course some heavier topics dealt with under all this colour and shine though. Grief, Loss, Family, Loneliness, acceptance, all of these are mixed into the story, and done really well. It might be a very basic, by the numbers story, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t done with great flourish and feeling.
For families looking for a new film to watch as a family rather than watching frozen for the 3837th time, ‘Over the Moon’ is a great choice and is streaming on Netflix UK now!