A 2021 Film Journey: Day 60

A 2021 Film Journey: Day 60

Day 60 and the first day of March. I won’t be watching films under a specific theme like I did for Black History month in February, but much of the next month and a half will be spent watching films that receive an Oscar nomination once those come out in two weeks.

Over the Moon (2020, Dir. Glen Keane and John Kahrs)

Chinese Designer Guo Pei on Creating Looks for 'Over the Moon' Goddess -  Variety

While tonight’s film isn’t guaranteed a spot in this year’s list, most predictions have Over the Moon as a pretty dependable prediction for animated feature after two offerings from Pixar and Wolfwalkers make up the sure things. It is clear to me that this film is in a lower tier than the other three though, while not bad per say, Over the Moon is assuredly a mess.

Over the Moon stars Cathy Ang as Fei Fei, a girl dealing with grief over her deceased mother, a bit of a tired cliché in animated kids movies at this point. The film is a musical which is one of the more baffling decisions given the heavier subject matter, and while the first few songs are endearing the absurdity quickly gets the better of the film. An extremely awkward singing ping-pong match left me visibly cringing at the film. A similar tonally dissonant decision is in artistic styles. Much of this film looks like it’s glowing to an excessive amount. Giant glowing aesthetics can work, but they likely weren’t the best decision for a story about a girl learning to let go of the pain in her heart from her mother’s absence.

Watching Over the Moon, it’s clear that Glen Keane and John Kahrs have a great appreciation for Pixar and renaissance Disney films. And while they fumble a little in execution, the love for medium shines through. The overwhelming earnestness of the filmmakers awards it more praise in my book than an equally messy cynical cash grab would earn. I doubt I’ll ever revisit Over the Moon, but I’m not turned off of watching Keane and Kahrs’s next film.

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