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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Kids can learn a little about Chinese customs and myths, and be reminded of importance of family. Main character shows how scientific knowledge can prove useful and that girls can excel at science and engineering.
Family, home, and tradition are pillars of a child's life. Families often bond over food, and in Chinese culture, the circular mooncake can serve as a symbol of a family coming together. "Cherish life and everything you love." Losing those you love can change you, and it's important to remember them but also to continue living your life and loving others.
Positive Role Models
Fei Fei displays great courage in building a rocket to fly to the moon and, once there, determination and bravery in her adventures. Friends and family members care for, defend each other. Chin treats Fei Fei like a sister from day one; she takes more time to warm to him. Chang'e seems uncaring, wholly intent on her own objectives until events change her perspective.
Violence & Scariness
Young girl loses her mother to illness, struggles to overcome her grief. A scary place called the Chamber of Exquisite Sadness. Stories of a goddess on the moon who fought off demons and took an immortality potion to await reunion with her loved one, not knowing he had already died on earth. Young boy tries to run through walls but only runs into them. Animated fantasy violence: two kids taking off in a homemade spaceship that almost falls back to earth, instead crashes on moon, splitting into pieces before kids are saved by space creatures. Trying to find a precious item, the girl rides on handlebars of a space motorcycle at high speed through a meteor shower, leaps onto the back of a space frog and between floating platforms, is nearly exploded to bits.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Fei Fei's parents hug and show plenty of affection. Four years after his wife's death, a man admits he sometimes feels lonely and makes plans to remarry. The moon goddess is pining for her lost love. In her song and dance performances, Chang'e's curves are fitted with tight clothing.
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"Dingbat," "annoying," "butt," "poo."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The moon goddess is said to have taken a magic potion that makes her immortal.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the fantasy violence in Over the Moon is only mildly scary, and the sadder scenarios -- a dying mother, a "Chamber of Exquisite Sadness" for the grief stricken -- ultimately lead to positive lessons and personal growth. Main character Fei Fei (voiced by Cathy Ang) comes from a loving extended family that often bonds over food in their beautiful Chinese village. She also excels at science and puts her gifts to use to build a rocket. It launches Fei Fei and her soon-to-be brother, plus pets, into a fantasy world on the moon. There they encounter some threatening creatures and embark on adventures that put their lives in danger but also bring them closer together and help Fei Fei work through her grief. The kids display courage and determination, and they learn the expansiveness of love. Four years after his wife's death, a man admits he sometimes feels lonely and makes plans to remarry. Expect some innocent expressions of affection; iffy language is limited to childish taunts, plus "butt" and "poo." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This charming film 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 in Over the Moon, 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.
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