Director: Glen Keane, John Kahrs
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Runtime: 95 Minutes
Main Cast: Cathy Ang, Phillipa Soo, Robert G. Chiu, Ken Jeong, John Cho, Sandra Oh, Ruthie Ann Miles, Margaret Cho, Kimiko Glenn
Plot: 4 years after Fei Fei’s Mother passes away, her Father has met someone new. Fei Fei can’t understand why her Father no longer loves her Mother, and so she travels to the moon in order to find the Moon Goddess to prove to her Father that love is eternal.
My Thoughts: If you thought only Disney Pixar can make animated musicals with the power to make you cry as hard as you laugh, then think again. Netflix is here to surprise you! I’ve always loved animated movies but avoided Over the Moon when it was released last month because I heard it was all about how a young girl deals with grief and ugh, can anyone in 2020 handle their emotions? Because I sure can’t. I couldn’t stay away forever though and I’m so glad I finally gave it a try. This is such a beautiful movie from its storytelling to its visuals. If this isn’t an Oscar contender I will RIOT.
Very much like Inside Out (2015), the movie tackles such a difficult theme but does so in a beautiful way. As an adult watching, I know that Fei Fei’s Father will never stop loving her Mother, but I also understand that Fei Fei can’t see that. For all she knows, this new woman in his life is completely replacing her Mother, and taking away their family traditions at the same time. She’s also lumped with the prospect of an irritating younger brother, who, bless him, handles everything with the tenacity that only 8 year olds can.
Whilst not all the songs are completely memorable, they fit the scenes perfectly and one in particular made me ugly cry into my lunch. It’s an emotional ride but it’s also such a fun adventure as the soon-to-be siblings explore the moon together in order to find the object that the Moon Goddess is seeking. One of those stellar family movies that the adults can enjoy as much as the little ones. Also – I won’t pretend to know anything about Chinese culture but from what I’ve read, it’s represented excellently here and that sounds like a win to me. I’d say that if you enjoyed Kubo and the Two Strings (2016), you’ll enjoy this too.
Best Bit: I have two words for you. PHILLIPA. SOO. Hands down the absolute star of 2020 for sure. From the tenacious Eliza Hamilton in…Hamilton (2020) to the lesbian goddess Nadine in The Broken Hearts Gallery (2020) to an ACTUAL Moon Goddess in Over the Moon (2020), she is simply incredible. And whilst we may only hear her voice in this movie, she sings the catchiest song by far.
Worst Bit: Maybe the child in me was siding too hard with Fei Fei, but I can’t help but feel like the Father’s new relationship could have been handled better. Yes, it was important to see Fei Fei adopt some of her future Step-Mother’s traditions, but surely they could have incorporated more of their original family traditions too? I’m being brat I think…
Fun Trivia: Audrey Wells’ final written movie before her death in 2018, the film will also be dedicated in loving memory of her.
My Rating: 4 and a half magical moon cakes…nope, still can’t think about that song without crying everywhere…