2021 Oscar Reviews: Over the Moon

For the past several years, I’ve attempted to watch as many Oscar-nominated films as possible, and for the past two years I have written reviews of each film and posted them to this blog. Alas, I always run out of time and cannot see everything. This year’ ceremony has been delayed, and I started reviewing before nominations were announced, giving me a decent chance at wide coverage. Today we cover…

Over the Moon

[one nomination for Best Animated Feature]

Oh my God, I can’t handle any more of these little kid movies. They are all sad as fuck.

Over the Moon is the story of a kid who misses her dead parent and goes on a magical mystical journey before finally learning to cope with loss and move on. And if you’re thinking this sounds familiar, that’s because it is. It’s the same plot as Onward. Over the Moon takes place both on a very realistically modeled earth, and in an animated fantasy dreamscape that defies reality and helps understand life beyond death. If that sounds familiar, that’s because it’s the setting for Soul. Over the Moon is based on a Chinese myth and is heavily steeped in Chinese culture. If that sounds familiar, it’s because the same is true for Mulan. Over the Moon features talking chickens that provide some solid comic relief. If that sounds familiar, it’s because The One and Only Ivan also features a talking chicken that provides some solid comic relief. Over the Moon features completely unqualified young characters piloting space craft. If that seems familiar, it’s because Farmageddon features completly unqualified young characters piloting space craft. Over the Moon features tons of songs. If that… oh wait… it might finally be the outlier here. Soul, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Sound of Metal, The United States vs Billie Holiday, and One Night in Miami are all movies about musicians, but feature very little music. So if you’re specifically trying to find some music, this is the nominee for you! I personally didn’t really like any of the songs (none of them seemed catchy enough for a kids’ movie), but each their own.

This probably sounds like a pan of the movie. It’s not! Not at all! I mean, I personally got super bored. But I almost always get super bored in kids’ movies. Plus I’ve watched so many of them in a row now that I’m just fatigued. Especially by all the dead parents all over the place. Good grief.

Anyhoo, Over the Moon is your standard solid kids’ film. It’s got a cute bunny rabbit. It’s got a nice message for kids. It introduces a new young audience to aspects Chinese culture. I really liked the early scenes on earth, particularly our nerdy protagonist’s spaceship-building montage (I was less into the fantasy space scenes, though). And finally, it’s a lot gentler with the dead parent stuff than some of the other kids’ movies, so if you’re sick of being traumatized over and over again in your children’s entertainment, this one might be moderately mildly less traumatic.

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