Why Asians should watch ‘Over The Moon’

Published October 10, 2020, 10:09 AM

by Stephanie Bernardino

“It’s a celebration of Asian culture, of Asian actors and creators, and Asian storytelling.”

This was the simple answer given by actresses Cathy Ang and Phillipa Soo during the recent interview with Bulletin Entertainment and other member of the press asking them why we should watch “Over The Moon,” an animated film that is set to premiere on Netflix on Oct. 23.

“You know, Pearl Studios is one of the producing studios, and one of their main goals is to sort of bridge the gap between East and West and to do that through storytelling,” Phillipa added. “And I think that there’s something there for me that I haven’t been able to access before because I haven’t really been able to play characters that are specifically written as Asian, as in this case, being Chinese. So it’s very empowering.”

A scene from ‘Over The Moon’ – (Left to right) “Father” (voiced by John Cho), “Fei Fei” (voiced by Cathy Ang) and “Mother” (voiced by Ruthie Ann Miles). (Netflix)

She thinks it’s important for an audience to see themselves represented on screen. 

“Not only on screen, but off screen, on stage, off stage, you know? These are places where we should find ourselves,” she went on. “Because, really, looking up at a screen and saying, like, ‘Hey, that kind of looks like me’ and the impact of that, it is just so powerful. So I’m excited for everyone to see this.”

Cathy couldn’t agree more.

“Absolutely. Growing up and watching media that portrayed Asians was really inspiring for me personally, to want to become a performer. And I know at least for a lot of Asians, Asian-Americans, it’s just hard to pursue that career. But Asian art is beautiful. And I think the rest of the world deserves to see more of it. So every chance that we get to create it and and share it with people is a wonderful opportunity for more interesting art and the world needs art to to really elevate humanity so I agreed with everything that Phillipa has said and more.”

Another scene from the film (From back left clockwise) “Grandma” (voiced by Irene Tsu), “Grandpa” (voiced by Clem Chung), “Auntie Mei” (voiced by Kimiko Glenn), “Auntie Ling” (voiced by Margaret Cho), “Uncle” (voiced by Artt Butler), “Father” (voiced by John Cho), “Fei Fei” (voiced by Cathy Ang), “Mrs. Zhong” (voiced by Sandra Oh) and her son, “Chin” (voiced by Robert G. Chiu). (Netflix)

Cathy then expounder on her character Fei Fei being a good role model for kids.

“She approaches every problem with a belief in herself and a belief that she can find a solution as long as she never gives up. And that in itself is an awesome lesson for people in general,” she related. “She gets creative, and she is able to do the impossible — she builds a rocket to the moon. So I think that’s exciting and inspiring for kids.’

For Phillipa, themost important message of the film is about love being “everlasting.”

“And how you can find it and in different places and different people,” she said. “Sometimes you don’t even know it, even when it’s right there in front of you. So I think it’s such a beautiful way for people to see the different ways that they can find love.”

“Over The Moon” revolves around a bright young girl named Fei Fei, who is fueled with determination and a passion for science, that she decided to build a rocket ship to the moon to prove the existence of a legendary Moon Goddess. She would go on to fulfill an unexpected quest, discovering a whimsical land of fantastical creatures.  

Directed by animation legend Glen Keane, and produced by Gennie Rim and Peilin Chou, “Over The Moon” is an exhilarating musical adventure about moving forward, embracing the unexpected, and the power of imagination. 

The film also stars Robert G. Chiu (Chin), Ken Jeong (Gobi), John Cho (Dad), Ruthie Ann Miles (Mom), Margaret Cho (Auntie Ling), Kimiko Glenn (Auntie Mei), Artt Butler (Uncle), and Sandra Oh (Mrs. Zhong).

Cathy is quite proud of the film.

She said, “I feel really proud that Asians are getting represented onscreen and that hopefully the rest of the world will see see it and get curious and celebrate it. So it means the world to me.”

In a separate interview, Glen related how the whole production immersed in Chines culture in preparation for the film.

They even went to China and spend time there, having dinner in Chinese families home.

“This film is marinated in such a way that all of the acting, the gestures are true and authentic to the culture,” he noted.