Oscar-winning animator Glen Keane spent decades illustrating some of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ most memorable characters, with notable classics that include “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aladdin.” After 38 years, he left the company in 2012 to pursue other creative endeavors, which led him to directing “Dear Basketball,” a short animated film written by the late NBA legend, Kobe Bryant. That collaboration won Keane his first Academy Award in 2018 and led to him helming his first feature “Over the Moon.”
Shortly after premiering at the Montclair Film Festival in October, “Over the Moon” was released on Netflix and grossed an impressive $860,000 in limited theatrical release. The film tells the story of a young girl named Fei Fei (Cathy Ang), whose mother passed away from a terminal illness. After her father gets engaged to another woman and reveals that he no longer believes in the story of the Moon goddess, Chang’e (which she first learned about from her late mother), Fei Fei builds a rocket to fly to the moon and prove that Chang’e is real. The film also stars Sandra Oh, Phillipa Soo, John Cho and Ken Jeong.
Keane’s film has earned raves from critics and was recently nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Golden Globes. Molly Freeman (Screen Rant) writes, “An explosion of wonder, color and magic, ‘Over the Moon’ tells a beautifully sentimental story of family and love, with super catchy songs mixed in.” Sean P. Means (The Movie Cricket) lauds, “The unfussy script, by the late Audrey Wells, and a roster of charming songs channel the emotions of Fei Fei’s journey – from beloved daughter to rebel teen and beyond – that Keane’s visual team depicts so radiantly.”
According to our current Oscar odds, Keane’s Netflix movie is expected to earn a nomination for Best Animated Feature, which would be the director’s first for a feature-length film. He won his only previous bid for Best Animated Short for “Dear Basketball.” Prior to the Oscar nominations being announced on March 15, “Over the Moon” will face off against “The Croods: A New Age,” “Onward,” “Soul” and “Wolfwalkers” at the Golden Globes on Sunday, February 28.
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