Review: "Over the Moon"

Over the Moon combines magical locations, impressive animation, memorable musical numbers, sweet characters, and positive life lessons in a fairy tale about the boundless love of family.

There are some flaws, including not enough screen time for the adorable Gobi, played by comedian Ken Jeong, and especially the abrupt change in tone and pace when Fei Fei leaves her immaculate, golden-hued Chinese village and rockets to the moon. Here she enters an imaginary space kingdom made up of candy-colored "lunarian" creatures and a goddess (voiced by Hamilton's Soo) who appears unexpectedly as a kind of pop artist. It's all a bit disconcerting, and can feel at first like you've stumbled into an entirely different movie.

Things eventually even out as Fei Fei's adventures in the lunar wonderland begin to make sense. Secondary characters are also entertaining, especially humorous, defenseless sidekick Gobi (think Sven in Frozen) and incorrigible tag-along little brother Chin.

The title of Over the Moon may have multiple meanings for this film: It can be an expression of love or excitement, and it's also the place where Fei Fei travels to open up her heart again (production design was partially inspired by Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon album cover). The title also hints at Georges Melies' early film adventure, A Trip to the Moon, an image alluded to in the movie. Lastly, it makes reference to the Chinese festival known as the Autumn Moon Festival.

All of these aspects and inspiration combine in a layered production that feels in more ways than one like a labor of love.

Read the full review at Common Sense Media.


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