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Fly Me To the Moon – Great Family Film – Watch for It!.

Fly Me To the Moon, from Summit Entertainment is the first 3D animated feature film. One wonders what took so long; it is such a natural for a kids’ movie, which is exactly what this is. And, I have to say – it’s fabulous. I enjoyed watching this film this weekend with a five and an eight-year-old boy. After the film, we talked a lot about the space program and President John Kennedy. The storyline is based loosely on the Apollo 11 space mission in 1969 which landed a man on the moon. In this story, three teen-age flies (Trevor Gagnon, Philo Daniel Bolden and David Gore) stow away on the spacecraft and we experience the adventure from a fly’s point-of-view. The teens think they’re off on a flight that will end in a few minutes and are surprised to find out they will be in space for a week – a bit long for kids who have never spent a night away from home. Once onboard, they have an awesome time experiencing weightlessness, finding droplets of Tang to gobble up, and even rescue the mission from a possible electrical failure. At one point, mission control discovers the flies in the video feed and insists the astronauts capture them. Once captured, they are placed in a test tube and we see their world from inside the test tube. Thanks to a shaky moon landing, the test tube falls and breaks and they escape just in time for the big event – the moon landing – and Nat is chosen as the one fly to accompany the astronauts’ walk on the moon. As they venture out onto the surface of the moon, we hear those famous words of Neil Armstrong’s, “That’s one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.” After the movie, I had to tell my young friends what those words meant to the world in 1969.

The flies have a near narrow escape returning to the main space craft and the next thing we know, Grandpa and his former Soviet flame, Nadia are righting off stereotyped Russian spy flies from jeopardizing the mission. A quick-thinking group of flies aid Grandpa in defending the U.S.’s mission and everyone lands safely. My kid viewers particularly enjoyed the larvae getting involved in the fight scene. The next thing we know they are being celebrated by a ticker tape parade in “Flyville.”

Based on actual transcripts and blueprints from NASA, the historical content alone is reason to take your kids or grandkids to this. The visuals are stunning, from the space craft to the minute detail on the flies’ space suits. Even the choice of music during the flight is reminiscent of the era – Richard Strauss’s Also sprach Zarathustra, the theme song from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Some of the visuals are just precious such as when the flies get accidentally trapped in the astronaut’s lunchbox and we see the world from the point-of-view of a fly inside a lunchbox. Later, once in space, the flies get captured and are placed in a test tube and again, we see their world from inside the test tube.

The film’s theme song is Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to The Moon,” which is so appropriate both to the time frame of the film and the subject. The animated fly extended family is simply adorable and who would have thought you’d find a fly cute. From the three teen explores, to the parents, to Grandpa (Christopher Lloyd), and of course, the larvae – the facial expressions are outstanding. Each character is unique in both look and dialogue. History is interwoven throughout, not just the NASA scenes but also as Grandpa’s retells his tale about flying with Amelia Earhart. There are definitely some gross scenes such as Grandpa flying up Emilia’s nose only to be sneezed out along with a large bugger. Yuck. Nadia is drawn in a rather suggestive manner, emphasizing her large bosom and waspish waist. There are some word choices that some won’t appreciate when the Mom says “Lord of the Flies” more than once and there are the fight scenes with the spy flies at the end, but overall – this is a great to film for families. I highly recommend it for ages 5 – 12 as well as baby-boomers.

Interview with film director, Ben Stassen
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