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Over the Moon is a 2020 American-Chinese computer-animated musical family fantasy film, which was directed by Glen Keane and co-directed by John Kahrs, from a screenplay by Audrey Wells with additional screenplay material by Alice Wu and Jennifer Yee McDevitt. The film was produced by Pearl Studio and Netflix Animation, and animated by Sony Pictures Imageworks. It stars the voices of Cathy Ang, Phillipa Soo, Ken Jeong, John Cho, Ruthie Ann Miles, Margaret Cho, and Sandra Oh. It is the first international film to be directed by Keane, who served as an animator for Walt Disney Animation Studios; and the second film produced by Pearl Studio, after DreamWorks' 2019 animated film Abominable. It is the first Pearl Studio film not to have been produced by DreamWorks Animation.

It was first shown at the Montclair Film Festival on October 17, 2020,[2] followed by its Netflix and select theaters[3] release on October 23.[4] The film received generally positive reviews and has grossed $860,000 worldwide. It earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Animated Feature Film, and the winner of the Movie Land Fun and Excitement Award for Best Animated Feature. It was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

Plot[]

A girl named Fei Fei is being told the legend of the Moon goddess Chang'e who took a potion for immortality, causing her to become a goddess and ascend to the Moon without her lover Houyi, and awaits for him there. In preparation for the annual Moon Festival, Fei Fei and her family make mooncakes for the village. However, Fei Fei's mother falls ill, and gives her daughter a rabbit named Bungee before passing away.

Fei Fei, who still believes in Chang'e four years later, is upset when she learns that her father is engaged to Ms. Zhong, and is annoyed by her son, Chin. Fei Fei's family joins them for the Moon Festival celebration, and she remembers her mother. Inspired by a crane and the legend of Chang'e, she decides to build a rocket to the Moon to prove that Chang'e is real. She designs a rocket that resembles a Chinese paper lantern in the shape of a rabbit that uses fireworks to boost her speed. Her rocket almost succeeds until she realizes that Chin snuck aboard her rocket and they begin to crash to Earth. Suddenly, the rocket is captured in a mystical beam of energy and taken to the Moon. They crash land after being beset by playful spirits, who then rescue them and take them to Lunaria.

They are introduced to Chang'e and her backup dancers, the Lunettes. Chang'e tells Fei Fei that she was supposed to deliver a gift for Chang'e to bring Houyi back. Fei Fei takes a photo with Chang'e to prove she is real, but Chang'e takes the photo from Fei Fei and demands the gift. Fei Fei doesn't know what she is talking about, and a frustrated Chang'e announces a competition to find her gift before the last of the moondust falls. Fei Fei gets upset with Chin and leaves him, getting a ride with the Biker Chicks to the crash site. Chin sees some Lunettes with the photo and is captured by Chang'e who demands the location of the gift. Chang'e challenges Chin to a game of ping pong that Chin wins, further upsetting Chang'e. Chang'e cries in despair that she will never see Houyi again. While Chin is trapped in a chamber by Chang'e, Bungee follows the Jade Rabbit into his workplace. Meanwhile, Fei Fei and the Biker Chicks head to her rocket's crash site, where Fei Fei meets an exiled Lunarian named Gobi. She discovers her Chang'e doll, which she suspects to be the gift, but the Biker Chicks grab the doll and leave Fei Fei and Gobi behind.

Fei Fei and Gobi head to Lunaria on the backs of giant toads, where Gobi reveals that Chang'e exiled him due to a song about moving on. Fei Fei and Gobi catch up to the Biker Chicks, but during their scuffle, the doll is destroyed. However, Fei Fei discovers in one of her mooncakes a broken half of an open jade circle and realizes that it is Chang'e's gift. They return to Lunaria's palace, rejoin Chin and Bungee, and present the gift to Chang'e, who makes a full jade circle. Chang'e and Houyi are then briefly reunited, but Houyi tells Chang'e to move on before fading away. Refusing to accept this, Chang'e slips into a state of depression, causing all the light in Lunaria to extinguish.

Fei Fei tries to reach out to Chang'e, but the moment she enters Chang'e's state of sadness, she also becomes depressed due to a vision of her mother. Realizing that they both must move on from their tragedies, Chang'e and Fei Fei encourage each other to find the love all around them. This allows the two to accept their loved ones' deaths, restoring life to Lunaria.

Chang'e thanks Fei Fei and allows her and Chin passage back home—excluding Bungee, who stays on the Moon with Jade Rabbit—and lifts Gobi's banishment. Fei Fei and Chin bid farewell to the Lunarians and return home, where Fei Fei accepts her father and Mrs. Zhong's marriage and Chin as her brother. About a year later, Fei Fei is living happily with her new family and continues to look up at the Moon, watching as cranes fly up towards it in the night.

