Story: A young girl flies to the moon to prove the existence of a goddess.
Review: Fei Fei (Cathy Ang) grows up believing the legendary myth of Chang’e (Phillipa Soo), a goddess who lives on the moon after losing her beloved. Fei Fei is trying to cope with her own loss, following the death of her mother. Years after the heartbreak, her father (John Cho) begins to date Mrs Zhong (Sandra Oh), which does not go down well with the young girl. Additionally, Mrs Zhong’s little boy Chin (Robert G. Chiu) gets on Fei Fei’s nerves. Agitated by the entire situation, she builds a rocket to fly to the moon, where she can meet Chang’e to show everyone back home that she is real. But more importantly, Fei Fei seeks to prove to her father that true love is meant to last forever.
‘Over the Moon’ is directed by Glen Keane, a veteran of animation for four decades. So, it is no surprise the film excels in that department. Combining the latest styles as well as a traditional design approach, the film is visually enchanting with a burst of colours and vivid imagery. Written by the late Audrey Wells, this story on loss and grief is constructed to ensure the heavy themes are still children-friendly. Characters like Fei Fei’s bunny Bungee and the Gobi the lunar pup, endearingly voiced by Ken Jeong, are introduced explicitly for that purpose – to be the cutesy and lovable, if derivative, comic relief. But while there’s no shortage of light-hearted and emotional moments, the plot is admittedly familiar. It’s padded with subplots, and while there are a couple of standout musical tracks, there is at least an equal number that serves little purpose other than exposition.
The animation and songs also work as ample distraction from the systematic workings of the plot, which, unfortunately, drags at various points. Interspersed between a chaotic set of world rules that aren't clearly defined for audiences unaware of Chinese culture and mythology, the life lessons in ‘Over the Moon’ are certainly well-intended. That, along with dazzling visuals and endearing characters, will make it a captivating watch for younger audiences.
Our overall critic’s rating is not an average of the sub scores below.
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