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Over the Moon Movie Review - Beautiful but Familiar

Moon movie looks gorgeous but some things are unexplained.

Reviewed by on Oct 22, 2020
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Kidzworld reviews Over the Moon, a lush, colorful animated musical adventure on Netflix. A familiar message of moving on after a sad loss is presented with beautiful animation and Chinese folklore.



In Over the Moon, we are in China where young Fei Fei (Cathy Ang) is told various legends by her loving mom (Ruthie Ann Miles). The legend of Chang’e, a gorgeous Goddess living on the moon forever mourning the loss of her love Houji who died on earth really sticks with Fei Fei. When mom becomes ill and eventually passes on, Fei Fei can’t handle it when her dad wants to marry again four years later. The new woman also has an annoying 8-year-old son. Fei Fei is sure that if she can prove the legend of endless love is true, dad will only think of mom. She builds a rocket to the moon to get proof that the Moon Goddess is real.

Fei Fei, dad and mom are a happy familyFei Fei, dad and mom are a happy familyCourtesy of Netflix

Happy Family

While her family makes and sells yummy moon cakes that are popular in the neighborhood, Fei Fei loves hearing legends from her mom, especially one about a giant space dog taking bites out of the moon, thus explaining its phases and the myth of Chang’e (Phillipa Soo), the Moon Goddess who was in love with an archer named Houji. Chang’e had two immortality pills, one for her and one for her love but accidentally swallowed them both. As an immortal she was pulled away from her love and floated to the moon with only a Jade Rabbit for company as she hopes forever for a reunion.

The legend of the Moon Goddess and her loveThe legend of the Moon Goddess and her loveCourtesy of Netflix

Illness and Visitors

Fei Fei and her dad (John Cho) become closer as mom comes down with a terminal illness and finally passes away. Fei Fei, her pet bunny Bungee and her dad mourn but go on making their popular cakes four years later. Fei Fei is fascinated with how a new bullet train works on magnetic levitation but upset when dad brings a guest home. She is Mrs. Zhong (Sandra Oh), about dad’s age and includes her 8-year-old son Chin (Robert G. Chiu), an annoying, hyperactive kid with a pet frog. It’s obvious that dad likes this woman but Fei Fei knows her mom was his true love and he should never move on. Chin says they will get married.

Chin's frog Croak and BungeeChin's frog and BungeeCourtesy of Netflix

Moon Goddess

Fei Fei reasons that if she can build a rocket to the moon and prove to her dad that the Goddess who represents eternal love exists as mom told them, then he will never move on with someone new. Telling dad it’s a science project, Fei Fei starts the slow process of designing and building her rocket.

Fei Fei and Bungee agree to fly to the moonFei Fei and Bungee agree to fly to the moonCourtesy of Netflix

Finally she builds a track to launch it on, packs it with supplies and launches! It goes faster than the new bullet train but, halfway to the moon, it starts falling! She finds that Chin has stowed away and her design did not consider any extra weight but a beam of light comes from the moon and the ship is pulled back up. Giant flying lion-like creatures bat it around as if it were a ball and it crashes on the moon. The flying lions give Fei Fei and Chin oxygen and fly them to a beautiful city of lights with a castle. Animated, living moon cakes lead them to the Goddess who appears singing like a pop star.

Fei Fei and Bungee launch the shipFei Fei and Bungee launch the shipCourtesy of Netflix

The Gift Competition

Goddess Chang’e calls Fei Fei’s messy hair “unfortunate” and asks her for a tribute gift. She has nothing but says she must prove to her dad that love never dies. She needs a picture of herself with the Goddess. She lets one be taken but won’t give it to Fei Fei until she gets a special gift from her. Once she has it, Jade Rabbit will make a potion and these things will bring her love Houji back to her. It will be a competition. Whoever brings the gift gets their wish. Chin wants to go with Fei Fei but she rejects him. He will never be her brother. He sadly goes away with Bungee following. While Chin plays ping pong with the Goddess to win the photo, Fei Fei hitches a ride on a motorbike manned by a huge chicken, looking for the gift.

