Earlier this week, Netflix released the first trailer for a new animated film called Over The Moon. The film is inspired by Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival or Harvest Moon Festival or what I like to call Chinese Thanksgiving. Many of our cultural holidays originate from mythology. The myth closely associated with Mid-Autumn Festival is the legend of the Moon Goddess Chang’e. I wrote about the Moon Goddess legend in 2017, a story my ma used to tell me over and over again:
“One year, 10 extra suns rose in the sky and they scorched the earth. The heat was unbearable, the people were suffering. But our Hero was an archer and he used his arrows to shoot down 9 of those suns, leaving the original, the only one we need. The Queen rewarded Hero for his efforts with an immortality elixir which he chose not to take because he loved his wife, Angel, so much, he didn’t want to leave her behind. He gifted the elixir to her instead. When the Enemy found out that Angel had the magic potion, he waited until Hero left the house one day and broke in to steal it from her. She refused to hand it over, but she also knew that she couldn’t defend herself. So she opened the seal, tipped her head back, and drank the entire bottle. (My ma always acted this part out dramatically, her red nails flicking open a perfume bottle, pretending to sip from it with a raised pinky.) Angel was immortal. But she didn’t want to be too far away from Hero. So instead of going to Heaven, she took up residence on the moon. And when Hero came back and found out what happened, he dedicated the rest of his life to worshipping his Angel on the moon, creating a shrine to her in his garden, full of food and cakes and flowers, and the people were so impressed by the monument and his dedication to her that they began celebrating her as well.”
As I wrote at the time, so many Chinese kids grow up hearing these stories from their parents. And Over The Moon is about Fei Fei, 13, who builds a rocket to travel to the moon to prove that her parents’ stories were true. Neither Scarlett Johansson nor Kristen Bell are voicing this character. Amazingly (and it’s ridiculous that I’m amazed), East Asian actors have been cast: Sandra Oh, John Cho, Phillipa Soo, Margaret Cho, and Cathy Ang.
I can’t find a release date but Chinese Thanksgiving happens this year on October 1. I feel like that makes the most sense?
Yours in gossip,