Over The Moon teaches us early on that scientists can tell us a lot about space except the space dog, who takes a bite out of the moon, and when it’s a full moon, that means Moon Goddess Chang’e made him spit it back out.
Okay, that’s not exact science, but these are the tales told to Fei Fei (Cathy Ang) by her mother (Ruthie Ann Miles) in a mixture of CGI with some hand-drawn animation.
However, similar to Kubo learning to deal with the loss of his father in 2016’s incredible Kubo And The Two Strings, similarly, Fei Fei’s mother passes away while she’s still young. Four years on, and as she’s still learning to cope with the change, her father has fallen for Mrs Zhong (Sandra Oh – Catfight), who has an annoying son, Chin (Robert G Chiu).
After deciding she wants to sell mooncakes, and receiving a rabbit as a pet, who she calls Bungee, at that point, the only thing you can do in life is build a rocket to the moon, in order to prove Moon Goddess Chang’e’s existence.
Pearl Studio have put together a glorious-looking and colourful movie, which is a turn up for the books compared to the usual Hollywood fare that you might expect from a CGI kids film. It’s also well worth a watch for anyone who has also lost a parent because it’s a particularly crappy time of life.
Unsurprisingly, Fei Fei will have resistance to her Dad’s new beau as she feels very put out as she believes her Dad no longer misses or thinks about her late mother because he’s now seeing someone new, and it’s a premise that could easily be carried out in a throwaway manner, but instead, it’s done with a lot of heart.
Over The Moon rather slows down a bit in the second half, and Fei Fei also meets a chatty character called Gobi (Ken Jeong) who’s rather an additional character too much, but there’s some great comic timing in this and it doesn’t overdose on unnecessary songs as there’s enough time for the story to breathe inbetween them.
In fact, I’ve never come across a musical before where mathematics are part of the lyrics – and during one of these, there’s an homage in one scene to Georges Méliès’ 1902 short movie, A Trip to the Moon, so be sure to look out for that.
For me, the best songs in this are Rocket To The Moon and Chang’e (Phillipa Soo) singing Ultraluminary, which is very Eurovision disco pop, so I did get into that one 🙂
Finally, after watching the credits, I see there’s a 3D Stereoscopic Supervisor. I know there’s less people watching 3D movies these days, but I still have a TV capable of showing them, but although I can’t see any 3D films on Netflix (unless I’ve missed them – in which case, please let me know), and there’s a handful of cinemas showing this film which are also all in 2D, it would be cool to watch it again in 3D.
Over The Moon is on Netflix from today, but isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD, but you can buy the Soundtrack CD.
Check out the trailer below:
Running time: 95 minutes
Release date: October 23rd 2020
Directors: Glen Keane, John Kahrs
Producers: Gennie Rim, Peilin Chou
Screenplay: Audrey Wells
Original Score: Steven Price
Fei Fei: Cathy Ang
Chang’e: Phillipa Soo
Chin: Robert G Chiu
Gobi: Ken Jeong
Father: John Cho
Mrs Zhong: Sandra Oh
Mother: Ruthie Ann Miles
Auntie Ling / Gretch: Margaret Cho
Auntie Mei / Lulu: Kimiko Glenn
Uncle / Bill: Artt Butler
Grandma: Irene Tsu
Grandpa: Clem Cheung
Houyi: Conrad Ricamora
Young Fei Fei: Brycen Taylor Hall
Bungee: Edie Ichioka
Blue Lunette: Brittany Ishibashi
Pink Lunette: Janice Kawaye
Yellow Lunette: Trisha Vo
Lunarians: Esther Chae (uncredited)
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.