How ‘Over the Moon’ led Chang’e from myth to pop star

How ‘Over the Moon’ led Chang’e from myth to pop star
How ‘Over the Moon’ led Chang’e from myth to pop star
[Warning: The following story contains minor spoilers for “Over the Moon,” now streaming on Netflix.]

Phillipa Soo first heard of Chang’e, the famous goddess of Chinese mythology who lives forever on the moon, from a children’s book her parents read to her. “I would look up to the moon and imagine that I could see her there with her jade rabbit,” she recalled.

It wasn’t up the “Hamilton” actress was poured into the as a legend Netflix animated feature “Over the Moon” that she explored the many versions of the myth in various Asian cultures. In some cases, her lover Houyi put immortality pills aside to keep them together forever, but Chang’e welcomed them both nobly to prevent an enemy from stealing them. Others say she selfishly took the two to herself and fled to the moon with a rabbit in tow, leaving her lover alone on earth.

Most of the stories end there. “She is very beautiful and adored, and she is a big part of the Moon Festival,” said producer Peilin Chou. “But what was she doing up there all the time? How did she affect this eternal separation from her true love? We took some liberties and let our imagination run wild. ”

When a grieving teenager named Fei Fei (Cathy Ang) builds a rocket to the moon, the curtain falls, revealing Chang’e, an incredibly fabulous pop star. she wears Couture creations by Guo Peiand performs movements Blackpink-Choreograf Kyle Hanagami. And she introduces herself to this teenager – and the audience – with “Ultraluminary,” a disrespectful and catchy song that saw Soo dancing non-stop in a tiny recording booth.

VIDEO | 00:42

„Ultraluminary“ aus Netflixs „Over the Moon“

Phillipa Soo, who speaks the Chinese moon goddess Chang’e, plays the pop song in the animated film.

“It shows how undeniably powerful she is because it invites people to dance in a way that seriously cannot be helped,” said Helen Park, who wrote the songs for the film with Christopher Curtis and Marjorie Duffield.

“And it has this delicate, vulnerable bridge because, like everyone else, it is in pain. But that doesn’t stop them from standing up and being that magnetic force. I think having their trust is a great message for girls all over the world. ”

Like the changing phases of the moon, Chang’e has many sides that are reflected in the tempos and themes of her songs. In the hip-hop-driven “Hey Boy”, Chang’e wears a modern sports outfit – “that integrates the traditional Chinese stand-up collar and wide-sleeved design, as well as some traditional Chinese cloud patterns,” said Pei – for a ping-pong match that goes wrong.

“It is clear that she has a lot of personal feelings to work through,” said Soo. “She is so desperate to be reunited with her loved one, and it comes out sideways, at the expense of a little more kindness. This anger and frustration comes from being just so ready but really feeling so helpless. ”

“Over the Moon” contains a hot, hip-hop driven ping pong song.


Chang’e eventually faces Houyi (Conrad Ricamora) to reach the emotional climax of the film, in which the couple sang a few lines in Mandarin.

“It was so meaningful to connect with my legacy in this way, especially since I’m the only grandchild in my family who doesn’t speak the language,” said Soo, whose debates were led by Chou. “When I sang in a foreign language for the first time, I really wanted to live up to that moment.”

Chang’e and Houyi are only briefly reunited. And she has to learn – in the midst of sudden heartbreak and disappointment – that her love will last forever, even though they will never be together again.

This is the doctrine and legacy of the late screenwriter of the film, Audrey Wellswho also wrote “Under the Tuscan Sun” and “The Hate U Give,” and intended this fantastic journey to have immediate, real-world applications.

“She left this film as a gift for her daughter and husband to let them know that their love will last forever as long as she leaves Earth,” said Chou. “So we had to get it right because it’s the message of the film.”

The two lovers (voiced by Phillipa Soo and Conrad Ricamora) are only briefly reunited in “Over the Moon”.


So the final song is “Love Someone New,” a ballad in which Chang’e and Fei Fei face the grief they each endured. “The song used that wistful melody from the song from the start,” Rocket to the Moon, “said Park.

“But this time it feels more transparent, or like it’s broken open because she’s not just singing it to heaven, but singing it to another person. It is a new friendship between these two injured people. ”

It’s a feeling all too familiar as countless people have suffered losses of all kinds from COVID-19. “These two characters feel very different, but they come together and realize that they really need each other to move forward,” said Soo.

“It is a great lesson on how to find love in unexpected places, although it is difficult to get in touch and ask for help. I think we all feel that we need healing now. ”

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