Movie review: Moonbound

Published January 29, 2022

Storytelling has sparked the imagination for centuries and has played a key role in bonding people together. We have all learnt countless stories from grandparents, or from parents while being tucked in bed. Such stories had all the ingredients to make it interesting — love, hope, adventure and trust.

Gerdt von Bassewitz’s children’s book, Journey to the Moon, may have been written in the early 20th century, but had been successfully turned into an animated series by the end of the century. Famous director Ali Samadi Ahadi takes on the project, presenting it as a more colourful, and musical Moonbound.

The story revolves around a brother and a sister, and their nightly trip to outer space, hence the name. An elderly bug needed their help and thus began the journey to the stars and beyond. Moonbound has characters like Sandman, Night Fairy, Moon Man, which nearly all of us have encountered in our bedtime stories.

In the film, Peter, a young boy obsessed with space, follows his younger sister and a June bug to the moon. The plot of this German-Austrian animated film has similarities with the legend of Peter Pan. In both the scenarios, the kids go out unattended and, after an adventure, return before breakfast. However, Peter and Anne literally go out of this world, in Moonbound. The adventure animation movie has a wacky race involving all five spirits of nature, giant polar bears, a rescue attempt, and a lost limb of the June bug.

The characters also are quite similar to those we have encountered. The Evil Moon Man is a lookalike of Marvel supervillain Thanos; Sandman resembles a traditional figure in European mythology, the June bug reminds one of Jimmy Cricket from Disney animations, while Peter’s annoying sister is a dead ringer for Bonnie in Toy Story 3. The animation and colourful settings would surely keep you glued throughout the 85 minutes of the movie.

With jokes and references for all ages, it has much for the elder siblings as well as the adults. A mish-mash of folklore, Moonbound has three special messages for kids like you. One should always look after the loved ones, despite them being annoying. Be persistent, never give up, and always follow your dreams. Dreams which begin after bedtime stories.

Published in Dawn, Young World, January 29th, 2022

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