“Over the Moon” is a 2020 American-Chinese computer-animated musical family fantasy film about a girl named Fei Fei. The film was produced by Pearl Studio and Netflix Animation, and animated by Sony Pictures Imageworks. The cast of voices is led by Cathy Ang (Fei Fei) and includes many names you may recognize, such as comedian Ken Jeong (space dog Gobi), Margaret Cho (Auntie Ling), and Sandra Oh (Mrs. Zhong).
On one level, the film is about an adventure interspersed with humorous moments, but overcoming loss and rediscovering hope are also part of the story.
Fei Fei is smart and creative, with the dreams and fantasies of a young girl. She is fascinated by the stories her mom tells her about the Moon Goddess Chang’e. Following her mom’s illness and death, Fei Fei decides to build a rocket to visit the moon, where she hopes to find proof that the moon goddess of her mother’s stories is real.
Fei Fei learns that engineering does not solve everything. While building a rocket took her to where she needed to be, life is complex and requires problem-solving beyond the physical and mechanical. Her rocket gets her to her destination, with a little help from some mythical creatures. But things are not as she expected, and along with her adventure, she learns life lessons about love and loss and change. She also learns that, as much as she likes to do things by herself, even she needs to work as part of a team sometimes.
Fei Fei learns that engineering does not solve everything. While building a rocket took her to where she needed to be, life is complex and requires problem-solving beyond the physical and mechanical.
The film is animated, but please note the Motion Picture Association of America rated “Over the Moon” PG for “some thematic elements and mild action.” Thematic elements include the loss of a parent and bullying. Since I don’t have kids myself, I looked online and found very mixed reviews by parents of young children. Because parents know their kids best, my recommendation is for parents to preview the film before having their young children watch it.
I enjoyed the film and found the music fun. I also appreciated some of the life lessons it covers. I especially liked the strong, smart female character Fei Fei. While the film is myth and fantasy, it included many good examples of diversity and multiculturalism. I recommend it as a good animated film with a resilient female character who deals with loss and change, by using determination and problem-solving.