Voice cast[]

  • Cathy Ang as Fei Fei, the 13-year-old girl who believes in Chang'e ever since the loss of her mother.
  • Robert G. Chiu as Chin, Mrs. Zhong's 8-year-old son and Fei Fei's stepbrother.
  • Phillipa Soo as Chang'e, the mythical Moon goddess who yearns to be with her true love Houyi again. The outfits worn by Chang'e in the film were designed and created by haute couture Chinese designer Guo Pei.[5]
  • Ken Jeong as Gobi, a pangolin Lunarian and former royal advisor who was exiled a thousand years ago.
  • John Cho as Ba Ba, Fei Fei's father.
  • Ruthie Ann Miles as Ma Ma, Fei Fei's late mother.
  • Sandra Oh as Mrs. Zhong, Ba Ba's new fiancée, later wife and Fei Fei's stepmother.
  • Margaret Cho as Auntie Ling, one of Fei Fei's aunts.
  • Kimiko Glenn as Auntie Mei, another one of Fei Fei's aunts.
  • Conrad Ricamora as Hou Yi, Chang’e true love

Musical numbers[]

The score was composed by Steven Price. Original songs were written by Christopher Curtis, Marjorie Duffield and Helen Park.[6]

Song list[]

All songs written and composed by Christopher Curtis, Marjorie Duffield and Helen Park[7][8][9]

<td align="right" colspan="Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[".">
Total length:
No. TitlePerformer(s) Length
1. "On the Moon Above"  John Cho, Ruthie Ann Miles and Cathy Ang 1:31
2. "Mooncakes"  Cho, Miles and Ang 4:19
3. "Rocket to the Moon"  Ang 3:48
4. "Rocket to the Moon (Reprise)"  Ang 2:01
5. "Ultraluminary"  Phillipa Soo 3:20
6. "Hey Boy"  Soo and Robert G. Chiu 1:47
7. "Wonderful"  Ken Jeong and Ang 2:37
8. "Yours Forever (Reprise)"  Soo and Conrad Ricamora 2:00
9. "Love Someone New"  Soo and Ang 3:36
24:48

Production[]

On September 26, 2017, Pearl Studio hired Audrey Wells to write the script for the film called Over the Moon, which was based on an idea by Janet Yang about a retelling of the classic Chinese myth.[10][11] On February 6, 2018, Netflix acquired distribution rights to the film and Glen Keane was set to direct.[12] However, during this, Audrey Wells died in 2018. The film was dedicated in Audrey Wells' memory.

While studios like Disney and Pixar have become known to use groups of people known as the Braintrust and Story Trust to help with the script, Keane said that "Creative decisions here aren’t made by committee".[13]

The city of Lunaria was inspired by the cover of Pink Floyd's album The Dark Side of the Moon and the paintings of Joan Miró.[14]

Animation was provided by Pearl Studio and Sony Pictures Imageworks.[15]

Steven Price is confirmed to be the film's composer while new original songs are being handled by Christopher Curtis (from Chaplin: The Musical), Marjorie Duffield and Helen Park (from KPOP the Musical).[16]

The cast was announced in June 2020.[17]

Release[]

The film was released in select theaters[3] and on Netflix on October 23, 2020.[4] Prior to its October 23 debut, Over the Moon was shown at the Montclair Film Festival on October 17.[2] A day before its release, a book written by animation historian Leonard Maltin about the history about the film called Over the Moon: Illuminating the Journey, was released on October 22.[18]

Reception[]

According to Rotten Tomatoes, 81% of 98 critic reviews are positive for Over the Moon, and the average rating is 6.90/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "Although many of Over the Moon's narrative ingredients will seem familiar, the film's absorbing animation offers colorful compensation."[19] According to Metacritic, which compiled 22 reviews and calculated a weighted average score of 60 out of 100, the film received "mixed or average reviews".[20]

Peter Debruge of Variety wrote: "Sometimes it's OK for an adventure to be just an adventure, and this one gets in the way of its own assets, while pointing to the potential of future journeys from the Netflix animation team."[21]

Accolades[]