Chin (Robert G. Chiu) plays ping pong with the Moon GoddessChin plays ping pong with the Moon GoddessCourtesy of Netflix

Can Anyone Find It?

Chin wins the game but the Goddess doesn’t give him the photo. She cries. She is running out of time to reunite with her love. Her tears magically turn into meteors that threaten Fei Fei and the motorbike chickens. The Goddess locks Chin up. At the site of her crashed ship, Fei Fei thinks her childhood doll, in the image of the Goddess, is the gift. The chickens grab it and take off leaving her stranded. Inside the ship is a strange, green gooey-looking, friendly creature named Gobi (Ken Jeong) who talks non-stop and says he’s a royal advisor but the chickens say Chang’e kicked him out and he’s been exiled for a thousand years. He and Fei Fei start for the palace on foot.

Fei Fei (Cathy Ang) finds Gobi (Ken Jeong) in her crashed shipFei Fei finds Gobi in her crashed shipCourtesy of Netflix

Potion and the True Gift

Meanwhile, Bungee and the Jade Rabbit are attracted to each other. Rabbit uses an essence from Bungee to finish the potion the Goddess needs. Fei Fei and Gobi hitch a ride to the palace on giant frogs and Gobi admits he was exiled for singing a song to the Goddess about moving on after loss. She didn’t like it. Gobi says hang on to your memories but something new can make us grow. Release the past and move ahead.  Catching up to the chickens Fei Fei and Gobi try to get the doll back as time is running out but it is destroyed. While eating a moon cake she brought from home, Fei Fei finds something made of jade inside. It’s broken. Could this be the gift?

Fei Fei and Gobi chase the giftFei Fei and Gobi chase the giftCourtesy of Netflix


This piece is one half of an amulet. When the Goddess puts it together with her half and uses the potion, her love reappears! They are reunited but will this last? Will Fei Fei get the photo, somehow get home and prove to her dad that true love is forever and stop his marriage or has she realized she doesn’t have to? Will she and Chin ever be a loving sister and brother?

Will Fei Fei's family ever be complete?Will Fei Fei's family ever be complete?Courtesy of Netflix

Wrapping Up

Over the Moon is a lush and beautiful film with wild fantasy creatures and lovely animation. The songs are nice but not pop knock outs. Voice actors are all very good making each character unique. The film moves right along at a good clip to keep everyone interested. Fei Fei’s pet bunny Bungee is beyond adorbs and the Goddess is super gorgeous as are her costumes.

The beautiful Moon Goddess, Chang'e (Phillipa Soo) greets Fei FeiThe beautiful Moon Goddess greets Fei FeiCourtesy of Netflix

The movie is helmed by former Disney filmmakers and the Disney animated movie formula is on full display; a brave young hero/heroine, a dead parent, cute animals, a few decent songs and of course a lesson to learn. In this case don’t live forever with your grief so that you ignore all the love that is still all around you. Just because one form of love is gone, it exists in other forms.  Both Fei Fei and the Moon Goddess have to learn this one.

Flying lions discover the shipFlying lions discover the shipCourtesy of Netflix

What bothered me, even in a fantasy film, is a lack of story logic. Either I couldn’t see correctly or Fei Fei discovers the photo of her and the Goddess in the ruins of her crashed ship. Huh? Why is it there and it’s never mentioned again? Also why the heck is ½ of the Goddess’s magical jade amulet baked inside a moon cake Fei Fei brought with her from Earth? Really? And there are a few other “holes”.

Jade Rabbit works on his potionJade Rabbit works on his potionCourtesy of Netflix

Overall, however, the film is so well-meaning, packed with cute or fantastic and colorful creatures and a very good lesson we all need to learn especially in this time of loss for so many families that we award four stars.

Over the Moon Movie Rating: 4

Over the Moon Movie Review - Beautiful but Familiar Courtesy of Netflix

See Over the Moon on Netflix starting Friday, October 23.

What Do You Think?

Tell everyone how you feel about love and loss. Have you experienced it? Would you do anything to stay connected to a loved-one? Are you into space adventures with smart heroes and cute sidekicks? Leave a comment here or on your Kidzworld profile page.