Over The Moon (2019)
October 25, 2020 11:10 AM - Subscribe

Over The Moon tells the story of Fei Fei, a young girl who is trying to find Chang’e, the goddess of the moon (Netflix)

Why 'Over the Moon' is the film my son and I desperately needed (CNN): For me, an Asian American mental-health advocate, I find the nuanced representations of Chinese mythology and culture in "Over the Moon" reason for optimism. I was taught since childhood that suffering is a venerable requisite in life, that there is honor in embracing one's bitter fate. In modern retelling of "Over the Moon" — in which Chang'e, along with Fei-Fei and her father, finds freedom — is revolutionary in allowing its characters to quest for happiness beyond loyalty to the deceased. "Over the Moon" is a family movie that reinforces the message that we need not swallow bitterness; instead, we can change our fate.

First Netflix animation Over the Moon is a gift from a dying mother to help her daughter deal with loss (SCMP): A prolific writer, Wells died from cancer in 2018 just as production on Over The Moon began.
“At that time, I did not know that she had cancer and that she would not survive,” Keane recalls. “One day she invited me to dinner and shared that information. I was hit with the importance of taking on this responsibility. She was communicating something for her daughter, that this was designed to give her a means for dealing with the pain and loss.

The Disney renaissance was just a stepping stone for Glen Keane (Polygon): “Here’s this girl who’s incredibly intelligent, and yet has also hung on to this heart of belief that the impossible is possible. I just found that that kind of a character was so wonderful to bring to life, and I really believed in her,” says Keane. Fei Fei is now his favorite character that he’s ever animated (tied with Ariel, he clarifies).

Review: Netflix’s Over The Moon Is a Beautiful Story of Grief and Hope (The Mary Sue): But what makes Over The Moon so special is that instead of being the typical movie where the hero or heroine has lost a parent off-screen, and it’s never dealt with fully, it is a movie directly about the loss of someone beloved and finding ways to love and live again. And the story behind the script makes the messages of the movie even more poignant.

Netflix’s ‘Over the Moon’ Delivers Heartfelt Message (Variety): “When we first met her, she said, ‘All of my movies are about healing. And this is no different. This, if anything, is the most important job I’ve ever done.’ At the time, I didn’t understand exactly what that meant.” Rim says she and Keane didn’t know Wells was ill when they signed on in 2017. “I think about a few weeks before she passed [in 2018], she shared it with us.”

“Our team went though so many personal losses during the making of [“Over the Moon”],” says Keane, who lost his friend and fellow “Dear Basketball” filmmaker Kobe Bryant earlier this year. “Some films are much bigger than you are. This was one of those. We were given an opportunity to communicate such an important message of Audrey’s.”

Sandra Oh celebrates Asian culture in film ‘Over the Moon’ (AP): The storytelling is changing. It’s widening and it’s changing. Mrs. Zhong fulfills a couple of different roles. One being in some ways the foil or the obstacle for the main character of Fei Fei because she doesn’t want her life to change. That’s one of the lessons of the film. And the second part is, is the normalization — and particularly in the Asian community — of blended family. We don’t really talk about it that much and we don’t really see it... I was really happy with that. It’s not an evil stepmother trope. It’s actually, the reality of a blended family in different cultures exists, so let’s see it.

How a Chinese myth inspired Phillipa Soo’s pop star in Netflix’s ‘Over the Moon’ (LA Times): “It shows how undeniably powerful she is because it demands people to dance, like you seriously just can’t help it,” said Helen Park, who wrote the film’s songs with Christopher Curtis and Marjorie Duffield.

“And it has this delicate, vulnerable bridge because, like everyone, she has pain. But that doesn’t get in the way of her rising up and being this magnetic force. I think it’s a great message for girls around the world to own their confidence.”

How Phillipa Soo Channeled Beyonce & More 'Diva Queens' for Netflix Animated Feature 'Over the Moon' (Billboard): What's so beautiful about a character like Fei Fei is she's doing all of this out of the love for her mother and her family. This is not just about her own personal journey. What’s so beautiful about her relationship with Chang’e is that you have two really strong-willed female characters who have an idea of what they need in order to move on in their lives and feel like they're secure on their own two feet. ... Then they come to realize that they're actually way more similar than they thought. And not only that, they need each other in order to heal. There's a message there in reaching out to someone who you may not agree with, who you may not know, in order to find healing. That love and community might come in some very surprising places.

Cathy Ang & Phillipa Soo Talk "Over The Moon" (YouTube)

Ultraluminary music video
posted by Gorgik (2 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I thought this was a little goofy at times (I don't know what was supposed to be going on when Bungee's ears turned pink and shot up like an antenna, but it looked weird), but also very affecting. I found Fei Fei's desire to have things go "back to the way they were before" to be deeply relatable in today's covid-times.

Speaking of Bungee, I think she was the cutest animal companion ever. Would totally watch again just for her scenes.

I also enjoyed Philippa Soo playing a character who's kind of a jerk at times.
posted by creepygirl at 2:18 PM on October 25, 2020

My family watched this the other night. It started out seeming like it would be a kind of standard Dreamworks-style animated feature, and then it got psychedelic and weird, and although it made no sense, really, the design, the light, the shapes, were all so delightful to us (the frogs! the flying frogs!) that we ended up liking it very much. The theme of grief, loss, and moving on was a good one, and handled well.
posted by Orlop at 6:42 PM on October 27, 2020

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