Movie Review: Over the Moon2nd November 2020
I wasn’t over the moon watching this, let me tell you. A weak introduction for an even weaker film, I knew it was only a matter of time before Netflix slipped down the slope of horribly bleak, boring cinema. Obviously, I’m not the target audience for Over the Moon, but I’ll be damned if I won’t try and enjoy myself through these bleak months of Halloween. The true horror of this season resides in doughy, bland, and stretched animation that offers us little in the way of progress for the genre, and even less in interesting tones or style. Still, this clunky animated piece is far better than some of the offerings present in this year, the asinine tones of Onward have still not cleansed themselves from my memory. Over the Moon isn’t much better, though, detailing a girl who goes in search of a legendary Moon Goddess.
Watching these Sim-like beings slave away making moon cakes or whatever is a real task for the audience. Over the Moon drops into cliché so often and struggles to get out of it. Comic-relief relatives, a fluffy pet that our leading character tells their deepest secrets to, a new character that tries their best to gel with our protagonist, but has no chance of doing so until they go on a life-changing trip to the moon. All your usual stuff is here, but done in such a by-the-numbers and boring way. A sickly colour scheme is thrown together without rhyme or reason, there’s a real faux energy to this piece, one that has morbid overtones of death mixed into its frequent attempts at being chirpy.
Over the Moon toils so hard and often to replicate the stylish, musical choices of modern Disney films that it forgets to craft a captivating narrative. I’m not sure how many more songs about the moon I can take, but two songs in and I’m ready to blow that chunk of rock away. I assume this piece was made in an attempt to cultivate some love for the moon amongst children obsessed with their TikToks and Earthly desires, the age-old dream of being an astronaut long dying out to the far more realistic prospect of becoming an Instagram influencer or a baker. Competently performed and edited, at least, but the first act feels weak and rushed, I assume there’s no room for too much backstory when you’ve set your sights on launching us all to the moon in a ship made of paper.
I’ve no qualms with the animation style of Over the Moon, that’s just the standard of the genre at this point and there’s no point fighting against it. Accept that this is the new normal, this thick layer of squeaky cleanly sheen with no space to showcase a specific animator’s flair. Horrible to think about, but it’ll probably be enough to distract younger audiences and idiots for an hour or so. That’s what entertainment is these days, I should know, I’m one of the idiots that watch this stuff. Harmless to some degree, but not wholly engaging or all that enjoyable.