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Netflix’s new animated movie Over the Moon is a fantastical space adventure

...with a bittersweet thread of grief

Petrana Radulovic is an entertainment reporter specializing in animation, fandom culture, theme parks, Disney, and young adult fantasy franchises.

Netflix continues to shake up the animation landscape with original feature films. Last December’s Klaus, from Despicable Me creator Sergio Pablos, snagged an Oscar nomination. Earlier this year, The Willoughbys, a quirky children’s tale adapted from a Lois Lowry book, hit the streaming platform.

Netflix’s next movie comes from the acclaimed Glen Keane (a character animator on The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Tangled, to name a few) and China’s Pearl Studios. Entitled Over the Moon, the movie follows a young girl in China bent on proving the existence of the legendary Moon Goddess.

As the trailer progresses — the CG animation interwoven with 2D watercolor visuals when recounting the — it’s evident that the girl sees the Moon Goddess as a stand-in for her deceased mother, making her mission to prove that the beautiful woman in the sky is real all the more heartfelt.

If you’ve made it about 95% of the way through the trailer and like me thought to yourself “Wow, this looks like a beautiful and poignant film tied together with a culturally relevant grief allegory, I am definitely sold” and are about to click out of the tab, watch the last remaining moments. While all of the magic and space adventure seems like it could be a metaphor, those last moments reveal a vibrant and gorgeous space world. How did she get up there? Who is the Moon Goddess? And how the heck is she going to get back home?

Over the Moon hits Netflix this fall.

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