Friday 16 October 2020 2:34 pm

Over the Moon film review: This family Netflix animation has heart and colour

James is one of City A.M.'s film critics and a regular on both TV and radio discussing the latest movie releases

Netflix looks to get in on the booming appetite for family content with this whimsical animated trip to space. 

Cathy Ang voices Fei Fei, a young Chinese girl fascinated by science, as well as the stories of the Moon goddess Change’e (Phillipa Soo) told to her by her mother (Ruthie Ann Miles). When her mother passes away, Fei Fei builds a rocket to The Moon to find Chang’e, only to find the deity is far from what she expected. 

Read more: Rebecca film review: Ben Wheatley directs Lily James and Armie Hammer but is too in thrall to Hitchcock

Over the last twenty years, many companies have tried to replicate the magic of Disney and Pixar, with varying results. This US/Chinese production takes inspiration from films like Coco and Trolls, with the animation polished and the storytelling a mix of warm sentiment and multi-coloured fun. 

The first half pulls at those heartstrings as both the animation and Ang’s performance make an impact, and as the characters blast off with anthropomorphic pets in tow, only the hardest heart would deny them a successful mission. 

Read more: Netflix to triple London office space as it cashes in on British success stories

Once the lunar aspect of the film starts, however, things go a little off course, with an emphasis on spectacle that somewhat derails the storytelling. Once you’ve finished tapping your feet to the pop-infused musical numbers, you’ll struggle to remember what happened. 

Over The Moon is an enjoyable family trip, but one that might not have stood out in a more crowded release slate.