So far Netflix has kept Over the Moon, their upcoming animated original film, mostly in the dark. There was a teaser that evoked the mood and spirit of the musical film, which combines ancient Chinese mythology with a modern setting and contemporary characters, but largely obscured the plot. But now, with the final trailer, they’re letting it all hang out. We’ve got a look at most of the characters, the moon setting, and snippets of the songs. It looks – and sounds – totally insane, in the best possible way.
Directed by master animator Glen Keane, who animated Ariel in The Little Mermaid and The Beast in Beauty and the Beast (amongst many, many other incredible contributions) and co-directed by Oscar-winning director John Kahrs (he made the wonderful “Paperman” short that combined 2D and 3D technologies years before Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse), there is some real heavyweight talent behind Over the Moon. And that kind of restless, envelope-pushing creative spirit is on full display in the new trailer.
Cathy Ang plays Fei Fei, a young Chinese girl who has lost her mother and builds a rocket ship to the moon to ask for help from an immortal goddess (Hamilton breakout Phillipa Soo). Once she gets there, though, things are very different. And seeing the style of the moon and its inhabitants is pretty shocking, especially considering Keane’s last project was the Oscar-winning, traditionally animated Kobe Bryant short “Dear Basketball,” which was all lyrical linework and elegant simplicity. Over the Moon, especially once they get to space, looks full of bright neon colors and ready-for-radio-takeover pop songs. Also Ken Jeong as a glowing alien sidekick. But whatever Over the Moon has in store for us, we’re ready for it.
A co-production between Pearl Studios (formerly DreamWorks Oriental), the studio behind last year’s Abominable, and Netflix, with “animation and imagery” by Sony Pictures ImageWorks, Over the Moon debuts on the platform in late October. Even if the rest of the year’s big studio animation slate (Connected, Soul, etc.) remains in flux, at least we’ll get to watch this big, brassy musical at home. And that’s a huge win.
Over the Moon will arrive on Netflix on October 23. You can watch the official trailer below. For more, here’s our 2020 release calendar for new Netflix originals.