Entertainment

Over the Moon for a Movie of Change

This article was co-written by Ayanna M. Clark and Layla Davidson.

Two children, a boy and a girl, run on the lunar surface with several mythical animals following. The girl is carrying a rabbit, while there is a frog on the boy's shoulder.
Image: Pearl Studios

Over the Moon was released late October of 2020 and can be streamed exclusively on Netflix. This animated movie was directed by Glen Keane and was produced by Pearl Studios, Sony Pictures Imageworks, and Netflix Animation. 

Over the Moon follows the life of an adventurous and intelligent 12-year-old Chinese girl named Fei Fei. Years after the passing of her mother, Fei Fei desperately tries to find ways to keep her memory alive after finding out that her father is planning to remarry. She builds a rocket ship to go to the moon, hoping that she will meet the moon goddess Chang’e. When she was alive, Fei Fei’s mother told her tales of Chang’e and her undying love for her partner. Fei Fei believes that finding Chang’e will prove to her father that he doesn’t need to remarry and he should continue loving her mother.

This film encompasses themes such as abandonment, dealing with loss, and change. While the movie tries to lighten the tone, the audience can still feel the heaviness that comes with dealing with those topics. 

Layla The movie to me was good. I enjoyed the rich culture present in the movie. The animated characters were all Asian because this movie takes place in China. Most of the cast, if not all of them, are of Asian descent. At the beginning of the movie, Fei Fei’s mother dies. Everything in this movie is surrounded by this urban legend that is strong in Chinese culture. The urban legend states that there is a moon goddess and she is trying to get her love back. At dinner one night, Fei Fei’s aunts start to talk down on this urban legend, implying it is not real. 

She had a rollercoaster of emotions throughout this movie. She excelled in science and was determined to show her family that the moon goddess was real. Due to this determination, she built a rocket. It took a plethora of tries, but she did it! She learned to embrace change. This theme most likely appeals to a younger age group, especially today, as they learn how to deal with change.

Although the movie was good my only critique about it was the fact that they sang a lot. Though it took a serious topic and made it intriguing, the singing was excessive.  

Ayanna I thought the movie was executed perfectly. The main character, Fei Fei, is a witty pre-teen. As a teenager myself, I felt that her attitude and reactions were something I could really relate to. I also really liked all the side characters; everyone had an important role to play in the movie. The animation and voice acting were stunning. I immediately recognized the voice of Ken Jeong as Gobi.

I was very impressed to find out that almost all of the cast members were of Asian descent. I think it was a good way to add representation in the movie. I can’t speak for the accuracy of the depictions of Chinese culture shown in the movie, but I can say that I thought everything was very beautiful.

Contrary to Layla, I loved all the songs in the movie. I’ve always loved when movies can properly convey the characters’ emotions through songs, and I believe Over the Moon did a great job with this. A main theme for Over the Moon is moving on after loss. We get to see in the movie how this is something that people of all ages have difficulties dealing with, which was really moving. People of any age can enjoy this fabulous movie.

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