Sunday, November 15, 2020

Over the Moon Review: An Beautifully Animated Lunar Adventure About Loss and Growth

Over the Moon Movie Poster

Release: October 23, 2020
Run Time: 95 Minutes
Rated: PG
Ruthie Ann Miles, John Cho, Cathy Ang, Phillipa Soo, Ken Jeong, Glen Keane
Director: Glen Keane, John Kahrs
Writers: Audrey Wells, Jennifer Yee McDevitt, Alice Wu

Fueled with determination and a passion for science, a bright young girl builds a rocket ship to the moon to prove the existence of a legendary Moon Goddess. There she ends up on an unexpected quest, and discovers a whimsical land of fantastical creatures.  Directed by animation legend Glen Keane, and produced by Gennie Rim and Peilin Chou, Over the Moon  is an exhilarating musical adventure about moving forward, embracing the unexpected, and the power of imagination.

Over the Moon Movie Still
Over the Moon is from animation legend and academy award winner Glen Keane, and as you would expect, the animation is absolutely stunning.  Keane has comfortably made the jump to computer generated animation, and Over the Moon is an absolute spectacle.  Animated at Netfilx's Chinese animation studio, Pearl, you can feel China influence throughout this film.  Aside from the film being set in China, the movie itself features imaginative takes on Chinese folklore and legends.  The moon world that we visit during the film has lots of Chinese folklore influences amazingly bright colors.  But like Keane himself, the film has also adapted to the time, fusing this Chinese lore with bright, neon colors and some techno-influenced music.  It has shades of electronic music, hip-hop, and some imaginative lunar architecture to give this adventure a near-future, out of this world feel.  It really is a sight to behold and one that I was pleasantly surprised to experience.  

But Over the Moon is also surprisingly mature in how it deals with issues facing kids today.  The movie is a wonderful portrayal of loss and growth, with the main character facing a horrible event early on.  The film showcases how she struggles to move on from that, and the pain at accepting something new.  And it frames this not only in her loss, but in the losses other characters in the journey have experienced.  It really feels like a movie that can speak to kids, and help them to deal with life situations that are hard to talk about.  And Keane being a Disney veteran, Over the Moon also has a vintage Disney feel.  Aside from the fact that it tackles kids issues, the movie also has a ton of heart and some great musical numbers.  It really follows the classic Disney mold, with a wild adventure, a few catchy and pertinent songs, and an overall lesson in life that kids can relate to.  And I also appreciated some of the influences from contemporary and classic works; it felt like there were references to Alice in Wonderland, Angry Birds, and many other popular properties.  Overall, this feels like a movie that kids can relate to, but there is plenty here for adults to enjoy as well!

Over the Moon is out of this world amazing, with beautiful animation, classic Disney influences, catchy musical numbers, and a lunar adventure that kids and adults will learn from and love.

Watch it.

Over the Moon Movie Still
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Over the Moon is available to stream on Netflix.  

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