‘Over the Moon’ director Glen Keane on crafting aspirational characters who believe in the impossible [Exclusive Featurette]

Academy Award winner Glen Keane is an animation legend behind some of the most memorable characters in film history. In his latest directorial effort, “Over the Moon,” Keane draws on Chinese history and culture to craft the story of Fei Fei, a young girl on a quest to meet a mythical goddess on the moon. The film premiered on Netflix in October and has since become a top Oscar contender for Best Animated Feature. Watch Keane and members of the “Over the Moon” cast and crew detail bringing this vibrant journey to the screen in an exclusive new featurette from Netflix above.

“I love characters that believe the impossible is possible,” remarks Keane in the nearly three-minute reel. “Fei Fei in ‘Over the Moon’ is like that. I had spent nearly 40 years at Disney animating characters like ‘The Little Mermaid,’ ‘Aladdin,’ ‘Tarzan’ and ‘Pocahontas.’ I was taught that the key to animation is sincerity. To believe in the characters that you animate.”

“Our team visited China,” the director continues. “The history, the people, the stories, the legends! I was learning and discovering something that was new to me.” Producer Peilin Chou adds, “Glen has such passion, curiosity and respect for the Chinese culture while really being able to bring out the universal themes of this film.”

“Glen was really there to guide all of us,” explains Phillipa Soo, who plays Chang’e in the film. “He had such a clear vision of what this beautiful story would be.” Joining Soo in the cast are the voice talents of Cathy Ang, Ken Jeong, John Cho, Ruthie Ann Miles, Margaret Cho and Sandra Oh. The film is scored by Oscar winner Steven Price (“Gravity”) with original songs by Christopher Curtis, Marjorie Duffield and Helen Park.

“Over the Moon” currently ranks third in our overall odds to win Best Animated Feature at the Oscars with 5/1 odds. Rounding out the top five in our prediction center are “Soul” (82/25 odds), “Wolfwalkers” (19/5 odds), “Onward” (5/1 odds) and “Earwig and the Witch” (14/1 odds). Keane previously won an Oscar alongside the late Kobe Bryant for directing the animated short film “Dear Basketball.”

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