Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Animated Musical Over The Moon Reimagines The Legend of Chang'E With Sumptuous Visuals

Every time the Mid-Autumn Festival comes around, Red Dot Diva is awashed with nostalgic childhood memories. She remembers her parents asking her to choose a traditional paper lantern from the nearby provision shop (she usually ends up with a dragon, phoenix or a dog), and then, help her to light the candle in the lantern.

In more than one occasion, someone was not as careful with the matchstick, and the poor lantern ends up in flames, accompanied by the inevitable flood of tears. But more often than not, little Red Dot Diva gets to happily parade around her old neighbourhood's cul-de-sac, carrying her pretty lantern under the light of a full moon.

This year, that same warm, magical feeling is most likely to come from Netflix's animated musical feature OVER THE MOON. The movie is directed by the Oscar Award-winning animator Glen Keane who has gifted us with unforgettable animation in Disney films like Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid and Aladdin. John Kahrs (Paperman) acts as co-director of the film, which is jointly produced by Pearl Studio (Abominable) and Netflix.

OVER THE MOON is about Fei Fei, a smart, spirited young girl whose mother has passed away. Her dad is ready to move on with a new marriage, and Fei Fei is having difficulties dealing with these impending changes to her life.

Missing her mother deeply, she decided to build a rocketship and travel to the moon to look for the legendary Moon Goddess Chang'E. When she reaches there, Fei Fei not only gets to meet Chang'E, she also experiences an adventure of a lifetime together with some whimsical creatures.

The recently released trailer for OVER THE MOON is filled with exuberance and gorgeous visuals. The beautiful Chang'E and her flowing gowns is a feast for the eyes. Word is, the look of her gowns were by internationally renowned Chinese fashion designer Guo Pei, who also created the dramatic golden yellow gown with a fur-trimmed train adorned by Rihanna at the 2015 Met Ball.

An impressive list of familiar Asian actors provide the voices in OVER THE MOON. They are Phillipa Soo as Chang'E, Ken Jeong as Gobi, John Cho as Ba Ba, Margaret Cho as Auntie Ling, Kimiko Glenn as Auntie May, and Sandra Oh as Mrs Zhong. The role of Fei Fei is voiced by newcomer Cathy Ang, who also sings the title track of the movie entitled “Rocket To The Moon”.

OVER THE MOON is adapted from the book “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas. The animated movie adds another layer to the story about loss and healing, when one learns more about its screenwriter Audrey Wells who wrote the first draft of the script in 2016. Sadly, Audrey Wells died of cancer in 2018, and the movie is also a touching love letter to her husband and daughter.

As someone of Chinese descent, watching the trailers for OVER THE MOON was so gratifying for Red Dot Diva. The space fantasy adventure showcases a modern Chinese aesthetic that is visually spectacular and depicts Asian values in a positive way. It is such a rare gem, that the film should be on your “must watch” list when it premieres on Netflix SG on 23 October 2020.

No comments:

Post a Comment