Over the Moon

 

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An animated musical with a doubtful message about moving on.

   

Over the Moon

  

From Glen Keane, the celebrated animator who brought us such modern Disney classics as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and Tangled, and Pearl Studio, famous for Abominable, comes this US-China co-production ostensibly aimed at children but lacking the requisite appeal to family audiences in the way that the aforementioned titles did handsomely.
 
Fei Fei is a young girl who learns about the mythical Moon Goddess, Chang’e, who drank an immortality potion which sent her to the Moon to await the arrival of her lover, Houyi. Fei Fei and her family make mooncakes to celebrate the Moon Festival. Some years later, when Fei Fei’s mother becomes ill and dies, Fei Fei’s father plans to marry the widowed Mrs Zhong, who has an infuriating son called Chin. Fei Fei then decides to build a rocket to the Moon so she can meet the Moon Goddess. She eventually has an encounter with Chang’e by way of a mystical beam, along with her pet rabbit Bungee and, unknown to her, the awful Chin. Both Fei Fei and Chang’e are grieving over the loss of a loved one, so this story of separation is one of enlightenment for them on how to move on and face up to the future.
 
The computer animation is accomplished enough and the designs are pretty and colourful, but in fact almost too bright for the film’s own good. Both its sentiments and its humour, however, are cloying and reminiscent of past animations, while the songs are fairly derivative too. One exceptional delight comes in the Moon Goddess’s ravishing costumes fashioned by the Chinese haute couture designer Guo Pei.
 
Brought up on Bugs Bunny and Tom & Jerry, this reviewer is immune to sentimentality in cartoons so, not feeling over the moon myself about this latest animated feature, I must admit that it probably wasn’t made with me in mind.

 

MICHAEL DARVELL

 

Voices of  Cathy Ang, Phillipa Soo, Ken Jeong, John Cho, Ruthie Ann Miles, Margaret Cho, Sandra Oh, Edie Ichioka, David Chen, Robert G. Chiu, Glen Keane.

 

Dir Glen Keane and John Kahrs, Pro Peilin Chou and Gennie Rim, Screenplay Audrey Wells, Pro Des Cḗline Desrumaux, Ed Edie Ichioka, Music Steven Price, Songs Christopher Curtis, Marjorie Duffield and Helen Park, Costumes Guo Pei.

 

Netflix Animation/Glen Keane Productions/Pearl Studio/Dentsu Entertainment/Sony Pictures Imageworks-Netflix.
95 mins. China/USA. 2020. Rel: 23 October 2020. Available on Netflix. Cert. U.