Lots of movies tell stories of loss, or about the people left behind after a loved one is gone, as they try to cope with that loss. However, Netflix's new animated feature Over the Moon, directed by Disney veteran Glen Keane, may have a more tangible connection to those themes than any movie of its kind, ever. The movie was written by a woman who knew she herself would very likely not live to see the film completed, and wanted to leave the story behind for her family.
Over the Moon was written by Audrey Wells, the screenwriter of The Hate U Give, after she had been diagnosed with cancer. Wells knew she would not see the finished product on the screen, and so, according to director Glen Keane, she specifically wrote Over the Moon, a story about loss and moving on, so that her family would have that final message from her. As Keane tells EW...
Loss is something that we've all dealt with. It's one of the reasons so many films deal with the topic, as it's one that anybody can relate to. And yet, it's hard to imagine a single film with such a real connection to that theme. The story was written by somebody who knew they were dying, who had something very specific to say about how she wanted her family to move forward. Usually, movies deal with their themes in very general ways in order to be able to relate to the widest possible audience. And while many likely will be able to relate to Over the Moon, it's message is very specific, and all the more emotional.
Animated films have been showing for decades that they're just as good at getting the audience to connect with them as anything in live-action, and Over the Moon director Glen Keane has a history of doing just that. He spent decades working at Walt Disney Animation Studios in the years both before and during the Disney Renaissance. He created many of those characters that fans love and relate to, but Over the Moon marks Keane's directorial debut of an animated feature film.
Based on critical and viewer response, it looks like Over the Moon is resonating the way it was intended to. While the movie at its core might use a lot of elements we've seen before, there's something about this one that is special. Perhaps it's because of the way Audrey Wells connected with her story, a way that not everybody even can.
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CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis. Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.