BELIEVING IS EVERYTHING.
A Chinese girl builds a rocket to the Moon that takes her and an annoying younger boy (who might become her stepbrother) to the magical realm of Chang’e, the Moon goddess. A project by the former Disney animator Glen Keane that certainly demands respect. In several ways it is reminiscent of a Pixar movie even if it fails to reach those heights, offering a story about grief and the necessity of moving on, beautifully animated (Chang’e’s realm is eye-popping) and borrowing inspiration from Chinese mythology. Downsides include mediocre songs and a strained sense of humor.
2020-U.S.-China. Animated. 100 min. Color. Directed by Glen Keane, John Kahrs. Screenplay: Audrey Wells. Voices of Cathy Ang (Fei Fei), Phillipa Soo (Chang’e), Ken Jeong (Gobi), Robert G. Chiu (Chin), John Cho, Ruthie Ann Miles… Sandra Oh, Margaret Cho.
Trivia: Wells died in 2018; the film is dedicated to her memory.