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
Academy Awards April 25, 2021 Best Animated Feature Glen Keane Pending [22]
Golden Globe Awards February 28, 2021 Best Animated Feature Film Glen Keane Nominated
Movie Land Fun and Excitement Awards March 8, 2021 Best Animated Feature Glen Keane, Gennie Rim & Peilin Chou Won TBA
Visual Effects Society Awards April 6, 2021 Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature Glen Keane, Gennie Rim, Céline Desrumaux, David Alexander Smith Pending [23]
Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature Siggi Orri Thorhannesson, Hyesok Kim, Javier Solsona, Alan Chen (for Chang'e) Pending
Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature Ian Farnsworth, Brian Casper, Reinhold Rittinger, Jennifer Lasrado Pending

References[]

  1. Template:Cite the numbers
  2. 2.0 2.1 ‘Over the Moon’ Roundtable with Glen Keane Coming to Montclair Film Festival Oct 17 (October 8, 2020).
  3. 3.0 3.1 Taylor, Drew (September 22, 2020). Netflix's Over The Moon Movie Trailer Pairs Breathtaking Visuals With Pop Music.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Taylor, Drew (August 28, 2020). Netflix's 'Over the Moon' Behind-the-Scenes Featurette Reveals Release Date and Peek at the Music.
  5. Begum, Mumtaj. "New animated musical 'Over The Moon' features designs by Chinese couturier Guo Pei", The Star, June 25, 2020. 
  6. Tangcay, Jazz (28 August 2020). How Netflix’s Animated ‘Over the Moon’ Bridges Folklore and Science in Anthemic Theme Song.
  7. : Over The Moon - Soundtrack.
  8. Over the Moon (Music from the Netflix Film) by Phillipa Soo, Cathy Ang & Steven Price.
  9. Over the Moon Soundtrack: Hear Steven Price's Score for the Netflix Movie (October 15, 2020).
  10. Nancy Tartaglione (26 September 2017). Oriental DreamWorks Names Peilin Chou As CCO; Designs Robust Animation Slate.
  11. Glen Keane’s ‘Over the Moon’ Artfully Illustrates Healing from Grief Through Play.
  12. Amanda N'Duka (6 February 2018). Glen Keane to Direct ‘Over The Moon’ Animation Film For Netflix & Pearl Studio.
  13. Barnes, Brooks (11 October 2019). Netflix Goes All Out to Wow Children as Streaming Wars Intensify (Published 2019).
  14. 'Over the Moon': How Glen Keane Leveraged His Disney DNA for Netflix’s Chinese Moon Goddess Fable (October 21, 2020).
  15. Drew Taylor (23 June 2020). Netflix Reveals Details, Trailer for Upcoming Animated Musical 'Over the Moon'.
  16. Glen Keane’s 'Over the Moon' to Feature Score by Steven Price & Original Songs by Christopher Curtis, Marjorie Duffield & Helen Park (23 June 2020).
  17. Nancy Tartaglione (23 June 2020). ‘Over The Moon’ Trailer: Netflix & Pearl Studio’s Animated Musical Adventure Reveals Voice Cast.
  18. @leonardmaltin (September 2, 2020). Delighted to share the cover for my upcoming book, OVER THE MOON: ILLUMINATING THE JOURNEY, to be published by @TitanBooks on October 22. (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  19. Template:Cite rt
  20. Template:Cite mc
  21. ‘Over the Moon’ Review: Netflix Celebrates Chinese Culture With Dazzlingly Designed but Otherwise Conventional Lunar Toon (9 October 2020).
  22. The full list of 2021 Oscar nominations. Guardian (15 March 2021).
  23. Pederson, Erik (March 2, 2021). VES Awards Nominations: ‘Tenet’, ‘Midnight Sky’, ‘Extraction’, ‘Soul’ & ‘Mandalorian’ Among Titles In Visual Effects Hunt. Deadline. Retrieved on March 2, 2021.

External links[]

v - e - dMovie Land Fun and Excitement Award for Best Animated Feature
2000s Up - Pete Docter (2009)
2010s Toy Story 3 - Lee Unkrich (2010) • Puss in Boots - Chris Miller (2011) • Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted - Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath, & Conrad Vernon (2012) • Frozen - Chris Buck, Peter Del Vecho & Jennifer Lee (2013) • Big Hero 6 - Don Hall, Chris Williams, & Roy Conli (2014) • The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water - Paul Tibbitt, Mike Mitchell & Mary Parent (2015) • Zootopia - Byron Howard, Rich Moore & Clark Spencer (2016) • Coco - Lee Unkrich & Darla K. Anderson (2017) • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse - Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman, Phil Lord & Christopher Miller (2018) • Abominable - Jill Culton & Suzanne Buirgy (2019)
2020s Over the Moon - Glen Keane, Gennie Rim & Peilin Chou (2020)
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