Netflix Sci-Fi Fantasy Adventure Tugs At Everyone’s Heartstrings

By Shanna Mathews-Mendez | Updated

Over the Moon is one of the best-animated films on Netflix now, and yet it has flown under the radar for all this time. Gather your kids, pop your popcorn, and stream it this weekend. 

Over the Moon, released on Netflix in 2020 and has an 82 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s got great voice actors, excellent animation, and a story that is both heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. Especially, for those interested in learning about different cultures, this film tells a story from Chinese tradition and gives it a modern, musical spin with great results. 

Begins With The Story Of Chang’e

Over the Moon opens with a young girl, Fei Fe, listening to the story of the Moon goddess, Chang’e. Apparently, Chang’e was once a human woman who was deeply in love with a man, Houyi. The two lived a beautiful life together, but Chang’e took a portion to make her immortal and became the moon goddess. Sadly, Houyi never took a potion, and so he remains human. For thousands of years, Chang’e has been waiting for her lover to join her. 

Tragedy Strikes (Not The Bunny)

We watch in Over the Moon as Fei Fei is deeply loved by her mother and father and as the family makes mooncakes together and takes them into the village for the annual Moon Festival. Then we watch as Fei Fei’s mother falls ill. The days go by in rapid succession, and Fei Fei’s mother dies when Fei Fei is 11, just after giving her a pet bunny to remember her by. 

Fast forward four years later, we see Fei Fei at the age of 15, living with her father, missing her mother, but still mostly happy in their shared memories of her. 

Difficulty Moving On

Suddenly, Fei Fei’s father starts dating again and becomes engaged to a lovely woman, Ms. Zhong, who is kind to Fei Fei and brings her son Chin to meet her. Chin brings his pet frog and, as an eight-year-old boy, annoys Fei Fei to no end.

As Fei Fei’s family comes for the Moon Festival, and Ms. Zhong tries to show Fei Fei how to make mooncakes a different way from her mother’s traditional approach, Fei Fei loses her patience. She declares that her dead mother is waiting for her father, just like Chang’e is waiting for Houyi. The family gently laughs at Fei Fei, chiding her for believing in fairytales. 

It’s A Childhood Fairy Tale

So, Fei Fei builds a rocket to take over the moon to prove that Chang’e is real. Everything is going fine as the young girl and her bunny shoot into the sky with the help of fireworks until Chang’e realizes that Chin and his frog have snuck aboard.

The rocket begins to fall but is captured by what looks like a moonbeam. The kids are welcomed into Lunaria, a city on the moon, and Chang’e greets them, telling them she can get them home if they bring her the gift from the rocket, which is supposed to bring Houyi to her, finally. 

Ping Pong Versus The Goddess Of The Moon

The kids have adventures all over the moon and make friends with silly winged foo dogs, some biker chicks, a blobby-shaped creature named Gobi, and more. Chin engages in a high-stakes ping pong match with Chang’e, and Fei Fei rides on the back of a giant toad. When Fei Fei finally gives Chang’e the gift she’s been searching for, Houyi visits Chang’e only to tell her to move on. Chang’e then plunges into depression, which plunges the entire city into darkness. 

Streaming Only On Netflix


It is ultimately up to Fei Fei to help Chang’e move on and to realize that she must do so herself. The storyline that gets us there and beyond is nothing short of beautiful, and the soundtrack that accompanies the story is so catchy that my kids had me playing it on repeat every time we got in the car for weeks. Watch Over the Moon on Netflix the next chance you get.