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The colorful side of the moon

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Film
German title The colourful side of the moon
Original title Over the Moon
Country of production United States
Original language English
Year of publication 2020
Length 100 minutes
Staff
Directed by Glen Keane
John Kahrs (Co-director)
Script Audrey Wells
Production Peilin Chou,
Gennie Rim
Music Steven Price
Edited by Edie Ichioka
Synchronization

TheColorful Side of the Moon (OT: Over theMoon ) is a 2020 American computer animated film from director Glen Keane with co-director John Kars. The fantasy and musical film was produced by Pearl Studio and Netflix Animation and animated by Sony Pictures Imageworks. The film was released on Netflix on October 23, 2020 and received a limited theatrical release.

Storyline

As a child, Fei Fei listens spellbound to her mother’s tales about the moon goddess Chang’e, who took an immortality potion and ascended to the moon, where she still waits for her husband Houyi. Fei Fei and her family run a bakery and make the best moon cakes for the Moon Festival. Fei Fei’s mother falls ill not long after. Shortly before her death, she gives Fei Fei a small rabbit named Bungee.

Four years later, Fei Fei still believes in the story of the Moon Goddess. When her father brings home a new fiancée, Fei Fei is horrified. Neither likes Ms. Zhong nor her annoying son Chin, who thinks he can walk through walls. Nor do they believe Chang’e’s story. She decides to prove Chang’e’s existence and designs a rocket inspired by a maglev train as well as a sky lantern. She chooses a moon rabbit as the shape. Her experiment seems to work and she flies to the moon. However, Chin has snuck into the rocket. Fei Fei had not calculated his weight and so the rocket crashes back towards earth.

A beam of light rescues them and brings them to Lunaria, where Chang’e and her dancers await them. Chang’e expects a gift from the newcomers, but Fei Fei doesn’t know what the moon goddess means. Chang’e eagerly awaits the gift, for she needs it to break her immortality curse, to be reunited with Houyi. Time is of the essence, for she needs it before the Moon Festival, when the moon grows smaller again. So she calls a competition.

Fei Fei is pissed at Chin and decides to head to her landing point alone. On the way, she encounters several Lunettes on motorcycles, with whom she tries to make common cause. Meanwhile, Chin tries to get her hands on a photo of the Moon Goddess. The two play a game of ping pong, but according to Moon rules. Nevertheless, Chin manages to defeat the goddess. However, she breaks her promise and locks him up instead. Meanwhile, Fei Fei manages to find what she thinks is the gift: a Chang’e doll. However, she fights with the Lunettes over this doll, which is destroyed in the process. Eventually, she meets the Lunarian Gobi, who was disowned by Chang’e for singing a song that displeased the Moon Goddess. Together they discover a piece of jade in a moon cake Fei Fei had brought.

Back at the palace, everyone meets again. Chang’e summons Houyi with the jade, but he appears only briefly. He tells his lover that he has died and can no longer stay. She should try to get along without him. Afterwards he disappears again. As a result, Chang’e reacts with depression and all the lights on the moon go out. This endangers the lives of the lunarians. Fei Fei tries to get closer to Chang’e, but then she has a vision of her dead mother and sinks into depression herself. But she realizes that she has to move on from her tragedies. Both build each other up. As they accept the death of their loved ones, the light returns to Lunaria.

Chang’e finally thanks Fei Fei and sends her and Chin back to Earth. Only Bungee remains on the moon. Gobi’s banishment is also resolved. Back on Earth, Fei Fei accepts her father’s new mate and also Chin as her stepbrother. A year later, everyone lives happily together and the family prepares for a new moon festival.

Music

The film is adapted as a musical. The soundtrack is by Steven Price and the individual songs were written by Christopher Curtis, Marjorie Duffield and Helen Park. In the course of the plot, the following pieces are sung:

  1. On the Moon Above (Fei Fei, Father, Mother) – 1:31
  2. Mooncakes (Fei Fei, Father, Mother) – 4:19
  3. Rocket to the Moon (Fei Fei) – 3:48
  4. Rocket to the Moon (Reprise) (Fei Fei) – 2:01
  5. Ulraluminary (Chang’e) – 3:20
  6. Hey Boy (Chang’e, Chin) – 1:47
  7. Wonderful (Gobi, Fei Fei) – 3:37
  8. Yours Forever (Reprise) (Chang’e, Houyi) – 2:00
  9. Love Someone New (Fei Fei, Chang’e) – 3:36

In Germany, Vanessa Mai sang a German-language version to Rocket to the Moon – titled Fort von hier.[1]

Background

The Colorful Side of the Moon is Pearl Studio’s first film not produced by DreamWorks. Pearl Studio hired Audrey Wells, who created a script based on the saga of the moon goddess Chang’e and an idea by Janet Yang.[2] Audrey Wells passed away from cancer in 2018 before the project was completed, and the film was dedicated to her.[3]

Director[edit] Glen Keane made his feature film directorial debut at the age of 60.[4] Until 2012, he worked as an animator at The Walt Disney Company and made several animated shorts, including the Oscar winner Dear Basketball (2017).[3] In 2019, Netflix bought the rights to the film and backed the project with their production company Netflix Animation.[5][6]

