In a not very easy year for the cinema, in the face of the constant references in the cinemas of numerous, highly anticipated titles, as well as the closure of the same, streaming tries to take advantage of the tempting opportunity and relaunches with several interesting proposals. This time, however, to literally make ends meet, it is Netflix. And it does so with a production that is as unexpected as it is unmissable and well outside the schemes so far respected. From 23 October, the library of the streaming giant born in Holland is populated with respectable animation content. Over the Moon - The fantastic world of Lunaria it is in fact that classic film that, after the very first frames, gave us a doubt: “are we on Netflix or Disney Plus?”. Yes, the dividing line between the classic stylistic features of the house of the most famous mouse in the world and those put in place by Netflix, in collaboration with Pearl Studio, it is really thin. The success? Virtually insured. So what is special about this colorful and equally moving and touching film, created by Glen Keane, Gennie Rim and Peilin Cho?
The plot that this film offers us respects a classic development, one of the most rooted in the history of narration and of humanity itself. We speak of deep family affections, ties, symbolisms and traditions, everything that can pertain to the most intimate and sensitive sphere of each of us. In this specific case, we look at the door of Fei Fei's house, a little girl who still knows nothing about the world, but knows the goddess Chang'a from the stories of Ma Ma, his mother.
She doesn't really care how it is possible that the moon is not always full. The scientific and too realistic explanations of the father Ba Ba they bore her. It is better to believe that a dog bites a piece of the moon sometimes and that there is a goddess up there in the sky, reached too soon by the mother. This is one of the first fundamental steps not only in Fei Fei's life, but also in the film itself. The primo turning point of the plot allows the entry of a new person into their family after some time.
Fei Fei grows and really shows itself brilliant and prepared at school, as well as driven by the determination to sell mom's favorite sweets and inflamed by a passion for science. So he builds a spaceship to go to the moon and prove the existence of the legendary goddess who lives there. This choice is made also and above all because, in the meantime, he arrives at his house a new companion for dad. A first, huge difference between the two. If he has put aside the past to continue his journey, the daughter not only does not want to know, but he wants to go up to heaven. Up to the moon.
She won't go there alone. Because the new daddy's partner already has a son, the petulant and plump Chin, who wastes no time to annoy her good-naturedly and make her mess up (at least apparently) the plans to go to space. Once the two have landed on the moon, it opens up a carnivalesque and kaleidoscopic show of lights and colors, where a mix of Chinese folklore and K-pop style performances is given free rein.
This last aspect perhaps contrasts with sobriety and with it poignant realism of the very first phase: two worlds, two different sizes. Glen Keane and his team unleashed all of theirs creativeness in this new phase of the film, without ever forgetting to strike the viewer by unraveling the unexpected search for this little girl. A bizarre place populated by fantastic creatures, revealed during an exciting musical adventure. A story that tells the ability to move forward, the acceptance of unexpected novelties and the power of the imagination.
Not just a teenage girl, that indomitable carries on its battle in spite of anyone and among unlikely projects of space rockets, but also of production. Starting from Gennie Rim and Peilin Chou, the production team has also focused on important names in the cast of voice actors. We find again Cathy Ang, the revelation actress who voices Fei Fei, Phillipa Soo (Chang'e), and Robert G. Chiu (Chin). Not even missing Sandra Oh (Miss Zhong), who primarily achieved success in Italy for the role of Dr. Cristina Yang in Grey's Anatomy.
After all, if we anticipated at the beginning that the doubt of having a Disney branded product in front of you it is legitimate, there is certainly a good reason. Netflix has hired no less than the same animator of The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, to name just two of the great animated classics that still populate the collective imagination of young and old. This time though there is no fear of throwing open the doors of the oriental world to the international public without being misunderstood or underestimated.
One of the merits of the diffusion and cultural admixture of each people in the world, as if by now we were living in a great and unique melting pot, it is precisely the ability and sensitivity developed in the public. This in turn allows the director to be able to easily insert traditional and folkloristic signs, without any fear of falling into a speckled and stereotypical restitution of the narrative.
Over The Moon is a decidedly engaging title, able to fascinate and tickle the curiosity and imagination of the spectators. A note of merit definitely goes to colonna sonora, not only to the Italian one where Elodie's voice stands out in the song “Volo via”, but also in the corresponding original version. The items they were definitely carefully chosen, in order to give the Netflix audience a decidedly quality and respectable content.
The music and the songs composed ad hoc for the film are indeed a supporting column for the narration and for the type of product, essentially categorizing it as an animated musical. Perhaps a subtle trick to make such a profound and tragic issue more enjoyable and light. The pain of having lost one's mother and one's past, but not the tenacity and strength to find a solution to appease the inner conflict.
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