Over the Moon Parent Guide
Aside from the beautiful themes woven throughout, the star of this film is the visual design.
Parent Movie Review
Fei Fei (Cathy Ang) and her parents live a happy life baking and selling mooncakes and telling stories of the Moon Goddess Chang’e, until her mother tragically passes away from an illness. Four years later, her father (John Cho) brings home a new girlfriend (Sandra Oh) and her 8-year-old son, Chin (Robert G. Chiu). Feeling betrayed, Fei Fei builds a rocket to the moon to find Chang’e and prove to her father that love is eternal. Once on the moon, Fei Fei discovers that Chang’e (Phillipa Soo) is not what she expected.
Director Glen Keane has a long history in film, working in animation and character design for a number of Disney films, including Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and Tangled. That history is on full display in Over the Moon, which feels a lot like a Disney musical in many respects. From the very first scenes, Over the Moon latches onto your heartstrings and does not let go until the credits roll. The musical numbers are a perfect accompaniment to an emotional story and do not detract from the flow of the narrative. Aside from the beautiful themes woven throughout, which I will touch on in more detail later, the star of this film is the visuals. Chinese mythology and art combine with fantasy elements to create a lush, colorful world full of life. Almost every moment is a feast for the eyes. The vocal performances, especially from Ang and Soo, are wonderfully done and add depth to this world.
Where Over the Moon shines the brightest is in its message. Fei Fei and Chang’e both learn to move through grief and accept that those we love never truly leave us. They both realize that giving love to new people in our lives does not take away from the love that we have for those who are gone. It’s ok to grieve, but we also need to find ways to move forward. These are powerful lessons, not just for children, but for people of all ages. Fei Fei is no damsel in distress, she is smart, resourceful, and thoughtful. Her emotions are never shown to be a weakness. Her ability to love so deeply is a strength, and her grief does not debilitate her. She uses her interests and talents in math and engineering to solve her problems, combining science and mythology in a beautiful way. Fei Fei is a character I think any parent would be pleased to have their child look up to.
Is this movie perfect? No. I could quibble about some of the story beats and pacing, and there are a few minor continuity errors I noticed. But the characters, themes, and visuals are so strong that it doesn’t matter. I would put Over the Moon on a similar level as most Pixar or Disney animated films; it really rises above the quality I’ve come to expect from Netflix. With almost no content concerns, I think that Over the Moon has the potential to become a family favorite for years to come.Directed by Glen Keane & John Kahrs. Starring Phillipa Soo, Kimiko Glenn, and Ken Jeong. Running time: 95 minutes. Theatrical release October 23, 2020. Updated October 23, 2020
Watch the trailer for Over the Moon
Over the Moon
Rating & Content Info
Why is Over the Moon rated PG? Over the Moon is rated PG by the MPAA for some thematic elements and mild action.
Violence: A girl and boy attempt to get to the moon in a homemade rocket which fails, and they fall a far distance before being saved. Characters travel through a meteor shower, trying to avoid getting hit. A girl is chased by hungry moon frogs. A boy frequently runs into walls.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: A small handful of minor insults, mostly “dingbat”. A woman insults a girl’s haircut.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None.
Page last updated October 23, 2020
Over the Moon Parents' Guide
Why is Fei Fei upset about the prospect of her father getting remarried? What does she learn from Chang’e about grief and love?
Loved this movie? Try these books…
The moon goddess appears in Wang Zhiwei’s Chang’e Flies to the Moon. A young girl asks Chang’e to reunite her family in Ching Yeung Russell’s Moon Festival. Bestselling author Amy Tan tells a story of secret wishes in The Mon Lady.
A young boy builds a rocket and blasts off into space in Edward Built a Rocketship by Michael Rack. A mouse goes to space in Mark Kelly’s Mousetronaut Goes to Mars.
A fairytale with a twist, Interstellar Cinderella focuses on engineering. Written by Deborah Underwood this is a great story of a girl in space.
Related home video titles:
Pixar’s Inside Out goes inside the brain of a girl who’s struggling with homesickness.
In Abominable, a girl who’s grieving the loss of her father winds up on a journey across China to save a yeti.
Astro Kid sees a boy surviving on his own on a strange planet after his family’s spaceship is damaged. (This film is also known as Terra Willy.)
Coco follows a boy into the land of the dead where he becomes acquainted with his ancestors.