Inspirations for Moon City were Pink Floyd’s album The Dark Side of the Moon and paintings by Joan Miró.[7]

Recordings of the film music took place at Synchron Stage Vienna.[8]

Publication

The film premiered at the Montclair Film Festival on October 17, 2020. The film opened in select theaters on October 23, 2020, and was also released worldwide on Netflix on that date.[9]

Synchronization (selection)

FFS Film- und Fernseh-Synchron took over the dubbing. Manuel Straube was responsible for the dialogue book and direction. Thomas Amper was responsible for the musical direction.[10]

Roll english speaker german speaker
Fei Fei Cathy Ang Friedel Morgenstern
Bill Artt Butler Tobias Schmidt
Blue lunette Brittany Ishibashi Julia Stoepel
Chang’e (vocals) Phillipa Soo Pia Allgeier
Chang’e (voice) Manja Doering
Chin Robert G. Chiu Manik Gashina
Fei Fei (young) Brycen Hall Hedwig Krämer
Gobi Ken Jeong Tim Sander
Gretch Margaret Cho Svantje Wascher
Houyi (vocals) Conrad Ricamora Pat Lawson
Houyi (voice) Florian Clyde

Reception

Reviews

Filmdienst judged, “An animated film that draws narratively on the Disney tradition, plays with different animation styles for the different levels of reality, and tells a story of grief and the need to let go that is as visually powerful as it is warm-hearted.”[4]

The website Kinderfilmwelt awarded three out of five points and wrote: “Chang’e’s first appearance seems like the concert of a self-absorbed pop star. Towards the end, the animated musical then takes more time for the development of its heroine and the central message: even after a painful loss, you have to be able to let go and accept new people in your life.”[11]

TV Movie wrote: “The makers could have quietly trusted their characters more, then the middle section probably wouldn’t feel so drawn out and formulaic. For although “The Colorful Side of the Moon” serves many animated film stereotypes, it still manages to evoke the desired emotions with the two most important characters. (…) The bottom line is that the subject matter is perhaps too dark for younger viewers – but the rest will get to see a really good animated film. And who knows, maybe Klen Keane will soon get to put his second Oscar in his display case.”[12]

Awards

Price Nominations Awards Country Awarded EN
Oscar Best Animated Feature Film USA 2021 [13]
Golden Globe Award Best Animated Film no USA 2021 [14]
Satellite Award Best Film – Animation or Mixed Media

Best Film Song

no USA 2020 [15]
Visual Effects Society Awards Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature

Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature

Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature

USA 2021 [16]

Web links

Individual references

  1. Vanessa Mai – Away from here.In: austriancharts.at. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  2. Nancy Tartaglione, Nancy Tartaglione:Oriental DreamWorks Names Peilin Chou As CCO; Designs Robust Animation Slate.In Deadline. 26 September 2017, accessed 27 March 2021 (American English).
  3. a b Glen Keane’s ‘Over the Moon’ Artfully Illustrates Healing from Grief Through Play.Retrieved 27 March 2021 (English).
  4. a b Felicitas Kleiner:The colorful side of the moon.In: filmservice.com. Retrieved March 27, 2021.
  5. Brooks Barnes: Netflix Goes All Out to Wow Children as Streaming Wars Intensify. In The New York Times. 11.October 2019, ISSN 0362-4331(nytimes.com [accessed 27 March 2021]).
  6. Amanda N’Duka, Amanda N’Duka:Glen Keane To Direct ‘Over The Moon’ Animation Film For Netflix & Pearl Studio.In: Deadline. February 6, 2018, accessed March 27, 2021 (American English).
  7. Bill Desowitz, Bill Desowitz:‘Over the Moon’: How Glen Keane Leveraged His Disney DNA for Netflix’s Chinese Moon Goddess Fable.In: IndieWire. October 21, 2020, accessed March 27, 2021 (English).
  8. Franco Schedl:Two Oscar-nominated films with music from Austria.In: film.at. 22 April 2021, retrieved 25 April 2021.
  9. ‘Over the Moon’ Roundtable with Glen Keane Coming to Montclair Film Festival Oct 17.Retrieved 27 Mar 2021 (English).
  10. The colorful side of the moon.In: synchronkartei.de. Deutsche Synchronkartei, retrieved 27 March 2021.
  11. The colorful side of the moon – children’s film world.Retrieved 27 March 2021.
  12. Movie Review | “The Colorful Side of the Moon”: Netflix’s first animated hit.October 9, 2020, accessed March 27, 2021.
  13. Guardian film:The full list of 2021 Oscars nominations.15 March 2021, retrieved 27 March 2021 (English).
  14. Over the Moon.In: Golden GlobeAwards. Retrieved 27 March 2021 (English).
  15. 2020 Winners | International Press Academy.Retrieved March 27, 2021 (American English).
  16. Erik Pedersen, Erik Pedersen:VES Awards Nominations: ‘Tenet’, ‘Midnight Sky’, ‘Extraction’, ‘Soul’ & ‘Mandalorian’ Among Titles In Visual Effects Hunt.In: Deadline. 2 March 2021, retrieved 27 March 2021 (American English).